Dealing With ADHD in Adulthood

adults standing together

What is ADHD in Adults

You’re on a very important conference call, but instead of paying attention, the only thing you’ve been doing is staring off into space, maybe even daydreaming you were in space. You could be staring off because you’re bored, or it could be a sign of a deeper issue. If you find yourself daydreaming a lot, and have trouble on focusing on certain things, you may be suffering from adult ADHD.

Often, cases of childhood ADHD go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Back in the day, ADHD symptoms may have been seen as a child being shy and quiet, or lacking discipline at home if they were overly active. These symptoms, if undiagnosed and untreated, can continue you to occur into adulthood. And that can have serious consequences for personal relationships and especially job performance. As an adult, how can your ADHD affect you, and why wasn’t it treated in childhood?

Missed Cases of ADHD

There was a period of time where we didn’t know what attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was. So, let’s make sure we know what it is, now!

ADHD is a psychiatric disorder that causes you to have problems with attention, hyperactivity or acting impulsively. As an adult diagnosed with ADHD, that hyperactivity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re running around like a mad man – however, it could mean that you’re restless or constantly fidgeting around and you can’t sit still. It could also mean that you have trouble starting or finishing projects.

Missed cases, or misdiagnoses, happen all the time. In certain communities, ADHD is looked at as “behavior problems” that can be solved by a stronger discipline regimen. We now know that doesn’t work out too well. But, even after all we have learned, we still see missed diagnoses too frequently.  Like we said, a missed diagnosis as a child can affect you into your adulthood. When you’re a child, your responsibilities are minimal, and you’re pretty much stress-free. However, as you grow up, your list of responsibilities grows, and it can soon feel like an overbearing weight – which you can’t take off – is on you.

ADHD isn’t a new disease. In fact, it has been known by medical practitioners as early as the late 1700s. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s, that the first successful treatment of ADHD occurred through the use of stimulants. Since the 1930s, we’ve seen the understanding of ADHD grow, and now can better treat ADHD without resorting to “corporal punishment” like in ancient times.

I’ve Been Diagnosed With ADHD, Now What?

People who suffer from ADHD can also suffer with other mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder, and these illnesses may have plagued you for the majority of your life. However, getting diagnosed with ADHD isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

For some, getting a confirmation of having ADHD can be comforting. It’s the reason why you always looked disinterested in things, were easily distracted, or maybe behind the other students in your class because it took you longer to grasp concepts. These are just a few of the symptoms of ADHD, and proper treatment and education; you can regain control of it and live a more productive life. It’s like a light bulb goes off in your head – suddenly everything makes sense, and you realize that you were never going to “fix” your issues with willpower.

Along with medication, there are also a few things that you can do to help improve yourself and tackle your ADHD head-on. If you work in a busy environment, one thing you can do is keep a daily planner or calendar and put everything you need to do on there. Keeping track of everything gives you power over your time and it can help you stay focused on the tasks at hand. Regular exercise can also help burn off extra energy and help with any aggression you may have. Just sweat it out! Also, make sure to develop better sleeping habits. If you’re running on 4-5 hours of sleep a day, that’s not nearly enough. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

If you feel like you may have ADHD and never got checked for it as a child, don’t be afraid see a doctor now in your adult years. You will feel much better getting a physician to clarify what is happening. And, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, treating it now could make your quality of life much better. You can contact a local psychiatric center, like ours, and they can walk through everything that you’ll need to do help you regain control over your ADHD. Remember that you’re not alone – nearly 11 million American adults are estimated to be affected by ADHD. So get checked, and get better.

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