A lot of discussion is given to childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But this behavioral issue greatly affects adults as well. While the exact cause of adult ADHD isn’t yet understood, recent research seems to indicate that genes and heredity, the foods we eat, and our environment play key roles.
Many adults who are eventually diagnosed with ADHD have always “sensed” that something was off, but they were too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. Others still never paid attention to the many signs including:
1. Difficulty focusing attention, especially when it comes to reading maps, books or magazines.
2. Home, office, and/or personal spaces are always disorganized and messy.
3. It’s challenging to complete tasks and projects.
4. A mental fog or haze.
5. Friends and family members tease about being scatterbrained.
6. Symptoms have been present since childhood.
7. Other family members also have attention issues or suffer from depression or anxiety.
Other Disorders That Mimic ADHD
It’s also important to mention that there are other disorders and conditions that exhibit similar symptoms to ADHD:
Menopause, Sleep apnea, Insomnia, Chemotherapy, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Substance abuse, Head injuries, certain prescription medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure medication
Getting an Accurate Diagnosis
While you can try and diagnose yourself, your best course of action is to find a trained therapist who can take a detailed history and determine if your symptoms are truly from ADHD or something else. Should you be diagnosed with adult ADHD, you will want to work with your therapist to come up with the right treatment plan.
Your plan may include a combination of therapeutic strategies such as medication, nutrition, behavioral therapy, exercise and joining a support group. Finding the right treatment plan for you will take a bit of research, planning and testing. But once you find your individual strategies, you will be able to manage your ADHD symptoms and live a happy and productive life.
If you are interested in getting diagnosed and exploring treatment options, please be in touch. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW