Adult Atttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a mental health problem characterized by a combination of persistent problems, like hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, and impulsive tendencies. 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 may tone down in adults, while restlessness, impulsiveness and distractibility stay on.
Adult and child ADHD treatments are fairly similar, but there are medications given to children that are not prescribed for adults. Common ADHD treatments include a combination of drugs and psychotherapy, along with treatment for any accompanying mental health problems.
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 do not realize the have the disorder, but the know that it can be a feat just to keep up with everyday tasks. They may have difficulty focusing and prioritizing, causing them to miss deadlines and forget meetings or social plans. 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:
Problems with organization and prioritization
Bad time management
Difficulty focusing on a task
Inability to multitask successfully
Inability to relax
Low tolerance to frustration
Difficulty starting and completing tasks
Inability to handle stress
Normal Behavior vs. ADHD
Everyone manifests ADHD-like symptoms sometimes. If you had them very occasionally in the past or just recently, you may not have the disorder. It’s ADHD if the symptoms are so severe that they’re causing continuous problems in more than one area of your life. Such persistent and disruptive symptoms may be traced back to early childhood.
It can be hard to diagnose ADHD in adults, considering that the symptoms are usually very similar to those that come with mood disorders, anxiety and other conditions. Not to mention many adults with ADHD are also dealing with another mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. Sometimes, because of the negative effects of ADHD on one’s overall quality of life, he develops depression.
When to Seek Treatment
If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms and they have become a constant source of problems in your life, talk to a doctor. However, make sure to choose a specialist because not all doctors are extensively knowledgeable about the disorder, especially when it comes to validating whether the patient’s symptoms are actually of ADHD..