What is adult ADHD?
Although commonly thought of as a childhood disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also be present in adulthood. The symptoms of ADHD always begin in childhood, but in some cases is not diagnosed until the person has fully matured. Adult ADHD is expressed somewhat differently than childhood ADHD; for instance, hyperactivity, a main component of ADHD in children, is usually transformed into restlessness and impulsivity in adults. Adults with ADHD may find themselves struggling to sustain relationships, stay organized, or maintain satisfactory work performance. However, there are many ways, both personal and professional, to manage the symptoms of ADHD.
Adult ADHD Symptoms
Adult ADHD symptoms can be separated into cognitive and behavioral categories. When looking through these symptoms, remember that it is natural to experience disorganization, restlessness, and much more. To qualify as ADHD, these symptoms must result in significant life disturbance and must be diagnosed by a professional.
· Mood swings
· Excessive fidgeting or restlessness
· Risk-taking behaviors
· Problems with temper
· Difficulty focusing
· Poor time management
· Difficulty managing/coping with stress
· Low tolerance for frustrating tasks
· Difficulty multitasking
Treatment for adult ADHD
Many people believe that medication is the only, and best, treatment for ADHD. Medication is a valuable tool when combined with other forms of treatment, but it is never a cure. Adults with ADHD most commonly receive a combination of medication and behavioral therapy as a treatment regimen. In addition to professional treatments, there are many at-home ways to treat ADHD.
Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are often useful for learning lifestyle skills to decrease ADHD symptoms. These therapies teach you ways to manage time, reduce impulsive behaviors, help improve relationships and manage temper. Your therapist will help you become aware of ADHD’s impact on your life and work with you to decrease its relevance. Many people with ADHD also find themselves struggling with self-esteem issues due to perceived underachievement or disorganization. Psychotherapy and CBT are extremely useful in combating these issues. People who struggle with relationship issues may also find themselves benefitting from marriage and family counseling.
Aside from professional help, there are many at-home solutions to ADHD symptoms. Making lists is a helpful way to ensure you have everything necessary for the day and are especially
helpful for people who have difficulty prioritizing tasks. Keeping a day planner allows you to keep track of meetings or appointments you have each day. Having a place to write down last minute responsibilities or thoughts will help you remember important information and stay organized.
Exercise and proper sleep are also beneficial in curbing ADHD symptoms. Finding a way to stay active, whether it be yoga classes or walks in the park, burns off excess energy that leads to impulsivity, and boosts important neurotransmitters in the brain. Make an effort to exercise at least four times a week.
Getting the right amount of sleep is another great way to manage ADHD. Many people struggle with this, but setting a bedtime, making sure your room is entirely dark, avoiding caffeine after a certain time of day, and decreasing electronic device use at night are all easy ways to ensure quality sleep. When you get a good night sleep, your body will have an easier time focusing on the day’s tasks.