While ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is most commonly diagnosed in childhood, there are a growing number of adults who are beginning to wonder if their symptoms and struggles could not be related to the same disorder.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 4.5 percent, or more than 8 million adults in America, battle the effects of impulsiveness, inattention, disorganization, forgetfulness, and tardiness that are common with this disorder. Yet fewer than 21 percent work to get a diagnosis and help for dealing with these issues.
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Some adults have spent a lifetime developing coping techniques in order to fit seamlessly into today’s society. Sadly, such coping mechanisms can be exhausting and may take their toll over time leaving behind anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, job loss, and self-doubt. Some of these coping mechanisms include:
- Intensely structured schedule – Without a very structured schedule, it is all too easy for an individual with ADHD to slide into hyper-focus on one task and lose several hours.
- A place for everything – Because the ADHD tendency is not orderly, having a specific place where everything belongs is very important. Otherwise, the disorganization and forgetfulness may just mean that all your time is spent looking for a specific item instead of being productive.
- Lists and planners – Many ADHD adults try out many different types of lists and planners in an effort to remember important items.
- Timers – It is not unusual for ADHD to rely heavily on timers. Some use these to limit time spent on specific parts of a work project while others set a timer before they begin any task. This helps to overcome the fact that the ADHD brain has incredible difficulty keeping track of time.
- Digital calendars – Along with the difficulty of tracking time, those with ADHD have difficulty remembering important dates and appointments. Many use a digital calendar simply because it reminds them before an event happens.
- Rigid sleep schedule – Those with ADHD also tend to have trouble falling asleep. One of the most effective workarounds for this is to set up a rigid sleep schedule and stick to it, no matter what day of the week it is. Those who fall off that schedule frequently find it next to impossible to get back to it.
Why Be Diagnosed for ADHD?
The biggest reason for adults who believe they may be struggling with ADHD to be diagnosed is peace of mind. An ADHD test for adults and diagnosis can be the beginning of a positive change in almost every part of life. With the proper medication and therapy combination, some adults are able to feel what it is like to be successful both in their jobs and in their personal relationships.
Adult ADHD Diagnosis
Many adults look to the internet for information about adult ADHD. There are many simple, free tests that can be taken to indicate if symptoms match up with the disorder. However, such online tests cover only the very basics of ADHD and should never be used in place of an actual diagnosis. Instead of seeking treatment, too many wonder who can diagnose ADHD in adults.
Scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional or doctor is the first step toward proper diagnosis and treatment. EZCare Clinic in San Francisco offers full-scale diagnosis and treatment services. Qualified doctors help patients cope with ADHD in adults as well as related symptoms with a combination of medication, counseling, and therapy.
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Possible ADHD/ADD Medications
There are 2 different types of ADHD medication that are frequently used to treat the disorder. These are known as stimulant medication and non-stimulant medication.
Stimulant medications help to focus and calm some of the wild or impulsive ADHD energy. A more simple explanation of this same thing is caffeine. Most adults experience a boost of energy when they drink a caffeinated beverage. Many with ADHD, however, seem to feel no effect at all or a calming effect from the same beverage.
There are also non-stimulant medications available for treating ADHD. Many in this category help with depression symptoms or even lower blood pressure. Another advantage of non-stimulant medication is that they do not tend to bother sleep patterns or appetite, two of the most common side effects noticed with stimulant medication.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Many diagnosing doctors recommend cognitive behavior therapy once patients are diagnosed and effective medication is prescribed. This type of goal-oriented therapy generally involves having the patient involved in a hands-on approach as they learn about problem-solving techniques. Though there is a longer-term commitment, this type of treatment has proven extremely effective.
When working in Cognitive behavior therapy, patients are taught to change patterns of thinking and behavior so that they can become more successful at tasks such as record keeping, completion or work, organization and time management.
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Speak with an ADHD Doctor
If you believe you exhibit some of the symptoms of adult ADHA, we recommend you schedule an appointment with one of our ADHD doctors right away. The sooner your diagnosis is made and a treatment plan established, the quicker you can pave the way for a brighter future.