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Adult ADHD

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn’t just a childhood condition. It is estimated that 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have the condition as an adult. The symptoms for adult ADHD can manifest differently than the symptoms present in childhood. Having uncontrolled symptoms of ADHD as an adult can affect success in the workplace and in a marriage.

Symptoms for adult ADHD can include chronic lateness, substance addiction, low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, depression, impulsiveness, poor concentration, procrastination, mood swings, and relationship problems. Adults with ADHD may be withdrawn from social situations or they can be social to the point of not wanting to be alone. Adults with ADHD are more likely to divorce and have employment difficulties.

Diagnosing ADHD in adults is similar to diagnosing in children. A checklist of behaviors is gone through with the patient and a discussion with the parents to identify if any of the symptoms were present during childhood can be helpful during the assessment process as well.

Medication has allowed for significant improvements in approximately two thirds of adults with ADHD. Other beneficial treatments are relaxation training, stress or anger management, job coaching or mentoring, and family therapy.

ADHD doesn’t have to be an excuse or explanation for lack of success in an adult’s life. Adults should talk with their doctor if they believe they may have ADHD. Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of resources available for assessment and treatment.


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