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ADHD in adults: Symptoms and treatment

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can throw off your work-life balance, impact mental health and make your daily tasks more difficult. Keep reading to explore the signs and symptoms of adult ADHD and learn how to find the best treatment options for you.

What is adult ADHD?

ADHD is more than a temporary mental block—it’s a long-term and often lifelong mental health disorder. ADHD is one of the most common mental health disorders among adults. While there isn’t a cure, you can treat adult ADHD based on your symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of adult ADHD

Some of the ADHD signs in children are similar to those in adults. One significant difference is how symptoms impact your daily life as you take on more responsibilities as an adult. Adults with ADHD may have difficulty meeting deadlines and staying organized at work or school.

Other symptoms and signs of ADHD in adults may include:

  • trouble focusing
  • forgetfulness
  • restlessness
  • impulsiveness
  • time management issues
  • fatigue
  • problems multitasking.

Adult ADHD self-assessment

While a self-assessment isn’t an official diagnostic tool, it can help estimate the severity of your ADHD symptoms using a scale from very often, often, sometimes, rarely or never.

ADHD self-assessments for adults may ask questions such as:

  • Do you have difficulty staying focused when people are talking to you?
  • Do you frequently lose things or have trouble finding them?
  • When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?    
  • How often do you find yourself talking too much in social situations?
  • How often do you have difficulty focusing when you’re doing repetitive work?   

Adult ADHD diagnosis

ADHD symptoms often emerge during childhood. However, some adults may not know they have ADHD because they haven’t received a diagnosis. Contact your primary health care provider if you have regular ADHD symptoms. They can refer you to a licensed psychologist for an ADHD diagnostic evaluation.

The link between ADHD,
depression and anxiety

Coping with ADHD can be frustrating and make life overwhelming. Left untreated, ADHD can lead to depression and anxiety. ADHD in adults can get even more complicated because some symptoms overlap, making it difficult to diagnose and treat.

Fortunately, mental health consultants make it easier to create a customized treatment plan to manage your symptoms. Consider a mental health consultation for immediate access to specialized care when ADHD brings on anxiety or depression.

ADHD treatment for adults

If you’re diagnosed with ADHD, it’s normal to feel scared, anxious or frustrated. Some people dismiss or struggle to cope with their diagnosis because of mental health stigma. A confirmed ADHD diagnosis is a significant step forward in finding the right treatment plan and lifestyle adjustments for you.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Medication. ADHD medications can improve your focus and help you take on responsibilities requiring extra attention. Medications for ADHD are most effective when combined with other treatment options.

  • Therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy, can improve mental health and help adults with ADHD adapt to life changes. Whether you’re starting a new job, going back to school or adjusting to a new living situation, your mental health care provider can help you create a plan to address your unique needs. For example, an ADHD treatment plan can focus on small, realistic steps to achieve your personal goals.

    Ready to take back your focus and manage your ADHD symptoms? Easily connect with a mental health provider and learn how to make the most out of therapy before your first visit.

  • Mindfulness meditation. It’s common for adults with ADHD to be hard on themselves. Mindfulness, the practice of living in the present moment, can help you focus more on self-compassion instead of self-criticism. Mindfulness meditation can also boost your focus when you’re distracted, control impulsive urges and build ADHD resilience. 

  • Home remedies. Most adults with ADHD can benefit from lifestyle and behavioral changes to complement medication and therapy. Changes may include following a routine, creating checklists and asking for help.

It’s OK to feel embarrassed or scared to ask for support. Your loved ones, boss or professor want you to do well. Ask if they can make reasonable accommodations to help you succeed. 

When to seek help

Consider treatment if ADHD impacts your job performance, relationships and other areas of your life. Get care now by seeing the next available mental health provider virtually or schedule an appointment today. 

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