Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a combination of various mental health disorders. This includes difficulty in paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. ADHD in adults can cause unstable relationships, shoddy work, low self-esteem, and other complications.
ADHD usually starts in early childhood which continues into adulthood, causing adult ADHD. In some cases, the sad part is ADHD is difficult to recognize in childhood; you will get to know it in adulthood.
This is because adult ADHD symptoms may not be as apparent as ADHD symptoms in children. In adults, hyperactivity can be controlled, but impulsiveness, restlessness, and difficulty paying attention may continue.
Well, treatment for adult ADHD is similar to the treatment of ADHD in children. Adult ADHD treatment involves medications, psychological counseling (psychotherapy), and therapy for mental health complications and ADHD.
What Are The 9 Symptoms Of ADHD?
In some cases, people with ADHD have minor symptoms as they age, whereas some adults continue to experience significant symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Difficulty while paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness are the common symptoms of adult ADHD.
Many adults develop ADHD symptoms unknowingly and start facing difficulty while prioritizing, leading to missed deadlines and weak memory. Such people usually become impatient waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and anger outbursts.
Below are some of the Adult ADHD symptoms, such as:-
- Disorganization and problem in prioritizing things
- Poor in managing time
- Questions focusing on a task
- Difficulty in multitasking
- Frequent mood swings
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Weak planning
- Low frustration tolerance
- Facing pain and irritation following through and completing tasks
- Hot temper
- Difficulty dealing with stress
What Are The Main Causes Of ADHD?
The actual cause of ADHD is not yet known. But still, some factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD are as follows:-
- Genetics: As per the studies, genes may carry ADHD and may carry forward the family's characteristics.
- Environment: Some environmental factors may also increase risk, such as lead exposure as a child.
- During development: Problems with the central nervous system at key moments in the story may play a role.
Here are some of the risk factors that may put you at a higher risk of developing ADHD, such as:-
- If you have a history of ADHA or any other mental health disorders in your family tree.
- In case of fetal alcohol syndrome.
- If you are too much exposed to environmental toxins during childhood, such as lead, mainly present in paint and pipes in older buildings.
- In case you were born prematurely.
How Do Doctors Test For ADHD?
Signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults can be a bit difficult to identify. However, the main symptoms start to appear early in life before the age of 12 and continue into adulthood, creating significant problems.
A single test is not enough to confirm the diagnosis. Hence, here are some of the tests for ADHD:-
- Physical examination to identify other possible causes for your symptoms.
- Gathering medical history, such as current medical complications, personal and family medical history, and symptoms.
- Using ADHD rating scales in order to evaluate information about your symptoms.
- Other complications that resemble ADHD
- Any other medical complications showing signs and symptoms similar to ADHD.
Medical complications include:-
- Depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, difficulty in learning and speaking, or other psychiatric disorders.
- Complications affecting thinking or behavior, such as a developmental disorder, seizure disorder, thyroid problems, sleep disorders, brain injury, or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Misuse of drugs and medications, such as alcohol
What Is The Most Effective Treatment For ADHD?
The ideal way to treat ADHD in adults is education, skills training, and psychological counseling. A combination of these makes the treatment effective enough to treat ADHD.
Such therapies help to manage many ADHD symptoms, but they cannot cure it. It will take some more time to know the ideal treatment for such mental health disorders.
Consult with the doctor once before taking any medicines.
Stimulants: Products that include methylphenidate or amphetamine are the most recommended medicine for ADHD. These medications balance and boosts the levels of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
Non-stimulant atomoxetine: Non-stimulant atomoxetine and antidepressant drugs, such as bupropion, atomoxetine, and antidepressants, work slower than stimulants. However, these may be good options if you can't take stimulants because of health problems or if stimulants cause severe side effects.
The dose of these medications depends on the severity of the person and, in some contexts, on an individual as well. Therefore, it may take time to find out which one and in what amount the medicine will work best.
Psychological counseling (psychotherapy) is the most effective way of treating ADHD in adults—and education about the disorder and learning skills to help you succeed.
Some additional benefits of psychotherapy may help you to:
- Improve time management and organizational skills
- Learn to lower impulsive behavior
- Enhance problem-solving skills
- Cooperate with past academic, work, or social failures
- Enhance your self-esteem
- Improve family relationships and relations with co-workers and friends.
- Develop strategies for controlling your temper
Common types of psychotherapy for ADHD include:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This structured type of counseling teaches you to change negative thinking patterns into positive ones. It helps to deal with life challenges, like school, work, or relationship problems, and help address other mental health complications, such as depression or substance misuse.
Marital counseling and family therapy. This therapy can help your loved ones to cope with the stress of living with someone having ADHD. It also makes them learn what they can do to help. These therapies can improve communication and problem-solving skills.
How Can I Help My ADHD Without Medication?
As ADHD is a complex disorder(a combination of mental disorders), and each person is unique, it's difficult to recommend all adults with ADHD for the same. But some of these suggestions may help you resolve it:-
- Use sticky pads for noting points to yourself. Put them in front where you'll see the reminders.
- Try organizing information for both electronic devices and paper documents. Develop a habit of using these systems consistently.
- Prepare a list of tasks to accomplish every day. Prioritize them accordingly. Make sure you're not trying to do too much.
- Break the tasks into smaller targets, more manageable steps. Consider using checklists.
- Make an appointment book or electronic calendar to track the deadlines.
- Keep a notebook or electronic device with you all the time to note ideas or things you'll need to remember.
- Follow a consistent routine from day to day and make a habit of keeping things, such as your keys and your wallet, in the same location.
- Ask for help if you need it from family members or other loved ones.