Adult Atttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a mental health disorder marked by a combination of persistent issues, like inability to concentrate, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Adult ADHD can cause low self-esteem, unstable relationships, poor work or school performance and many other issues. Although it’s called adult ADHD, the disorder can begin in early childhood and persist until adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is diagnosed only in adulthood or never at all. The symptoms are often not as clear in adults as the are in kids. Hyperactivity usually tones down in adults, but impulsiveness, distractibility and restlessness remain.
Treatment for adult and child ADHD are very similar, but some medications for children are not approved for adults. Treatment for ADHD usually include psychotherapy, drugs, and treatment for any other health problems that are occurring simultaneously.
Some people with ADHD have less symptoms with age, but others continue to deal with major symptoms that often interfere with daily life.
Most adults with ADHD don’t even know they have it, but they know that it can be a challenge to fulfill daily tasks and responsibilities. They may have a hard time prioritizing and focusing, making them miss deadlines or forget work or social responsibilities. Because they are impatient and unable to control impulses, the usually have problems driving in traffic, waiting in line or controlling their anger.
Adult ADHD may have the following symptoms:
Issues with prioritizing or organizing
Poor time management
Difficulty focusing on a task
Inability to multitask successfully
Inability to relax
Poor frustration coping
Problems starting and finishing tasks
Problems coping with stress
Normal vs. ADHD
Everyone has ADHD-like symptoms at certain points in their lives. If you had them very occasionally in the past or just recently, you may not have the disorder. If the symptoms are severe and persistent enough to cause difficulties in more than one area of your life, then it’s possible that you have ADHD. These ongoing and distracting symptoms are rooted in early childhood.
Because ADHD symptoms in adults are very similar to those associated with other conditions, like anxiety and mood disorder, diagnosis can be extremely difficult. What makes it even harder is that a lot of adults with ADHD simultaneously deal with depression, anxiety or any other mental health condition. Sometimes, the negative consequences brought about by ADHD on a person’s total quality of life can also be the cause of his depression.
When to Seek Treatment
If any of the above symptoms have been causing major difficulties in your life, speak to a doctor about possibly having ADHD. But do make sure to pick a specialist, considering that not all doctors are equally knowledgeable and experienced in handling this condition, especially in terms of validating whether the symptoms are, in fact, of ADHD.