Recognizing ADHD in Adults: Diagnosis and Treatment

People with ADHD sometimes face other conditions. You may also have learning disabilities, anxiety or other mood disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, or dependency on drugs or alcohol.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental condition that can cause hyperactive and impulsive activity above normal levels. Therefore, ADHD in Adults can make life tough by interfering with your feelings, behaviour, concentration, daily plans, and the desire to learn things. However, ADHD can appear in early childhood and continue in adulthood.

Types of ADHD

ADHD is classified into three types:

  • combination type
  • inattentive type
  • hyperactive-impulsive type

This connects one or more symptoms to each type of ADHD. Three types of ADHD include:

Combined type: This is characterised by impulsive and hyperactive behaviours as well as inattention and distractibility. However, this is the most common type of ADHD.

Inattentive/distractible type: This ADHD is characterised predominately inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity.

Impulsive/hyperactive type: This type is characterised by impulsive and hyperactive behaviour without inattention and distractibility, the least common type of ADHD.

Symptoms in Adults

ADHD signs and symptoms occur early in childhood and continue to develop in adulthood. Therefore, every adult who has ADHD had it as a child. In addition, adult ADHD affects men and women the same way.

If you have ADHD, you may have difficulties with:

  • chronic boredom
  • chronic lateness
  • forgetfulness
  • relationship problems
  • substance abuse
  • low motivation
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble controlling anger
  • problems at work
  • Impulsiveness
  • low tolerance
  • frustration
  • low self-esteem
  • mood swings
  • poor organization skills
  • procrastination

You may also find it difficult to:

  • concentrate
  • follow directions
  • remember information
  • remember daily plans
  • finish work on time
  • organize tasks

Generally, ADHD affects you at home, at work, or at school. Therefore, it can be a challenge all the time or just rely on the situation. It’s always helpful to get care and learn ways to handle it. However, many individuals learn to adapt, develop strengths, and achieve their success.

Diagnosing ADHD

It is difficult to diagnose ADHD. Therefore, it requires a careful analysis of symptoms to diagnose. To diagnose ADHD, the person should be a mental health professional, often a doctor psychiatrist, neurologist, or clinical psychologist. However, your doctor can first seek to rule out conditions like depression, anxiety, and some sleep disorders. Your doctor may:

  • confirm the presence of symptoms
  • take blood from you and run a test
  • ask for psychological testing
  • ask you about your health history

In addition, your doctor, psychiatrist, neurologist, or clinical psychologist will take a physical test to make sure other medical problems are not causing your symptoms.

Technically, for adults of an inattentive ADHD type, they must have:

  • symptoms present for at least 6 months
  • five or more symptoms of inattention
  • symptoms interfere with daily lifestyle
  • symptoms were present before the age of 12

Some symptoms are present in at least two major areas of your life, such as work, home or social life. Some examples may be work loss because of symptoms of inattention or financial difficulties caused by inadequate organisation or inability to pay bills on time (1).

An initial diagnosis may reveal one type of ADHD. But over time, symptoms will change. This is useful information for adults who may need to be reassessed.

Treatment in Adults

There are a variety of treatment options available. After they have diagnosed you, the primary aim of treatment is to control symptoms of ADHD and promote healthy behaviours.

Obviously, treatment plans can include medication, therapy, education, and family support. These things will help you discover alternative ways simultaneously to do things that can make life simpler. However, this will make you feel happier and feel better about yourself.

Therapy and Other Behavioral Treatments

Before beginning any medicine, your doctor may recommend behavioural therapy. However, therapy can allow adults with ADHD to replace inappropriate habits with new behaviours. Some of these behavioral therapy include:

  • relaxation training and stress management
  • cognitive and behavioral therapy
  • job coaching or mentoring
  • family education and life coaching

Medication

There are two types of ADHD medicines such as Stimulant and Nonstimulant. Adults with ADHD are often given stimulant drugs. However, stimulants are not always optimal. Because they can be addictive and your doctors may also recommend non-stimulant drug alone or a combination of both. Some practical ADHD remedies can also help ease symptoms in adults.

Related: The link between ADHD and depression

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