How to begin dealing with Adult ADHD
ADHD is a condition many people associate with unruly children, not a business professional in an office or a stay-at-home mom. The truth is that adult ADHD is just as natural for adults as it is for children. There are several things that you should know about ADHD in adults.
ADHD Symptoms in Adults
There are several Adult ADHD symptoms that you should know about. While a person may not experience every single one of these symptoms and the degree to which they impact your life may change, these are the primary symptoms to watch for:
- Low frustration tolerance
- Hot temper
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Impulsive behavior
- difficulty completing tasks
- mood swings
- Trouble dealing with stress
- Unstable relationships
The thing to keep in mind is that these symptoms are not always easy to pick out in adults, especially if you are looking at yourself. This is because it is easy for you to find ways around the symptom or cope with it. For instance, an adult with ADHD may think they are not restless, yet they unconsciously fidget all day long. This is why most adults who have ADHD are not aware they have it.
It is also important to note that all people with adult ADHD had ADHD when they were a child, though it simply was not diagnosed in many cases. The difference here is that some people experience fewer symptoms of ADHD as they age, while in other people, it becomes more pronounced.
How Does ADHD Differ From Normal Adult Behaviors
When looking at the list of symptoms, it is easy to think that this may be you. Every adult experiences these symptoms at one point in their life or another. Even if you have adult ADHD, you may find that you do not experience all of these symptoms- or are not aware of them in your life.
The difference is that people with this condition only deal with these symptoms occasionally. It is not something you deal with regularly. Keep in mind, too, that these symptoms can indicate a number of mental health conditions. This is why it is essential to see a mental health professional for evaluation if you suffer from it.
It is also important to note that there are several conditions that people with ADHD are more prone to. These include mood disorders, anxiety problems, personality disorders and learning disabilities. Some of these are the result of the symptoms of adult ADHD in their lives. An example of this is anxiety.
People with ADHD may have more anxiety than usual because their lives are not organized and seem dysfunctional, causing more significant distress. In other cases, it is simply something these people are more prone to have, though it is not fully understood why. Some of these symptoms may also mimic the symptoms of ADHD in adults, which is why it is essential to have an evaluation done to determine what issues there are so they can be addressed.
When to See a Doctor
If you have looked over the list of symptoms of adult ADHD and have thought to yourself, “Wow, this describes me!” Then it is time to see a doctor. You may find that you have this condition, or it could be another condition. Either way, it is best to be evaluated to get the help you need to get the control you need over your life. If distractions, disorganization and impulsive behavior cause issues in your life, then it is time to do something about it.
How is Adult ADHD Diagnosed
There are a few ways to reach a diagnosis for this condition. Unfortunately, it is not as cut and dry as many medical conditions where a simple blood test will show that you have the condition. Instead, an adult ADHD test is generally a process over a few visits.
The first thing that will happen is that you will answer any questions. This will look at your medical and personal background. You will generally be asked if any family has a history of mental health issues, drug use and many other aspects. While this may seem invasive, it is an easy way for mental health care providers to understand better who you are and what influences have led you to this point in your life.
Many of the questions you are asked will be on paper, which can help to make it feel less invasive. However, when you sit down with someone, you will be asked several questions, so be prepared to talk.
During the interview process, there are a number of things that the mental health care provider will look for with the ADHD test for adults. They will ask a number of questions and observe your behavior. Generally, if a person meets at least 6 of the categories for ADHD in adults and this has persisted for more than six months and impacts their home or work life, they are diagnosed.
Most of the time, this is not something diagnosed with one visit to a psychiatrist. Instead, this is generally done over two to five sessions. This is because they want to ensure that what they are observing and what you are saying is not just that one day. Also, the more you go, the more comfortable you become, which allows you to open up more with the health care provider.
Depending on the facility you go to, you may be evaluated by a couple of different mental health care providers who will take notes and compare these notes to help give a better picture of what you are going through.
Treating Adult ADHD
While this may seem like a burden of a condition for any adult to deal with, especially if this is something you have never even thought you had before, the good news is that there are many ways to treat this condition.
There are medications out there and other beneficial treatments. By using multiple treatments for this condition, you are more likely to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in adults within your own life so that you can be more productive. Let’s take a look at the different options.
There are many ADHD medications for adults, most of which are the same as ones prescribed to children with this condition. They include medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin and many others.
The key to finding the proper adult ADHD medication is targeting the most symptoms while avoiding worsening other conditions. For instance, someone who suffers from depression and adult ADHD may be a good candidate for Wellbutrin. This is why the psychiatrist will look at your history of taking medications and any other mental or medical health conditions you may have.
Another form of treatment for ADHD in adults is cognitive or behavioral therapy. This is an essential way of helping people with this condition to understand how to make the changes they need in their life. With this therapy, the therapist will teach you how to recognize the condition’s symptoms and train you on how you can counter these destructive behaviors with more productive ones in your life.
This can range from organizational skills to restlessness and more. Simply talking about your life with a therapist can be an excellent form of treatment because you will be able to get more clarity and look at it from another point of view.
There are a number of different lifestyle changes that can help a person who has adult ADHD. One of the best is meditation. This may seem impossible for someone who has this condition because of their inability to focus. However, the opposite is true.
It may not come as naturally to them as someone without this condition, but over time they will get better, which will help them with their attention and concentration skills. Yoga and exercise are other excellent ways to help with adult ADHD.
Your mental health care professional team can help you understand the best lifestyle choices for your life. The idea is to have a healthier life, which will help make the condition easier to manage. It may be as simple as keeping a planner that keeps you on the task in many cases.