ADHD in Adults

06/19/2022, 22:05:00


ADHD in Adults

Many of us would not be able to manage, react to all incentives we are exposed to more than any other previous generations, or perform in our work lives without multitasking and thoughts moving fast from one thing to another. Perhaps a little bit of ADHD has become a part of the twenty-first century humans’ DNA. Problems start when our inability to pay a deeper and consistent attention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity starts to interfere with our functioning. The DSM-5 lists ADHD in the category of

neurodevelopmental disorders. The CDC defines ADHD as:“A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that:

  • interferes with functioning or development
  • has symptoms presenting in two or more settings (e.g., at home, school, or work)
  • negatively impacts directly on social, academic, or occupational functioning.”

There are three types of ADHD and like many other diagnoses it is a scale, a.k.a. intensity differs in every impacted individual. We distinguish inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type. Prevalence for each varies by age.

ADHD in adults may look different than ADHD in children, such as:

  1. Restlessness: Difficulty to relax, always busy, and feeling like not knowing what to do first.
  2. Combination of hyperactivity and period of being overwhelmed: Adults who try to keep pace with the speed of their thoughts and be “on top of things” may feel overwhelmed at times and not knowing what to do first. Their executive functioning is impaired.
  3. Procrastination: Putting things off, not being able to organize their tasks and then failing.
  4. A poor sense of time: Always late, underestimation of how much time is need to complete a task, to get somewhere because thoughts are scattered and disorganized.

All of the above might contribute to a negative self-esteem and a failure.

ADHD Treatment for Adults involves medication and skills/behavioral training. Psychostimulants (Adderall, Focalin, Ritalin, etc.) may reduce symptoms by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain. On the other hand, non-stimulants (Atomoxetine/Strattera) or some antidepressants (Bupropion, Imipramine) will work slower but we may avoid a possible side effect of often addictive stimulants.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD, (September 2021). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.www. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html

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