Health Care

Understanding Adult ADHD

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Everyone has moments where it’s difficult to pay attention. But when ongoing trouble focusing or controlling impulsive behavior impacts your daily life, you may have adult attention-deficit /hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD.

We most often hear about doctors diagnosing pediatric patients with ADHD. But often, patients don’t learn of their condition until they’re adults, though they’ve likely lived with ADHD their entire lives.

So, what does adult ADHD look like? Let’s discuss.

What is Adult ADHD?

ADHD is a mental health condition that causes problems with paying attention, hyperactivity or impulsiveness. Often, symptoms of ADHD in adults may not be as clear as they are in children, but continue to interfere with daily life.

While ADHD tends to run in families, there is no known cause. Left undiagnosed or untreated, adult ADHD can lead to problems like unstable relationships, dissatisfaction at work, poor performance, low self-esteem and other psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression.

What Does Adult ADHD Look Like?

Adult ADHD is diagnosed with a series of tests and evaluations, including guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association. If your doctor suspects you have ADHD, you will undergo an adult ADHD assessment to learn more about your symptoms and how they affect your life.

Adult ADHD symptoms vary from person to person and can range in severity. These symptoms may include issues with:

  • Anger and mood swings
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Boredom
  • Concentration
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Following directions or remembering information
  • Impulsiveness
  • Poor planning, organization and prioritization
  • Procrastination, motivation and poor time management
  • Relationship problems
  • Restlessness
  • Self-esteem

While everyone experiences some of these symptoms at different times, if you’ve had them for a long time and they’re impacting multiple parts of your life – such as your work, relationships or mood – it’s important to talk with your doctor.

Adult ADHD Treatment

For both children and adults, ADHD is generally treated with a combination of therapy and medication. Treatments may include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Job and life coaching
  • Non-stimulant medications such as clonidine
  • Stimulant medications like amphetamines (Adderall) or methylphenidates
  • Stress management

Patients with ADHD can also benefit from lifestyle adjustments, like mindfulness activities, regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Get Back To Feeling Like Yourself

Behavioral health conditions like ADHD, depression and anxiety can make you feel like you’re not yourself. But you’re not alone. No matter what you are dealing with, we’re here for you. Find a behavioral health specialist near you.

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