Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder most well-known for its impact on children. However, the mental health disorder can impact a person at any stage of life-impacting them into adulthood. The symptoms of ADHD typically begin in early childhood. While some adults experiencing ADHD may already have been diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder, there are many cases in which an individual may not receive a diagnosis until later in life.
The Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Adulthood
ADHD can leave a person struggling to get organized, having trouble with impulse control, and feeling overwhelmed with daily life. The symptoms of ADHD can range from mild to severe- with some people being unaware they have the condition and others finding the condition interfering with their daily activities. The symptoms of ADHD can impact a person’s relationships, career, finances, and overall quality of life. While ADHD in adults can look different in every case, a few common symptoms include:
- Impulsiveness and difficulty with self-control
- Struggles with concentration
- Feeling overwhelmed easily
- Irritability or a short-temper
- Poor time management and prioritization skills
- Struggling to complete duties or follow through with responsibilities
- An inability or struggle to multitask
- Mood swings
- Excessive restlessness
It is important to note that we can all experience specific symptoms of ADHD from time to time. However, those experiencing the neurodevelopmental disorder may find that these symptoms are recurring and severe enough to impact their overall quality of life.
The Causes of ADHD
Research has not found a certain answer to the specific causes of ADHD. However, many studies have suggested that genetics and environmental risks may have a significant role in the development of the disorder. Risk factors, such as chromosomal deletions, low birth weight, and premature birth, have been linked to a wide range of neurodevelopmental conditions.
Diagnosing ADHD in Adults
Receiving a diagnosis of your ADHD is the first step to receiving the treatment you need. Neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD are diagnosed through evaluations. In evaluation, a person can expect to be evaluated on topics like their symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle
Your healthcare provider may administer your evaluation through a self-report or behavior rating scale that observes your symptoms and how they impact your overall quality of life.
Treatments for ADHD in Adults
There are a few treatments that can be used to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. These treatments can involve medication and counseling. Typically, the most effective treatment options are a combination of these.
The main medications used to treat ADHD symptoms are known as stimulants. Stimulants, such as amphetamine, appear to be the most effective medications for treating the symptoms of ADHD. This seems to be because these stimulants block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine, allowing neural activity to increase.
A person experiencing ADHD can build the skills and education needed to cope with their symptoms through counseling. These coping skills and knowledge can help the person improve their relationships, work quality, and overall quality of life. Working with a counselor, the person experiencing ADHD can :
- work through past failures
- learn problem-solving, organization, and time management skills
- improve confidence
- develop coping mechanisms for stress, overwhelm, and anger
We Are Here to Help
If you believe you may be struggling with ADHD, we are here to help you. Our counselors will work to help you figure out if you are experiencing a neurodevelopmental disorder or struggling with something else. Contact us today.