The term ADHD refers to Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and it is a rare mental disorder. It usually involves a set of different problems such as having difficulties maintaining an attention span, hyperactivity and more. Also, impulsive and irrational behavior is often seen in ADHD patients. For most of the ADHD diagnosed patients, they have a prescribed medicine and sometimes a cognitive behavioral therapy. The doctors may also recommend a life coach if they seem fit.
In most of the ADHD cases, low self-esteem, poor academic record and difficulties in relationships have been observed. The worrying sign is that ADHD is not diagnosed until one has become a grown adult. However, there are a few symptoms that should be looked for, in the childhood.
There is no exact cause of ADHD and the researchers continue to put in more effort to know one. However, there are a few factors that may be involved in causing ADHD and these include:
- Some studies have indicated that there is a possibility of ADHA running in families. Meaning if someone in your family has it, chances of you having it are higher.
- Environmental factors may also play a vital role in the development of ADHD. For example, long exposure to lead may also increase the chances of getting ADHD.
- Researchers indicate that central nervous system problems may also play a role in the development of ADHD.
There are also a few risk factors that cause ADHD over the time. These include genetic factors such as if your mother has smoking or drinking history during the pregnancy. Being exposed to toxins in the early childhood is a known risk factor for ADHD. Of course, premature babies are at a higher risk of ADHD than normal babies. [i]
ADHD Symptoms and signs
ADHD generally shows less symptoms in the early age. However, depending on the case, the adults may also continue to experience symptoms as they grow old. Most of the symptoms revolve around the inability to pay attention or to keep focus on one thing. Restlessness and impulsive behavior are also known causes of ADHD. Depending on the each case, the symptoms may vary from mild to severe.
Interestingly, most of the adults do not even know they have ADHD. All they know is that they are having difficulties in their daily routine tasks. This could lead to poor performance at work or at school, and also finding it hard to have a normal relationship.
It is easy to confuse the symptoms of ADHD with something entirely else. This is because at some point in our lives, we may have a phase where everything looks like ADHD symptoms. [ii]There is no need to worry if your symptoms are only recent. However, if they are enough to cause problems in more than one areas of life, then it is time to see a doctor.
Since the signs and symptoms of ADHD are hard to detect, it is often difficult to diagnose ADHD. Also, there is no single test to completely diagnose ADHD. However, there is a combination of tests to make the full diagnosis.
- A physical exam may be a good option to rule out other diseases for your symptoms
- Your medical history and your family’s medical history along with a list of symptoms you have experience will be taken
- There are ADHD rating scales and psychologists tests that may be a viable option for diagnosis
In most of the ADHD treatment cases, education, training and psychological help are used. Doctors may recommend the usage of all of these three treatments. As a result, you are likely to feel a lot better and reduce the symptoms with time. However, these are not guaranteed to cure the diseases and doctors may take some time to determine the best treatment for you.
Upon consultation with your doctor, you will learn the risks and benefits of different medications.
The most commonly prescribed medicine for ADHD is stimulants. These include methylphenidate. The main function of these medicines is to balance brain chemicals levels.
In some cases, the doctors may seem fit to use nonstimulant atomoxetine as ADHD treatment. The use of antidepressants is also seen but their effect comes slower than that of stimulants. However, some patients have medical history for which stimulants is not a good option and hence they stick to nonstimulant atomoxetine.
Treatment for adult ADHD often includes psychological counseling. This usually involves general information about the disorder and different ways of overcoming the symptoms. The counseling of psychotherapy may help you to improve your organization skills and to control your temper/impulsive behavior. It may be beneficial in teaching the patient to grow their self-esteem. Psychologists often help the patients to improve their relationships with their friends and family and colleagues. [iii]
This includes cognitive behavioral therapy which revolves around overcoming on negative thoughts. Patients may experience better problem solving skills as a result and deal with challenges in a more organized way. People with substance abuse or depressing history may also find cognitive behavioral therapy useful.
Marital counseling is specifically beneficial for couples who are going through a lot of stress. In this therapy or counseling, they are taught about the ways to better deal with stress and improve their communication with their spouses.
Lifestyle and home remedies
The lifestyle changes consist of very simple tasks such as making a list of tasks to do for the whole day. It also involves breaking down tasks into smaller parts to make them easier, keep and follow an appointment book. ADHD patients are always taught to make a routine and strictly follow it. Doctors recommend ADHD patients to keep a notebook with themselves and write down important tasks and events. All of these steps involve better organization and coping with stress.
There is very little research on
alternative medicine for ADHD. However, mindfulness meditation may be helpful
for patients who do not show signs of improvement against normal medicines.