ADHD is a well recognised neurodevelopmental disorder that involves problems with attention, impulse control, and in some cases, physical hyperactivity. It is a myth that ADHD is a disorder children grow out of. Although symptoms generally start during childhood and may decline with age, ADHD will often continue to cause difficulties in adulthood. If you or someone in your workplace has ADHD, there is likely to be difficulties with concentration, organisation and motivation in a number of areas.

The impact of ADHD can extend to all aspects of a person’s life, affecting not only their ability to study or work, but also disrupting their home life, relationships and emotional wellbeing. However, individuals with ADHD often find it particularly difficult to function at work, and may feel stressed and misunderstood in the workplace.

Symptoms of ADHD may be mistakingly labelled as laziness, defiance, inability, or lack of motivation. However, with simple strategies and the support of the workplace, an individual with ADHD can work more effectively and excel in their career. If you are struggling with ADHD, or want to maximise the performance of an employee with ADHD, it is important to seek the help of a psychologist.

So how can you tell whether this is the case if the individual has never received a diagnosis? The symptoms of ADHD will vary. You may identify all, or just a few of the following:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Becoming bored with a task easily
  • Mood swings
  • Regularly losing or misplacing items such as keys or paperwork
  • Being unable to pay close attention to details
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Easily distracted
  • Day dreaming
  • Non-stop talking
  • Interrupting conversations
  • Acting before thinking

Because of these symptoms, you (or your employee) may have faced difficult situations at work such as:

  • Taking on too many tasks or too much responsibility
  • Being late to meetings or events
  • Difficulty learning new and large amounts of information as easily as others
  • Being accused of poor time management or organisation
  • A tendency to want to quit long-term projects
  • Making comments impulsively which are later regretted

These experiences may have led to poor work performance, and a risk of losing their job. It is also extremely common for adults with ADHD to suffer from other related conditions, such as depression and anxiety or low self-esteem. Despite this, individuals with ADHD often have a natural capacity for creativity that stems from the same attention patterns that caused difficulties in other areas.

The VCPS psychologists can help to bring out an individuals strengths, while providing strategies and tools to reduce the impact of any difficulties caused by ADHD. They will help to reach their full potential in the workplace by:

  • Providing behavioural management strategies
  • Improving organisational and time-management skills
  • Providing assistance to discuss your concerns with an employer or an employee, in order to build a more supportive work environment
  • Relaxation and mindfulness training