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. The disorder is called adult ADHD, but its symptoms can manifest in a person’s early years all the way to 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. 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. Prioritizing and focusing may be very difficult to do, and this often causes them to miss deadlines and forget responsibilities. Their impatience and inability to control impulses makes it very hard for them to wait in line, drive in traffic or restrain their anger.
Symptoms of adult ADHD may include:
Organization and prioritization issues
Bad time management
Inability to focus on a task
Inability to multitask successfully
Inability to relax
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 fairly recently or at certain times in the past, it may be nothing to worry about. 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 distracting and incessant symptoms can be attributed 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 ADHD, the person deals with the negative consequences that eventually make him depressed.
When to See 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.