Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental health disorder that is usually recognizable when there is difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and consistent impulsive behavior.
ADHD can’t be diagnosed with a blood test or an X-ray. Instead, an evaluation process is typically relied on to gather information. This can be done by a psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist, psychotherapist, and some general practitioners.
ADHD symptoms may include:
- This may show up in rushing through tasks, acting without thinking about the consequences, and interrupting others while they are talking.
- Disorganization and problems when prioritizing. Adults with ADHD have a difficult time managing their tasks and prioritizing them logically.
- Poor time management skills. Those with ADHD may find difficulty showing up on time and procrastinate on their tasks.
- Problems focusing on a task. The most common symptom of ADHD is a lack of focus.
- Excessive activity or restlessness. Adults with ADHD find it difficult to stay still because their mind is always on the go.
- Frequent mood swings. Boredom, depression, and excitement may show up suddenly and cause damage in relationships.
- Everyone forgets things, but for someone struggling with ADHD, it may happen more often, causing disruptions in relationships and even careers.
- Hot temper. If you struggle with ADHD, you may have a lack of tolerance which leads to frustration and anger.
- Trouble coping with stress. Adults with ADHD that have ongoing stress may experience worse symptoms than usual.
It’s not clear what the exact cause of ADHD is although research is ongoing. Some factors are believed to contribute to the development of ADHD, including genetics, environment, and/or problems during development.
What to avoid
- Crowded venues may cause overstimulation because of overwhelming sights and sounds.
- Stimulation from constant electronics may aggravate ADHD symptoms. Take breaks and limit screen time.
- Certain foods and additives can exacerbate symptoms. According to a study in 2007, dyes and sodium benzoate increase hyperactivity.
- Lack of sleep. Inadequate sleep may cause mental sluggishness and cause a decline in behavior.
- Anxiety and stress can aggravate symptoms of ADHD, so it’s best to prevent high-stress levels by taking breaks, exercising, and learning tips to relieve stress.
When to see a doctor
If you are experiencing multiple symptoms from the list above and they continually disrupt your life, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about whether you might have ADHD.
Your general practitioner may refer you to another healthcare provider for a diagnosis and to supervise treatment if you are diagnosed with ADHD. Don’t be afraid to seek a provider who has training and experience in caring for adults with ADHD.
Bring copies of your medical records, school and employment records when applicable, and know your family history.
If you are in need of healthcare but want to continue seeing your trusted healthcare providers, Impact Health Sharing is a great option. See what members are saying about their experience after joining membership.
This information is to be used for informational use only. Please consult a healthcare professional when seeking a diagnosis.