A lot of discussion is given to childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But this behavioral issue greatly affects adults as well. While the exact cause of adult ADHD isn’t yet understood, recent research seems to indicate that genes and heredity, traumatic experiences, upbringing, lifestyle, and our environment play key roles.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
Many adults who are eventually diagnosed with ADHD have always “sensed” that something was off, but they were too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. Others still never paid attention to the many signs:
- Difficulty focusing attention, especially when it comes to reading maps, books or magazines.
- Home, office, and/or personal spaces are disorganized and messy.
- It’s challenging to complete tasks and projects.
- A mental fog or haze.
- Friends and family members tease about being scatterbrained.
- Symptoms have been present since childhood.
- Other family members also have attention issues or suffer from depression or anxiety.
- A sense of inadequacy when comparing personal productivity to others’.
Beyond assessing this list of symptoms, adults may also take the Conners Test. This test is considered the gold standard and superior to neuropsychiatric testing by many. The diagnosis of ADHD is a clinical one and does not generally require neuropsychiatric testing (unless you wish to have a child evaluated for learning disabilities and then implement accommodations).
Other Disorders That Mimic ADHD
It’s also important to mention that there are other disorders and conditions that exhibit similar symptoms to ADHD:
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic fatigue
- Certain prescription medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure medication
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance abuse
- Head injuries
Getting an Accurate Diagnosis
Your best course of action is to find a trained mental health professional who can take a detailed history and determine if your symptoms are truly from ADHD. Should you be diagnosed with adult ADHD, you will want to work with your therapist to come up with the right treatment plan.
Your plan may include a combination of therapeutic strategies such as medication/supplementation, nutrition counseling, behavioral therapy, increasing exercise and/or joining a support group. Finding the right treatment plan for you will take a bit of research, planning and testing. But once you find your individual strategies, you will be able to manage your ADHD symptoms and live a happy and productive life.
If you are interested in getting diagnosed and exploring treatment options, please be in touch.
- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) https://chadd.org