Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, contrary to popular belief, is not a disorder only found in children. Even adults can be diagnosed with ADHD. The prevalence of ADHD in adults is not very well documented but it definitely exists. If you often find yourself disorganized, forgetful, and even completely overwhelmed, you should consider getting yourself tested for ADHD.
The symptoms of ADHD can be seemingly vague and difficult to pinpoint. These symptoms can affect your work, your relationships and every other aspect of your life. The severity of symptoms will vary depending on the person and can be tricky to diagnose.
The primary cause is a neurological imbalance in the person’s brain. Genetics and life experiences play a role in helping ADHD develop. The imbalance is not always constant and therefore leads to varying levels and results in their performance and an erratic display of symptoms.
Signs And Symptoms Of ADHD In Adults
The typical symptoms for ADHD in adults are:
- Impulsive behavior.
- Forgetting tasks and chronology.
- Chronic lateness.
- Mood swings.
- Substance Abuse.
- Low esteem.
- Anxiety, even depression.
- Emotional overreaction.
Often in adults, with undiagnosed ADHD, you will see a behavior pattern that is usually inexplicable. Poor academic performance coupled with an underachieving pattern, or even a school dropout. As ADHD-undiagnosed adults move about in their lives, they are unable to keep a job and usually also have fewer professional achievements.
Social skills of adults with ADHD are also peculiar with frequent behavior that draws the attention of authorities. These adults tend to have difficult relationships, including a higher rate of divorces. What may seem like a difficult personality could, in fact, just be undiagnosed ADHD.
How To Diagnose ADHD In Adults?
It’s important to treat this condition because untreated ADHD can have a domino effect on your life and can affect every sphere.
Self tests, detailed interviews with the patient and his immediate sphere of people like family, friends and colleagues all help in arriving at a conclusion. Family history can also play a big role in the process of diagnosis. As qualitative data is used to diagnose ADHD, there is no set of numbers that can determine you have ADHD. Self diagnosis is not very helpful and it’s usually helpful to involve your regular medical practitioner. The process of diagnosis can be a lengthy one and needs careful observation before making a diagnosis.
The diagnosis is the biggest hurdle. Treatment of ADHD is usually a combination of therapy and medication. Medication is used to control mood-related symptoms while therapy helps improve focus and concentration. A particular class of medications called stimulants are used to treat the disorder. In most cases these are effective. Antidepressants might also be used. These medications can have side effects. If these side effects are acute, your doctor might have to work on alternatives till you find one that suits you.