Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: symptoms and consequences
The main traits of our character, communication patterns and ways of dealing with different situations are laid down in early childhood. In addition, it is sometimes associated with a predisposition to certain health problems. Many people believe that only children have problems with concentration and behavioural control. However, this is not entirely true. As an adult, a person can have behavioural disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Children with ADHD cannot always concentrate or control their energy without help. In adults, the manifestations may not be so obvious, and therefore may not be diagnosed in time. FamilyDoctor.org explains how not to miss the symptoms of the disease and help yourself overcome them.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a set of behavioural disorders in which a person has difficulty concentrating, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Adults are better able to overcome the symptoms of the syndrome than children, so they are diagnosed less often.
What are the symptoms of ADHD in adults?
Some adults are not even aware that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Unlike children, their hyperactivity decreases somewhat over the years, and they simply believe that they have problems with solving certain issues and perceive them as an individual trait of their character.
At the same time, experts say that you can talk about the presence of a syndrome if you have 6 or more of these symptoms:
Difficulty following instructions;
Moving on to a new task without completing the previous one;
Frequent loss of things;
Lack of attention to detail;
Difficulty concentrating on classes or work;
Disorganisation and forgetfulness;
Problems with planning ahead;
Impulsivity and short temper.
In addition, a person may be constantly on the move or talk incessantly, disturb other people, be impatient, and make decisions without thinking them through.
What causes ADHD?
As a rule, even if attention deficit hyperactivity disorder manifests itself in adulthood, the signs of the behavioural disorder begin in early childhood and develop over the years. Some adults only notice the symptoms of ADHD when their children are diagnosed with it.
People with this syndrome do not produce enough chemicals in some parts of the brain that are responsible for organising thoughts. This is called the main cause of ADHD.
Other factors that can trigger the development of the syndrome include genetics, smoking or substance abuse during pregnancy, exposure to environmental toxins, low birth weight, and brain injury.
How to diagnose ADHD?
It should be noted that most people may experience behavioural disorder-like symptoms from time to time during their lives, but this does not mean that you have ADHD. It could be due to temporary difficulties or triggered by a specific situation. However, if the symptoms last for more than 6 months and become so severe that they interfere with all areas of your life, you should see a specialist.
Diagnosis in adults can be complicated by the fact that ADHD symptoms may be partially present in other mental health problems, such as excessive anxiety or depression.
Sometimes, ADHD may not have been diagnosed in childhood, which led to its manifestations in adulthood. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will have a detailed conversation about your general health, lifestyle, and complaints.
How to alleviate ADHD symptoms?
If left untreated, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can lead to numerous problems, such as poor academic performance, unemployment, problems with the law, unstable relationships, alcohol or other substance abuse, accidents, low self-esteem, and more.
Modern medicine offers several options for treating ADHD.
Therapy. It may include group or individual counselling to help control triggers, learn better time management and problem solving, improve relationships with loved ones, and prevent impulsive behaviour.
Medications. To alleviate ADHD symptoms, a doctor may suggest the use of psychostimulants that have a calming effect, reduce hyperactivity, and improve concentration and attention. It should be noted that any medication can have side effects, so treatment should be carried out under the supervision of specialists.
Lifestyle changes. It is important to strive to improve your symptoms on your own. Try to plan things in advance and stick to your plans. Do not make hasty decisions, think about your words and actions. Eat a healthy diet, get enough rest, and avoid factors that lead to negative consequences.
As you can see, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can have a negative impact on various areas of life. Adults sometimes need help even more than children. However, they are able to better understand their condition and control their emotions. Timely detection of the problem and adherence to certain rules will help create social connections, communication, and improve their health.
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