Have you found that either yourself or your child has been referred for assessment or treatment for ADHD to a specialist, but you are not really sure what the difference is between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Many people come to us at ADHD Ireland for advice on where to go next once they discover that either they or their child may need an ADHD assessment.
This short guide outlines the difference between both professionals, so that you can be informed in your decision on taking the next step in your ADHD treatment:
The 3 Key Differences:
- Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors, psychologists are not.
- Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, psychologists cannot.
- Psychiatrists can diagnose, manage treatment, and provide a range of therapies for all levels of mental illnesses, including ADHD. Psychologists can diagnose mental illnesses, but their form of treatment and therapy focuses primarily on non-medication-based treatment such as psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help patients.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with at least 12 years’ training, or more. They first do a medical degree at university before qualifying as a doctor and then they complete at least six years of training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems.
They can treat complex conditions including severe depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.
Their methods of treatment include prescribing medication, psychological treatments, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and general medical care, including your health and response to medications.
Currently in Ireland, all consultant child psychiatrists and psychiatrists working with children and adults with intellectual disability can diagnose and treat ADHD. However, many consultant adult psychiatrists are not yet trained to do so. This training is now being provided for trainee adult psychiatrists as a first step in addressing this issue. This is organised by the HSE Adult ADHD National Clinical Programme in association with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland.
Psychologists have at least 6 years of university training and supervised clinical experience. They may also hold a Masters or Doctorate level qualification in psychology. If they have a Doctorate (PhD) a psychologist can call themselves ‘Dr’, but they are not medical doctors.
Clinical psychologists have special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems.
Psychologists are more likely to see people with conditions that can be helped effectively with psychological treatments. This might include behavioural problems, learning difficulties, depression, and anxiety. Not all psychologists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
If you would like more information, please contact us on 01-8748349 or [email protected]
ADHD Ireland is delighted to announce a partnership with Specialisterne Ireland, a specialist consultancy that recruits and supports talented people with neurodiverse needs. Together, we are launching a pilot, which aims to support adults with ADHD to move closer to achieving their career goals.
Many individuals who are neurodiverse struggle with interviews and benefit from a step by step approach to the interview process used by current employers. Specialisterne’s experience helps employers recruit and retain talented people and grow diverse, effective teams.
Specialisterne Ireland provides an intensive interview skills programme with individualised assessment, CV preparation, and interview training at no cost to the individual. They provide guidance on workplace etiquette and the corporate environment. They help candidates to identify the best of their educational and workplace experience for upcoming interviews and provide mock interviews to prepare.
Specialisterne Ireland have several fantastic partner companies such as SAP, DPS Group, Northern Trust, Pfizer, Accenture, AIG and many more. Through their employer partnerships, they arrange for candidates to be recruited through a neurodiverse friendly process.
To find out more click here
We were delighted to have Zak Powers, psychotherapist host a fasinating webinar recently on Adult ADHD and Anxiety.
To watch the webinar back, please click the link below.
ADHD Ireland is delighted to bring you a full day conference exploring the topic “ADHD Explained”.
Bringing you three expert speakers covering ADHD throughout all years, from early years from 0 – 7 years and then exploring school years from 8 – 18 years, and finally exploring ADHD in adulthood and throughout a lifespan.
Date: 13th June 2020
For full details of times and for tickets, please click here.
Introduction to our speakers and topics:
ADHD Early Years: Emma Weaver, BA, PG Dip IAPT, Director of Early Years Services ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity
Topic: Optimising knowledge and skills for families and professionals working with children with ADHD, Autism and attachment difficulties.
Emma will explore the factors involved in identifying and supporting children and families including how knowledge and skills training in early years can improve attachment, learning, child development and transition into education.
About our Speaker:
Emma Weaver has worked across several educational and social care settings designing and delivering services for families with children or parents who have autism, ADHD and related neurodevelopmental conditions.
Emma is a specialist trained therapist who utilises a range of interventions including video assisted guidance therapy to train parents, teachers and child care professionals on identifying and understand the needs of the child and integrated working across health, education and social care.
Emma is the lead for early years services at the Foundation as well as being part of the national training team, providing professional development training and coaching in areas such as mental health, education and behaviour support.
Emma’s expertise in developmental psychology to enables families and professionals to develop the knowledge and skills to ensure that early intervention, by the right people at the right time. Emma ensures that agencies work collaboratively with families on how they can adapt the environmental factors in the home and school environment to optimise child development, learning and wellbeing.
Emma is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Developmental Psychology and early Years.
ADHD School Years: Colin Foley, BA PGCE MA, National Training Director at ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity
Topic: Teaching and learning strategies in educational settings
Colin will explain how to identify neurodiverse children and young people in an educational context, teaching and learning strategies such how to scaffold learning to improve academic progress and attainment and how parents can work collaboratively with schools to ensure their child’s needs are understood and addressed. Emphasising a strength based approach to learning, Colin will also explore how the overlap of characteristics and co-occurrence of other learning impairments such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia needs to be understood and supported in the home and school.
About our Speaker:
Colin Foley is the training director of the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity, an integrated health and education multidisciplinary lifespan service in based in Liverpool. The Foundation is the largest patient led service of its kind in the UK and Colin co-ordinates training for over 15,000 professionals very year, covering a range of professional development programmes.
The ADHD Foundation is one of only three organisations in the UK to offer a cradle to grave multi modal service for families and adults affected by ADHD, offering psychoeducative and psychosocial interventions, skills training for families and young people, Family Therapy, CBT, counselling, Stress reduction and behaviour support programmes.
Colin leads the Training department, designing and delivering professional development courses for education health and social care professionals. Colin also event manages the Annual International Conference on Neurodiversity & Mental Health on ADHD, Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Conditions.
After a twenty five year teaching career in the secondary sector up to Senior leadership level, Colin was the first Specialist Leader in Education to be appointed in his area and led the Outstanding Teacher Programme and the Improving Teaching programme for the National College.
Colin’s work for the ADHD Foundation is grounded in empowering teacher’s to deliver outstanding outcomes for children and young people with ADHD through raising awareness of the specific symptomology of conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome and related co-occurring mental health challenges.
Colin is passionate about improving the knowledge, skills and understanding of childcare professionals to improve teaching and learning and raising academic attainment for young people with learning needs to improve life chances and reduce the health, education and socio economic inequalities that impact on the 1 in 5 human beings who are neurodiverse.
Colin believes that providing practical classroom strategies that every teacher can use at all key stages, with knowledge on how to identify learners of concern, reduce learner anxiety, promote their psychological resilience and a ‘strength based approach’ to what learners can achieve, is essential for any outstanding education provider.
ADHD in Adults: Dr Tony Lloyd CEO ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity
Topic: Understanding ADHD, how it impacts on physical and mental health across the lifespan.
Tony will talk about the causes of ADHD and how the environment in home and school impact on how the brain develops throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Tony will also explain how to ensure that healthy lifestyle choices and why access to early assessment, diagnosis and treatment can improve life chances in education, physical and mental health across the lifespan.
About our Speaker:
Tony has led the Foundation since it was established as a user led charity in 2007, initially as Chair then as CEO from 2010. Tony has been the driving force in promoting neurodiversity in the UK and campaigned for a neurodiverse paradigm in education, health services, employment and human resource management in the UK.
Tony works in partnership with the UK Government, national and international agencies across all business sectors to improve understanding and awareness of the 1 in 5 human beings who are neurodiverse; those with dyslexia, ADHD, autism, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. Tony argues that the very prevalence of neurodiversity is such that 1 in 5 of humankind can not be errors of genetics or ‘disordered’ – but rather are a reflection of the natural diversity of human intelligence and creativity. Tony believes therefore that we must take a strength based approach to recognise the intelligence, ability, employability and remarkable potential of neurodiverse individuals, citing such historical genius as Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Mozart and numerous public figures in the 21st century including entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson; world champion athletes Simone Biles and Michael Phelps, actors Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. Tony argues that in the 21st century and our rapidly changing culture, economy and lifestyles, we need to redefine what we mean by intelligence, ability and career potential that is relevant for the 21st century so that every child and adult can achieve their potential.
The ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity has led the campaign for adherence to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidelines in the care and treatment of ADHD in the UK. Tony is a leading figure in influencing Government policy and the deign and provision of public services so they better understand and meet the needs of the neurodiverse population to improve life chances through better and more inclusive education that reflects the explosion in neuroscience that enables and encourages innovation.
Tony has also played a key role in the production of and as co author of two national reports on ADHD; A Lifetime Lost or a Lifetime Saved’ published in 2017 and sent to every MP and NHS Commissioner, this report highlighted the scientific evidence underpinning ADHD, prevalence and mental health outcomes. Tony also co authored the ‘Bridging the Gap’ report published in 2017 and launched at the EU in Brussels on transition from CAMHS to AMHS for children’s mental health services, using ADHD as a case study. Tony also contributed to the DEMOS report on the’ Social and Economic Impact of ADHD, published in Feb 2018.
Tony has over 25 years as a mental health practitioner and consultant advisor to several voluntary and charity sector agencies. Tony advises several private sector businesses, NHS and Health Care providers on services specifically for the ADHD population.
Tony has also promoted a more holistic education to meet the needs of children in a rapidly changing world with the provision of school based mental health services and parent skills programmes for parents and especially the parents of children with special needs so that parents are able to play a more proactive role in their child’s education, health and citizenship.
Tony is the recipient of several awards for his work in the field of neurodiversity, ADHD, education and health and was listed in the FT Outstanding 100 top LGBTQ executives in 2017, 2018, 2019 for his work developing the ADHD Foundation and promoting neurodiversity in the workplace.
For any queries on this event, please contact ADHD Ireland on [email protected] or on 018748349.
ADHD Ireland are delighted to bring you the recording of our informative and engaging webinar with the well-known and respected, Dr. Jonathan Haverkampf on the topic of Adult ADHD and managing your relationships.
Here’s everything you need to know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Thomas E. Brown, PhD, discusses ADHD diagnosis, ADHD symptoms, available ADHD treatment options, and ADHD medication.
For many, life now revolves around working from home, home-schooling our children, or coping with the monotony of being at home all day and the pressures and anxiety that can bring. Read our COVID-19 Guide for ADHD Adults here.
For some of us, we also have the added challenge of being required to self-isolate within our own homes, either alone or away from our families to protect them from contracting the virus. Read the HSE guides as to when you should self-isolate here and how to self-isolate here.
So if you are waiting on a test result or if you have received that dreaded positive result but are finding it tough to stay away from everyone, here at ADHD Ireland we wanted to help adults with ADHD to cope with a few tips to help you keep safe and motivated during this difficult time.
1. Protect your mental health
The uncertainty of the situation at the moment, and the fear of what a positive test result can mean for you and your family, can cause undue anxiety and stress – particularly for adults with ADHD, 40% of whom also have comorbid anxiety disorder. It’s important to avoid getting overwhelmed by the situation and to allow yourself to keep control of what you read, hear or see, particularly on social media when you are feeling isolated. Keeping a realistic perspective of the situation based on facts is the advice from the HSE. You can read up-to-date factual information on coronavirus in Ireland here .
2. Surviving Self-Isolation
According to the HSE, self-isolation – or we prefer “physical-isolation” means staying indoors and completely avoiding any physical contact with other people. You need to do this if you have symptoms of coronavirus or a confirmed diagnosis. This is to stop other people from getting it. The advice from the HSE is very clear; you need to stay physically away from others (even within your own home, where possible). It’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food or supplies. Make sure you’re not in the same room as them, when they do. For more information on how to stay safe and healthy, please refer to the HSE website here.
3. Create a routine and stick with it
The key to alleviating anxiety around this new situation, is to try and structure your day. If you are feeling well:
- try to wake up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time each night; keeping your body in a healthy routine helps to make you feel more in control.
- Shower and dress yourself as if you are going to meet somebody, rather than lounging around in pyjamas and then feeling down and lethargic at the end of your day.
- Eat your meals at regular times and clean up after yourself so that you can feel positive and energetic about your home environment.
- Take what help you need if you are feeling unwell and you have support from family or friends. It is possible for people to drop your meals at your door or to do your shopping for you, even while keeping their distance.
4. Incorporate regular exercise
The physical benefits of daily exercise are well documented, but did you know that exercise boosts your mind and mood as well? Physical activity releases proteins that improve brain function and this is particularly good for those with ADHD. It also promotes more restful, restorative sleep. Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it alleviates anxiety and depression, too. If you are self-isolating due to the risk of exposure to Covid-19 but feeling well yourself, a brisk 15/20-minute walk or a good stretch in the back garden will help make you feel more alert and more focused. There are also lots of apps that can be downloaded free of charge and will give you simple, easy to do at home exercises or why not try the Operation Transformation basic exercises to get you started?
We are all in danger of feeling guilty for not working and studying as usual, and for allowing ourselves to sit down and watch day-time TV! Well, since we are all in this together, why not just… relax! This isn’t going to last forever, and we need to remember that our number one job is to stay safe and protect those in our society who are most vulnerable. Take a break. Particularly if you are self-isolating within a home that you share with family. Don’t worry about stepping away from the hustle and bustle of family life. This is the best choice to protect your family. Stay in a separate room, just sit back and allow yourself to indulge in your favourite TV show or a good book. Enjoy a cuppa and just relax and take care of your health. This time will pass and we will be back to our busy lives before we know it!
6. Stay connected to others
You want to be a good citizen and follow the guidelines of social distancing, especially if self-isolating, but you are starting to find the isolation really difficult? We are social beings and we need human contact to keep us going. There are so many ways with modern technology that you can reach out to friends and family and keep in touch. FaceTime, WhatsApp video calls and Skype are all really great for putting you face to face with those you love and miss, but don’t forget a simple phone call or even send a letter! We are all in this together, so let’s get each other through it, even if it is from a distance.
7. Give yourself a little calm
As adults with ADHD, it can be challenging for us to sit still, stay home and self-isolate. Instead of thinking of this as being “trapped”, why not take some time out of the day to read a book or try meditation. Allow our minds some calmness and quiet. Usually we find ourselves too busy to settle down and read or to try something new like meditation which has proven benefits for those with ADHD. Did you know that meditation actually helps with mental health and strengthening immunity? It is also ideal if you are spending time alone because it is most effective in a quiet, empty space. Download a good app, such as the Headspace app, set a time each day to do it, and get started!
8. Try a new hobby
If you are self-isolating but feeling well and finding the hours dragging while you are alone, this is the perfect time to busy yourself with something new. Is there a hobby you’ve always fancied trying but never had the time? Or do you have a stash of materials in your attic/garage that you’ve had for years and won’t throw away because you plan to get to it “someday”? Well now is your chance. Take this time to enjoy spending time doing something new or learning a new skill, which will give you a great sense of satisfaction. It is one of the upsides of this very tragic circumstance; we have been given something we all claim not to have enough of: time.
Endorsed by the ADHD in Adults National Clinical Programme.
31st March 2020
If you have ADHD and suddenly find yourself working from home or temporarily out of work due to business closures, what can you do to fill your day and keep yourself occupied?
Here are some tips for maintaining focus, setting boundaries, avoiding unproductive hyperfocus, and getting the most out of your day.
- Keep your usual routine
Sticking to your usual getting up and going to bed time will help your body keep in a routine. Getting dressed – even putting on your shoes – can help switch your mind into work-mode and can help you to feel more productive with your day.
- Take your medication
Even though you are not going out to work every day now, you should still take your medication every day because ADHD medication works best when taken consistently.
- Get some fresh air and exercise
The science is clear: Exercise promotes focus in the ADHD brain. Make sure to get out and get some fresh air and exercise every day. Your normal commute may involve walking some of the way, or even going out to get a sandwich at lunchtime. Take advantage of working from home by getting a walk at lunchtime or going out to the back garden.
- Set up your workspace
If you’re working from home now, set up a dedicated space for your work station – whether it’s at the kitchen table or in your bedroom – whatever works for you. This will help you to focus and not get distracted by other things when you are in “work mode”. You may find yourself floundering with a lack of structure and colleagues. Try scheduling a regular call with your supervisor or someone working with you on a project daily to help keep your work focus intact.
- Avoid home distractions
Try to avoid getting caught up in household jobs while you are supposed to be focusing on your work. You need to grab a pen, walk into the kitchen, and suddenly a snack sounds good and those dishes need washed and what’s that stuff on the counter… and you’ve been in the kitchen now for an hour instead of working.
- Take regular breaks
It can really help the flow of your day if you add some structure to it. Map out in advance what times you are going to take breaks and try and stick to those times. It will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions.
- Be aware of the time
Adults with ADHD don’t generally see time, but you can feel it. You might get hyperfocused on something you are working on and then work through your usual lunch break. Your body will start to tell you it’s hungry and you won’t be productive any more. Set timers on your phone, if that helps and stop at dedicated times to give your body the break it needs, or to give your workflow the switch up it needs from one project to another.
- Be alert for Hyperfocus
Hyperfocus is a common — but confusing — symptom of ADHD. It is the ability to zero in intensely on an interesting project or activity for hours at a time. Be alert for it because it can cause you to lose hours of your day if you get caught up with one specific thing.
- Clock off at your normal time
Don’t forget to have boundaries between work and personal time, it can be easy for things to get blurred when working from home. So, if you normally leave work at 5.30, turn your laptop off at that time instead.
- Spend time with (from a safe distance of course!) family and friends
Our mental health can suffer if we don’t keep our social interactions up throughout the day. It is very important to chat to people and keep yourself socially connected to society. If you share your home with family or housemates then you have some people to chat to and share social interactions with, but if you live alone and are starting to feel isolated from this social distancing, make time to Skype, FaceTime or simply phone a friend!
Most importantly, try not to get too obsessive about the news and social media surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus. It can become all-consuming, meaning that it is easy to get sucked in and spend too much time listening to discussion around it and reading up about it – some of which you see might even not be true! This can build up and cause anxiety and fear which will not help your ADHD.
For more information please visit www.adhdireland.ie or
Endorsed by the ADHD in Adults National Clinical Programme.
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Symptoms of coronavirus
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.
Look out for one, some or all of the main symptoms:
- a cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
- fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above) or chills
Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains.
If you develop symptoms you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.
This is only a guide but close contact can mean:
- spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
- living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person
If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days and you do not have symptoms, you need to restrict your movements. You only need to phone your GP if you have symptoms of coronavirus. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
When you may need to be tested for coronavirus
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone. If they think you need to be tested for coronavirus, they will arrange a test.
How coronavirus is spread
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets.
You could get the virus if you:
- come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
- touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on
As it’s a new illness, we do not know how easily the virus spreads from person to person. Spread is most likely from those who have symptoms.
The virus may only survive a few hours if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. But many of the symptoms of the virus can be treated.
Drink plenty of water. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help with symptoms such as pain or fever. Paracetamol is usually recommended as the first-line treatment for most people. Before taking any medication you should read the full package leaflet that comes with your medicine. You should also follow any advice a healthcare professional gives you.
If you get the virus, your healthcare professional will advise treatment based on your symptoms.
Antibiotics do not work against coronavirus or any viruses. They only work against bacterial infections.
Supportive treatments, like oxygen therapy, can be given while your own body fights the virus. Life support can be used in extreme cases.
To protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) it’s important to think about how the virus is spread.
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person’s nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. This can be direct or indirect (on hands, objects, surfaces). Keep this in mind. It will help you remember all the things you need to do to protect yourself and others from the virus.
Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.
Some of the things you can do
- keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people
- reduce interactions with people outside the workplace and home
- reduce the number of people you meet every day
- avoid communal sleeping areas
- avoid crowded places
- work from home if possible
- do not shake hands or make close contact, if possible
Help slow the spread of coronavirus
To help slow the spread of coronavirus:
- anyone who has symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days
- everyone should limit unnecessary social contact as much as possible
- at-risk groups should avoid close contact with people outside the home
How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus
Follow this advice as strictly as possible and encourage others to follow this advice too.
- Wash your hands properly and often.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
- Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people – keep a distance of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and others.
- Avoid crowded places, especially indoors.
- Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups.
- Do not shake hands.
Wash your hands properly and often
You should wash your hands:
- after coughing or sneezing
- before and after eating
- before and after preparing food
- if you were in contact with someone who has a fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)
- before and after being on public transport or in a crowd (especially an indoor crowd)
- when you arrive and leave buildings including your home or anyone else’s home
- if you have handled animals or animal waste
- before having a cigarette or vaping
- if your hands are dirty
- after toilet use
Updated 17th March 2020