What is Adult ADHD/ADD?

It is a mental health disorder.
Symptoms include persistent difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol problem, involvement with criminal justice services and imprisonments and other problems.
symptoms of adult ADHD start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is not diagnosed until the person is an adult.
In adults, hyperactivity may decrease, but impulsivity, restlessness and inattention may continue.

Treatment of adult ADHD:

Treatment includes medications and psychological treatment.
Having other mental health problems is common in patients with adult ADHD and should be treated simultaneously.

Symptoms of ADHD:

The symptoms include difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness. Hyperactivity is not as common in Adults with ADHD.
Symptoms can be mild to severe.

Difficulty in prioritising can lead to missing deadlines. Impulsivity can lead to feeling anxious and inability to wait in the queue and anger in situations when patience is required.

symptoms may include:

• Impulsivity
• Disorganization
• problems prioritizing
• Poor time management
• Difficulty focusing on a task
• Inability to carry out multiple tasks at the same time
• Excessive activity
• restlessness
• Poor planning
• Low frustration tolerance
• Frequent mood swings
• Problems following through and completing tasks
• Problem controlling temper
• Poor coping strategies when faced with stressful situations

Almost everyone has some symptoms mentioned above at some point in their lives. However if the difficulties are recent or occurred only occasionally in the past, it is not ADHD. To diagnose ADHD the symptoms should be severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of person’s life and those symptoms can be traced back to early childhood.

How to make the diagnosis of Adult ADHD

Diagnosis of ADHD in adults can be difficult as some of the ADHD symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders. Also it is very common adults with ADHD to also have another mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
If any of the symptoms listed above continually disrupt your life, talk to your doctor

Causes of ADHD

Like other mental health illnesses multiple factors can contribute to development of ADHD
Genetics. ADHD can run in families, and research studies indicate that genes may play a role.
Environment. Certain environmental factors such as lead exposure during childhood can also lead to developing ADHD

Risk factors for developing ADHD

The risk may increase if:
blood relatives, such as a parent or sibling suffer from ADHD or another mental health disorder
smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs during pregnancy Childhood exposure to environmental toxins such as lead, found mainly in paint and pipes in older buildings Premature birth

ADHD has been linked to:

• Poor schooling
• Poor performance at work place
• Higher unemployment
• Involvement with criminal justice system
• Alcohol and drug abuse
• Higher rate of accidents including car accidents
• Difficulty in relationships
• Poor physical and mental health
• Higher rate of Suicide attempts

Coexisting conditions

Many adults with ADHD also have depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder.
• Anxiety disorders occur fairly often in adults with ADHD.
• Adults with ADHD are at increased risk of other psychiatric disorders,
such as personality disorders, intermittent explosive disorder and substance abuse.

A psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a neurologist is best equipped to diagnose adult ADHD. A master level therapist is recommended only for the initial screening. Only a psychiatrist, neurologist, or family physician can prescribe medication for adults with ADHD.

This post is also available in: English

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