Adults and ADHD
As many of the symptoms of ADHD are often mistaken for personal or business-related stress, many adults are living with ADHD and may not realize it. ADHD is often believed to be a disorder of childhood only, yet it is estimated that as many as 7% of adults have the diagnosis. It is often undiagnosed because the adult may have achieved success in school or career; therefore, it is believed that the symptoms are not related to ADHD. As adults, we have likely developed some coping strategies as children or adolescents and have gone on to achieve success in our families or careers. This is not, however, always the best way to address adult ADHD. Untreated, ADHD may cause difficulties in our friendships, marital or family relationships; further, it may create difficulty working in teams in the workplace, which challenges our self-esteem and has broad implications for our overall health.
ADHD is an inherited, neurological disorder that affects approximately 3-7% of children. But what happens when those kids grow up? Do they ever “grow out” of their distractibility, impulsive behavior, and restlessness? Many people develop successful strategies to cope with their symptoms over time, which allows them to live free from the impairments that result from an attention deficit. However, research shows that as many as 7% of adults still meet criteria for the diagnosis of ADHD.
There are a few ways in which ADHD differs in adulthood, most of which are related to way the symptoms impact daily life for adults. Specifically, adults with ADHD may struggle to properly manage their time, commitments, or important documents. Conversations can be difficult, especially in larger groups. These symptoms lead to conflict in interpersonal or intimate relationships, which often exacerbates the symptoms of attention deficit.
Adults with ADHD may also struggle with sitting still and working for long periods of time without breaks. They often experience trouble at work as a result of these symptoms and may often change jobs or feel unhappy in their current job.
The Affinity Center offers individualized treatment for the adult who believes he or she may have ADHD, or for those who have already received a diagnosis. This treatment may begin with an accurate diagnosis, which is achieved through both physical and psychological evaluations, discussion, and testing. Help is available; you are not alone.