ADHD symptoms are mostly seen during childhood but are often diagnosed only in adulthood. The major problem is that only a few cases of adult ADHD have been identified and treated, making detecting this condition difficult.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD is a chronic neurological disorder which affects children, though it can also persist into adulthood. This condition is also known as hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). There are three types: ADHD mainly inattentive, ADHD mainly hyperactive impulsive, and ADHD combined. Some doctors believe that ADHD symptoms can be observed during childhood and these symptoms often continue to exist in the teens and into adulthood. It is essential to notice any signs of this condition and identify them in childhood itself to prevent them from becoming intense. Adults who suffer from this condition are unable to perform their daily activities properly and may also have relationship problems.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not yet known, but research has suggested that changes in the structure of the brain can be one of the causative factors. A few doctors and psychiatrists believe that this condition can be inherited in families. Pregnant women who smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs can give birth to children who are at an increased risk of contracting this chronic neurological disorder. Exposure to certain toxins like lead can also be one of the causes of ADHD.
It is very difficult to define the symptoms in adults, mainly because there is no proper research conducted on this disorder in adults. The symptoms can be categorized into two types: symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity, and inattentiveness symptoms. Other conditions which may be related are obsessive compulsive disorder, personality disorder, and bipolar disorder. The symptoms may vary from those seen in children and teenagers. For instance, if a child shows hyperactivity as an ADHD symptom, when he grows up it may change into restlessness.
- Occasional mood swings
- Lack of attention and carelessness
- Feeling stressed all the time and inability to cope with it
- Getting angry at petty things
- Being fidgety and restless
- Unable to complete tasks
- Switching to new tasks before completion of older ones
- Showing impatience
- Procrastination and getting bored quickly
- Poor organizational skills
- Cannot prioritize and unable to focus
- Disorganized and constantly losing things
- Acting on an impulse without worrying about the after effects
Diagnosing this disorder in adults can be a bit challenging since the signs can be more or less similar to the symptoms caused due to alcohol or drug abuse, mood or anxiety disorders, and certain medications. The doctor may evaluate the signs and symptoms of ADHD based on some criteria and questionnaires. Once the diagnosis is done, the doctor may prescribe some stimulants which help in balancing the neurotransmitters or the chemicals produced by the brain. The psychostimulants prescribed can include lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, etc. Some other medications like antidepressants and atomoxetine pills may be prescribed as well.
There are also a few herbal remedies for ADHD which are quite effective. Apart from these drugs and medications, the patient may also have to go for therapy and psychological counseling. Some psychotherapy techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, marriage, and family counseling. These therapies help in improving the self-esteem, and problem solving techniques of the individual. Regular therapy and counseling will help bring changes and improvement in the lifestyle and relationship of the individual. Apart from these treatment methods, a proper diet, taking nutritional and herbal supplements, and practicing yoga will also prove helpful when it comes to treating this neurological condition.
Thanks to modern medical technology, the signs of ADHD in adults can be identified and treated. There is more awareness about this disorder now, than it was in earlier days. Timely diagnosis and administering quick treatment will ensure that the individual leads a normal life.