What is ADHD
Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder and a mental health condition that affects a person’s ability to focus, pay attention, and control impulsive behaviors.
This condition is typically diagnosed in children, but it is also possible for adults to suffer from it. It impacts their quality of life on many levels and may lead to various challenges such as hindering them from completing simple normal daily tasks, and therefore requires the close supervision and help of a professional healthcare specialist.
Adults may suffer from ADHD for a variety of reasons:
- Undiagnosed ADHD as children
- Environmental factors, such as chronic stress or trauma
- A few medical conditions or medications.
How does Adult ADHD looks like?
The symptoms of ADHD in adults can be categorized into two main categories: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Inattention presents itself in the following ways:
- Difficulty focusing on tasks or activities that require sustained attention, such as reading a book or paying bills.
- Being easily distracted by external stimuli, such as noises or movement.
- Struggling to follow through on instructions or completing tasks, such as starting projects and finishing them.
- Being forgetful or absent-minded, such as forgetting appointments or losing track of personal items.
Hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms may include:
- Restlessness, such as difficulty sitting still or constantly fidgeting.
- Impulsivity, such as acting without thinking about the consequences or interrupting others.
- Difficulty engaging in quiet activities or leisure activities, such as watching a movie or reading a book.
- Talking excessively or interrupting others during conversations.
- Risk-taking behaviors or engaging in activities that provide immediate rewards, such as gambling or substance use.
Additionally, some adults with ADHD may also experience emotional dysregulation, such as frequent mood swings or difficulty managing anger.
Untreated adult ADHD can lead to several complications that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Some of the most common complications of untreated adult ADHD include but are not limited to:
- Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships with others,
- Inability to maintain focus and productivity at work,
- Substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol to cope symptoms,
- Increased risk of developing other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression,
- Difficulty managing finances and impulsive spending,
- Impulsive behavior leading to legal issues,
- Increased risk of physical health problems due to impulsiveness and distractibility.
What does Adult ADHD Treatment Involve?
While ADHD is a chronic condition, the symptoms may respond to treatment.
Here are some common approaches that can be combined, depending on the severity of the symptoms:
- Medication, such as stimulant and non-stimulants: a physician or psychiatrist may deem it important to subscribe medication when the situation calls for it.
- Therapy: there is a strong body of evidence that shows how behavior modification improves the quality of life in people with adult ADHD. Dr. Carla uses applied behavior modification principles (ABA) as one therapy modality to assist her clients in achieving their daily goals during their therapy. Another powerful tool is Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) that Dr. Carla also uses to improve the focus, concentration and addictive behaviors that may be stemming from ADHD.
- Lifestyle changes: and these are closely looked at with the person’ physician or therapist to determine what changes need to be made in terms of nutrition, sleep and exercise.
- Support groups: these are greatly beneficial when it comes to keeping a person on track in the long-term phase of the treatment.
It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan. An RTT therapist or psychologist can help identify and diagnose any underlying conditions and prescribe a proper treatment plan to manage ADHD symptoms in order to live a happy fulfilling life.