Adult ADHD Diagnosis
Adults who seemed to sail through school with little or no issues and upon entering college or the workforce find that they have problems they’ve never experienced before may have adult ADHD. While most individuals are diagnosed during adolescence, there are some high functioning individuals who, through coping techniques, managed to mask their symptoms until later in life. Often these individuals are shocked when faced with what many falsely believe is a childhood or immaturity condition. Unfortunately, ADHD can be a life-long struggle to fit in or just to be able to complete the duties that come with your chosen profession.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. While an estimated 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD still have recognizable symptoms into adulthood, some can work through those issues and develop effective coping techniques that make their symptoms appear to go away. Additionally, adults that seemingly had their condition under control can find themselves dealing with a whole new set of problems once they enter the workforce and encounter a larger or more complex set of duties. As many can see, ADHD is a complicated and somewhat tricky condition to manage. Thankfully, several effective treatment methods can be used to help get adults back on track and boost their confidence.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
One of the first steps in treating any disorder is to identify the symptoms that are causing concerns. ADHD is often easy to diagnose in children. In adults, it can be more complicated. While the core symptoms are the same from childhood to adulthood, the way they are manifested can be quite different and often confused for something else altogether.
- Makes careless mistakes and lack attention to details
- Difficulty paying attention to tasks
- Fails to follow through on duties or is easily sidetracked
- Difficulty organizing
- Avoids or is reluctant to participate in tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Often loses things
- Talks excessively
- Acts as if on the go constantly
- Unable to participate in leisure activities
- Extreme restlessness
- Difficulty waiting on others or taking turns
Typically, hyperactivity decreases, but inattention, disorganization, and impulsivity in adulthood can result in difficulty functioning both at home and while at work. The symptoms of ADHD must be severe and cause significant impairment in multiple areas of an individual’s life before a diagnosis is made.
Adult treatment of ADHD usually consists of medication and psychosocial treatment that addresses the particular problems of the patient. Although some individuals choose one method over the other, the most effective treatments utilize a combination approach.
Medications used to treat ADHD are divided into two groups:
Generally, long-acting stimulants are recommended because they usually result in better patient compliance and seem to improve symptoms easier. Unfortunately, stimulant medications do have a higher risk of abuse and dependency, so they should be used with caution. Although stimulants control ADHD symptoms better in most patients, approximately 10-30% do not respond adequately to stimulant treatment or have intolerable side effects. For those patients, non-stimulants are the best treatment option.
Depending on if the medication prescribed is a stimulant or non-stimulant will determine what kind, if any, side effects are possible. However, both can cause the following to occur:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
For a better understanding of the possible side effects, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment
The first step to any recovery program is a proper diagnosis. Because of several other conditions, such as anxiety disorder, diabetes, bipolar disorder, and several others, can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, it is essential that patients have a proper evaluation. Generally, practitioners will do a complete physical and rule out other conditions that could be exacerbating your symptoms.
Once a diagnosis of ADHD has been made, your provider should discuss your treatment options, including medications and therapy. While some individuals may shun seeking the help of a counselor, others found their advice to be beneficial. Most often, patients choose both treatment options.
At EzCare Clinic, patients struggling with the symptoms of ADHD have access to the best treatment options available. Once you have begun your medications, you will be accessed periodically for their effectiveness, and changes will be made as necessary. Experienced counselors are on staff that can work with you to learn coping techniques with proven success. Being diagnosed with such a complex and confusing disorder so late in life can be overwhelming, our therapists are dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and that a successful treatment plan is implemented.
Take the ADHD test here and find out if your symptoms may be signs of ADD/ADHD.