(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

What is ADHD? 

ADHD is defined as a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects approximately 3% of adults in the UK. There are three main presentations:

1. attention deficit with hyperactivity/impulsivity;

2. attention deficit; and

3. hyperactivity and impulsivity.

More information can be found on our ADHD Informed Toolkit.

Further helpful information is available at NHS UK  and  ADHD UK.

Exploring an ADHD diagnosis

Before exploring an ADHD diagnosis, if you feel that you are struggling it is important to consider what factors may be impacting you. It is also important to understand the support that may be available and the diagnosis pathways available.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

The pandemic and lockdowns affected many individuals adversely, and the effects of the pandemic may affect you in ways that mimic symptoms of ADHD. Concentration, motivation, time management, focus and memory – these are all common effects of living through a period of unprecedented challenges to the way that individuals work and study.

Social Media

How we consume information in short bytes through platforms such as

TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram has impacted on how long people engage with or remain concentrated on more detailed and opaque content. In addition, social media can affect the way we view, and occasionally self-diagnose, issues. It is important consider the credibility of the information provided and to be aware that algorithms may be influencing what you are seeing.

It is important to explore other possible explanations for ADHD-like symptoms given that unrelated conditions have similar presenting features. It is important to consider the impact of the areas that you are struggling with and whether they have been lifelong and having a significant impact on your day-to-day living.

If you feel that the impact of Covid, social media or stress may be causing your symptoms, then there is support available for these from Student Services.

Seeking help with these symptoms does not stop you pursuing an ADHD diagnosis if you conclude that ADHD may be a possibility for you. Many of the adjustments would be similar in both cases, but a formal diagnosis could offer extra support and medication if appropriate.

What support is available?

If you have a diagnosis and need help with prescription medication in the UK, please review the information on our medication information page. If you wish to discuss support needs, please get in touch with to talk to a Disability Adviser.

If you do not have a diagnosis, you should contact your GP in the first instance to discuss the issues you are currently struggling with. The GP may then refer you for an assessment with a multidisciplinary team in the NHS. Please note that there are currently long waiting times for assessment in the NHS. We encourage students to review our ADHD Informed Toolkit. This contains useful information about ADHD, support available, screening and diagnosis pathways, and additional resources.

Please note that the Disability Team cannot provide standalone ADHD screenings, but can advise on different options. In addition, until you have a diagnosis, it is important to note that support for adults with ADHD often focuses on developing strategies and skills to support concentration and memory. Please contact if you would like to discuss this further.