ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is typically thought of as a childhood disorder. The truth is, while symptoms usually begin during childhood, they can continue through adulthood. Hyperactivity and issues with inattention, disorganization, and poor impulse control usually improves around adolescent years. Nevertheless, adult ADHD treatment can help you overcome these symptoms.
Our mental health treatment center at SoCal Empowered offers a variety of treatment programs, including adult ADHD treatment. We provide customized plans designed around your unique needs. Our professional care team is committed to your long-term success, which includes your physical and emotional lives beyond treatment.
ADHD is a diagnosis used to identify consistent inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that prevents a person from everyday functioning. This condition shows a distinct difference in the way the brain works. Research has shown neurological evidence relating ADHD to the prefrontal and temporal cortices in the brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the cause of ADHD is not clear. Although, factors that might contribute to developing ADHD may include:
According to the DSM-5, ADHD is typically diagnosed in children and teens. Childhood ADHD symptoms begin once social expectations increase, like interacting with other children or performing household chores.
Research on this condition did not drive much attention until 20 years ago, leaving grown adults undiagnosed. Many adults continue to struggle with ADHD and its symptoms and would benefit from a diagnosis and treatment.
The following are treatable symptoms for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:
ADHD is commonly known as one disorder, but three subtypes of this condition have been identified. The three types of ADHD include predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive and/or impulsive, or predominantly both.
ADHD affects a person’s ability to maintain attention or focus on a single task. Being predominantly inattentive also means a person makes careless mistakes and has difficulty organizing and keeping track of a schedule. They may frequently lose things and become easily distracted.
A person who is the hyperactive or impulsive type may display constant squirming, fidgeting, and bouncing. It is difficult for them to remain quiet or wait around because they become agitated and cannot sit still. They may also continuously interrupt others while speaking.
A person may demonstrate inattentive and hyperactive or impulsive behaviors. Displaying both of these behaviors is typically the most severe type. These symptoms during childhood years can be overlooked as being “bratty” and “normal” child behavior.
To establish a diagnosis, the severity and duration of these symptoms are a determining factor between being normal and dysfunctional. When this condition is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can impact the life trajectory of a child. Many adults may have missed opportunities growing up with untreated symptoms, which makes adult ADHD treatment extremely vital.
Adult ADHD treatment is similar to children’s, with the first step involving a proper assessment of symptoms and diagnosis. Other disorders can become evident in similar ways, and the treatment varies for each condition. A few mental health conditions that may look like ADHD include depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities.
Certainly, ADHD can be diagnosed along with other disorders. Identifying more than one condition that feeds into and worsens the other is referred to as comorbidity, by psychologists. For instance, difficulty focusing would more likely make a person feel depressed, angry, or anxious.
Conducting a proper and accurate diagnosis may include the use of neuropsychological tests for ADHD. Once a clear diagnosis has been conducted, the treatment of adult ADHD can begin. A treatment plan is created to manage symptoms and improve functioning in any affected areas. Like if a person has problems keeping tasks organized at work, a coping strategy for that issue would be identified.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are available treatments to help reduce symptoms and improve functioning. Typically, adult ADHD treatment consists of medication, therapy, education or training, or a combination.
Medication for this condition is made to reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity, and improve concentration, work, and learning. The go-to and most popular form of adult ADHD treatment is stimulants.
Stimulants: Studies show that stimulants increase dopamine (a brain chemical), which plays a role in thinking and attention.
Non-Stimulants: This ADHD medication takes longer to work than stimulants but effective in helping focus, attention, and impulsivity. A person is prescribed this when a stimulant was not effective or showed bothersome side effects.
Antidepressants: Although not approved by the FDA for ADHD treatment, they can be beneficial for some. Older antidepressants like tricyclics, affect the brain similarly to stimulants.
Medication treatment for ADHD has several different types and brands, all with possible benefits and side effects. It is common to try out different medications and doses to find the one that works best. A person taking medication must be monitored carefully by their prescribing doctor.
Different types of therapy are tried to help with ADHD. However, research shows that therapy might not be as effective in treating ADHD symptoms. Adding therapy to an ADHD treatment program may help the person and their family cope with the daily stressors.
Adult ADHD therapy treatment can help the person learn how to organize their life. They learn tools such as keeping routines, time management, and breaking down large tasks into more manageable ones.
Education for adults with ADHD begins with guidance from parents, family, and teachers, in order to reach their full potential. Mental health professionals can help inform family members of the condition and how it can affect others around them. This can help everyone part of the family develop new skills and attitudes.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2.5 percent of adults have ADHD. People with ADHD should not live a life undiagnosed, especially with readily available treatment options. If you think you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of ADHD, give us a call today. We want to help you take control of your symptoms so that your daily life can be more manageable.