Busting the myth: “Adults don’t get ADHD”
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition quite commonly associated with children and teens. Yet, while symptoms typically begin to show during these early years, easing by adulthood, problems can carry forward into later life.
An area in need of extensive research
According to the TRACK study, two-thirds of patients with ADHD in childhood continue to have significant ADHD symptoms in adulthood. Despite this, fewer patients continue to receive treatment after 18 years of age. There are also fewer studies done in adults with ADHD.
Simply applying established symptoms for ADHD in children, does not suffice; adults behave and respond differently to both social stimuli and the effects of their condition. What’s more, as we grow older, we are socialised out of specific behaviours. Many adults with ADHD face subtle, but extremely frustrating, difficulties.
Some common symptoms of ADHD in adults
The Royal College of Psychiatrists describes what it’s like to have ADHD as follows
You find that:
- You may get easily distracted and find it hard to take notice of details, particularly with things you find boring.
- It’s hard to listen to other people – you may find yourself finishing their sentences for them or interrupting them, or just saying things at the wrong time.
- It’s hard to follow instructions.
- You find it hard to organise yourself and start a lot of things without ever finishing them.
- You find it hard to wait or when there’s nothing much going on – you fidget and can’t sit still.
- You are forgetful and tend to lose or misplace things.
- You easily get irritable, impatient or frustrated and lose your temper quickly.
- You feel restless or edgy, have difficulty turning your thoughts off, and find stress hard to handle.
- You tend to do things on the spur of the moment, without thinking, which gets you into trouble.
Although it is possible to identity certain patterns of problems in adults who suffer from ADHD, these do generally run alongside other issues and conditions. Such additional complexities can include sleep problems, depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), to name but a few.
Seeking treatment for adult ADHD
Are symptoms, persisting from your childhood condition, causing difficulties in day-to-day life? Perhaps you have gone your life without any treatment for ADHD? No matter what your circumstances, there are ways to seek treatment for the problems you face.
Initially, a full assessment will ensure that a comprehensive care package can be created, tailored to meet specific need. From there, a qualified practitioner will offer and discuss the treatment plan.
It is important that you understand the nature of your condition. A good medical practice will always provide its patients with ample information, enabling them to lead an informed future.