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 is known to cause poor school or work performance, relationship issues, low self-esteem and many other problems. Although it’s called adult ADHD, the disorder can begin in early childhood and persist until adulthood. Sometimes, ADHD never gets diagnosed until adulthood, if at all. In adults, the symptoms may not be as evident as they are in children. In adults, hyperactivity may decline, but impulsiveness, restlessness and lack of focus may persist.
Treatment for adult and child ADHD are very similar, but some medications for children are not approved for adults. Common ADHD treatments include drugs, psychotherapy and treatment for any mental health conditions occurring with ADHD.
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. Their impatience and inability to control impulses makes it very hard for them to wait in line, drive in traffic or restrain their anger.
These are the are the most common symptoms of adult ADHD:
Problems with organization and prioritization
Time management issues
Inability to focus on a task
Inability to multitask successfully
Difficulty coping with frustration
Difficulty starting and completing tasks
Inability to handle stress
Normal Adult vs. Adult with ADHD
Everybody experiences ADHD-resembling symptoms at times. 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. Such persistent and disruptive symptoms may be traced back to 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. Not to mention many adults with ADHD are also dealing with another mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. 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 Consult with a Doctor
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.