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ADHD diagnoses in adult mental health services

By Niamh Quinlan - 06th May 2022

In seven out of ten cases, the outcome agreed with the SPT was “reasonable grounds for concern”

College of Psychiatrists of Ireland, Spring Meeting, Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny, 7-8 April 2022 

The importance of diagnosing of adult ADHD, particularly within mental health services, was highlighted at the CPI Spring Meeting 

A study, published in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2017 and conducted by Dr Dimitrios Adamis, Consultant Adult Psychiatrist in Sligo mental health services, found a high prevalence of ADHD in adult mental health services compared to the general adult population. Nearly one-in-six attendees of adult mental health services have ADHD, according to the study. 

This statistic was also referenced by Dr Tom McMonagle, Consultant Psychiatrist in Dublin Southwest and Tallaght University Hospital, in his talk. 

“The patients are already in our clinics because they have something else going on, so treatment responses can be less marked,” said Dr McMonagle. “Many patients find the diagnosis really validating. It explains a lot of things that have happened to them in the past. It gives them a sense of exoneration and a pathway to change.” 

Ms Tash Milne, who has ADHD and was nominated by ADHD Ireland to speak, talked about getting her diagnosis as an adult: “It’s a realisation of the difficulties that you’ve gone through and it allows you to make positive changes. Once you realise where your difficulties are you can try and find strategies or tools to improve on those areas.” 

Prof Aisling Mulligan, Associate Professor at UCD and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dublin North and County, covered a range of studies in her talk. 

They showed how the quality-of-life for people with ADHD is generally lowered as a result of their disorder.

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