ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is commonly known as a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children. However, it is not just a childhood condition. These symptoms typically begin during childhood, ADHD often continues into adulthood. Sometimes ADHD goes unrecognized and undiagnosed until adulthood. Adults with ADHD may experience other physical or mental health challenges, poor work performance, financial difficulties, or relationship problems.
Adult ADHD symptoms may not be as clear as the ADHD symptoms typically seen in children. For example, hyperactivity might look more like restlessness. Here are some of the symptoms commonly experienced by adults with ADHD:
- Difficulty with prioritizing and multitasking
- Poor time management and planning skills
- Trouble maintaining attention/Easily distracted
- Frequent mood swings
- Inability to cope with stressors
- Excessive activity or restlessness; impulsivity
- Low frustration tolerance
- Trouble completing tasks
- Negative self-image
- Lack of motivation
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Problems in employment or relationships
- Interrupts others when speaking or speaks at inappropriate times
To be diagnosed with ADHD, adults must experience a range of symptoms related to inattention and hyperactivity that happen in two or more settings and interfere with daily functioning.
Cause of ADHD in Adults
Researchers are still unsure about the exact causes of ADHD, but they believe it involves a combination of genes, environment, and small differences in the wiring of the brain. There also remains a lot of speculation about whether ADHD can begin in adulthood, or if it only begins in childhood and sometimes goes unrecognized until adulthood. Some potential triggers or risk factors for ADHD symptoms that have been identified are poor nutrition, lack of exercise, substance use, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, sleep disorders, learning disorders, personality disorders, conduct disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. Researchers have even suggested that social media overuse may trigger ADHD symptoms in young adults.
It is never too late to seek treatment for ADHD, even if it’s not diagnosed until adulthood. Treatment options include stimulant medications, therapy and behavioral treatments, or a combination of the two. Stimulant medications have shown to be highly effective in treating the core symptoms of ADHD and must be prescribed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist. Therapy is also very effective in helping individuals with ADHD cope with daily challenges. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help adults with ADHD in recognizing attention and concentration problems, as well as learning time and organization skills needed to complete daily tasks. Many of our therapists at Miracles offer CBT and would love to assist you in your journey with ADHD.