ADHD in Adults
Life is an opportunity, make the best use of it, because once spent, you will not get it back at any cost. Life is not just only about living you must have that sunshine, freedom, and activeness to enjoy it. Life is a balancing act for any adult but if you find yourself not enjoying it, or you constantly lag behind, you are extremely distracted and forgetful, overwhelmed about your responsibilities than you may be suffering from something called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that is found mostly in children. If you were diagnosed with ADHD in your childhood, then chances of carrying the symptoms to adulthood is quite common. This doesn’t rule out the fact that you might end up with adult ADHD, even if you were never diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. It is estimated that 1 in every 20 people are affected with ADHD. Initially, it was thought that a child outgrew the symptoms of ADHD during adolescence but that was not completely true, researchers found that 7 out of 10 children carried on the symptoms with them and developed adult ADHD. ADHD is hereditary it runs through the families.
Symptoms of ADHD vary and are different in different persons. Few common symptoms of ADHD are
- Erratic mood swings
- Hard concentrating
- Making careless mistakes
- Easily distracted
- Trouble concentrating and doing work quietly
- Not listening when someone is speaking
- Never following instruction and delay in task
- Imperfect in organizing a task
- Losing things like keys, documents etc
- Hyperactive or restless
- Excessive talking
- Reveal things without thinking
- Trouble waiting for their chance
- Poor relationship with peers and family members
- Uncontrolled behavior
Despite massive development in science and technology the exact cause of ADHD still remains unwrapped.
Few studies show that it might be because of difference in the structural and chemical nature of brain. Lack of a brain chemical called monoamine is predicted to play a major part in causing ADHD. Very rarely traumatic brain injury may show symptoms similar to ADHD.
It is said that ADHD is hereditary and it runs through generations in a family. In addition, external factors such as smoking and alcohol during pregnancy and exposure to lead during childhood may also result in ADHD. A popular belief is that refined sugars or sugar substitute may cause ADHD but lots of research is needed to support the fact. Using artificial color or preservatives are related to symptoms of ADHD, but research is ongoing to prove it.
Diagnosing ADHD is a tough job. Consulting a qualified clinical psychologist or a physician who is experienced in the field of mental illness, may be helpful. Symptoms of ADHD are mostly similar to that of anxiety, depression, and other mental illness. There is no specific test to identify ADHD it is usually diagnosed by simple investigation and observation.
It is very important that your physician rules out the presence of other psychological problems that has symptoms similar to ADHD; and also ruling out drug and alcohol abuse, which shows similar symptoms, is essential.
The physician may take a detailed medical history to see if the person has already suffered from childhood ADHD, and note the person’s current behavior and lifestyle. He may also enquire about family and friends about his behavior
Your physician might look into factors like severity of symptoms, when these symptoms actually started, how long it is present, situations when the symptoms appear. A self-evaluation questionnaire will be given, based on your answers you will be evaluated.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) may be done to check the brain wave pattern; though this is controversial, some find it helpful
Treatment procedure for ADHD is complex and includes:
- Education: Making you understand about ADHD may help you in better management
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This helps you to identify your negative attitude and transform your outlook into more hopeful and realistic one
- Talk therapy: Adult ADHD is surrounded by failures, academic & job difficulties, relationship conflicts, therefore a individual talk therapy can help you deal with such emotional situations and embarrassment
- Marriage and family therapy: This will help you explore your issues and focus on forming a strong family relation
- Change in lifestyle such as quitting drugs, alcohol, and smoking might help
- Drugs: Psychostimulant drugs are prescribed, anti-depressant drugs increase your concentration and help you to control your impulse
Other illness with similar symptoms
Distraction, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and uncontrolled behavior may be caused due to reasons other than ADHD. The following are few illnesses with symptom similar to ADHD, which your doctor considers while making the diagnosis.
- Thyroid or other hormone problems
- Side-effects of medications
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Lead exposure
Understanding about ADHD and its challenges can help you make changes in your lifestyle. Many with ADHD have found meaningful ways to deal with it. Dealing with ADHD does not require any external intervention; you can help yourself and deal successfully with symptoms of ADHD.
Some measures may be helpful. Lack of sleep may worsen your problems like lack of concentration, mood swings, stress, and irresponsibility. Eat healthy balanced food and avoid sugar to help you even out your mood. Exercise regularly that will help you control your mood swings and calms your mind. Therefore, it is essential that you get atleast 7-8 hours of sleep.
Schedule your work, plan out your day’s works and practice time management. Spend time with your family and friends, share your difficulties and listen to their talk. Maintain relationship with people who understand your situation and help you to deal positively with the situation. You can approach individual support group for further assistance
Try to work on things that interest you. You can make a ‘things to do’ list, set a reminder, use color coding notes, all these will provide you a good creative working environment.
The good thing about ADHD is that no matter how long you are suffering from it, the issues of ADHD can be treated easily. Knowledge, support and creativity can help you manage the symptoms of Adult ADHD. Learn to turn your weakness into strength. Remember it’s never too late to convert your difficulties into success.