Attention deficit disorder affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career. But help is available—and learning about ADHD is the first step. Once you understand the challenges, you can learn to compensate for areas of weakness, take advantage of your strengths, and fulfill your potential. ADHD often goes unrecognized throughout childhood. This was especially common in the past, when very few people were aware of ADHD. Instead of recognizing your symptoms and identifying the real issue, your family, teachers, or others may have labeled you a dreamer, a goof-off, a slacker, a troublemaker, or just a bad student.
Treatment for Adult ADHD
Treatment for Adult ADHD/ADD: A Guide to Finding Treatments That Work
Any action you take to manage your symptoms can be considered treatment. And while you may want to seek professional help along the way, ultimately, you are the one in charge. Many people equate ADHD treatment with medication. In fact, while medication for ADHD often improves attention and concentration, it typically does very little to help symptoms of disorganization, poor time management, forgetfulness, and procrastination—the very issues that cause the most problems for many adults with ADHD. Medication for ADHD is more effective when combined with other treatments. You will get much more out of your medication if you also take advantage of other treatments that address emotional and behavioral issues and teach you new coping skills. Everyone responds differently to ADHD medication.
Attention Deficit Disorder Without Hyperactivity (ADD) in Adults
However, core symptoms start early in life — before age 12 — and continue into adulthood, creating major problems. No single test can confirm the diagnosis. Making the diagnosis will likely include: Physical exam, to help rule out other possible causes for your symptoms Information gathering, such as asking you questions about any current medical issues, personal and family medical history, and the history of your symptoms ADHD rating scales or psychological tests to help collect and evaluate information about your symptoms Other conditions that resemble ADHD Some medical conditions or treatments may cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that numbers are even higher in smaller community samples. On top of that, many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed. Untreated ADHD can cause numerous mental and physical problems that can put a strain on relationships and cause difficulties in many aspects of everyday life. Keep reading to learn about the symptoms. It means being easily distracted, finding it hard to listen to others in a conversation, overlooking details, and not completing tasks or projects.