Unmasking ADHD in adults

You only need to read the headlines to understand that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not the childhood disorder many understood it to be throughout the 1980s and 90s – 2.5% of adults in the UK have been diagnosed, and many more are awaiting assessment (often for years) in burgeoning NHS waiting lists.

Since ADHD became a known neurodevelopmental disorder (added to the DSM-5 in 1980 first as ADD, and finally including the ‘H’ in 1987), various myths have been shattered and the body of research related to ADHD – and the support for those who both struggle with and celebrate it as part of their identities – has risen exponentially.

Amongst the shattered myths? That adults – and particularly women – do not experience ADHD. Today, healthcare professionals recognise the very real need for more support and resources to help diagnose and treat both children and adults, including girls and women who often mask their symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of adult ADHD include organising and completing tasks, forgetfulness, impulsivity, restlessness and problems with time management (time blindness). Symptoms – particularly when undiagnosed – can lead to issues with work, relationships, friendships and more. Access to support both in and out of the workplace is critical for many individuals.

ADHD in the workplace: building neuroacceptance

As we have pointed to in our occupational blog posts spotlighting neurodiverse recruitment and support for adapted workplace arrangements, there has been a movement towards not only accepting, but celebrating and embracing, neurodiversity in the workplace – and the diverse skills and talents those individuals can bring. 

Though only 2.5% are diagnosed, ADHD in adults in the UK may be as high as 5% or 1 in 20 adults, which means that a great number of UK workers are neurodivergent and looking for adaptable, flexible working spaces and cultures. They are looking to work differently, with more efficiency, and with better support in place.

See below for Hogrefe’s resources supporting children, adolescents and adults with ADHD, as well as the healthcare professionals and employers that support them.