Navigating Adult ADHD: Five Essential Insights You Need

Adult ADHD Symptoms & Treatment. Unfortunately, there are currently two impediments to the broader public gaining a better understanding of adult ADHD. One is that conversations often quickly turn to the stigmatization of ADHD medication and how there is a certain amount of substance abuse currently taking place involving it. The second is that adult ADHD is not nearly discussed as much as childhood ADHD. While it is true that the amount of adolescents with ADHD is higher, there is still a lot to know about adult ADHD.

Five Things to Know About Adult ADHD

As with any other mental illness, the best way to know about adult ADHD is to first better understand it. This can not only help get past the stigmas that still surround mental illness (including adult ADHD) but can also help individuals spot loved ones that may be struggling with a mental health disorder.

Adult ADHD is a serious matter, and it is more common than many people think. It can also have devastating and detrimental consequences if it goes untreated. The good news is, once diagnosed, there are many effective treatment options for long-term symptom management and recovery. So, here’s just a little bit of what we know about ADHD.

#1. What Is Adult ADHD?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “ADHD is a developmental disorder associated with an ongoing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity,” and “the symptoms of ADHD can interfere significantly with an individual’s daily activities and relationships.” Lastly, “ADHD begins in childhood and can continue into the teen years and adulthood.”

Ultimately, ADHD symptoms in adults causes them to experience significant trouble concentrating and controlling their thoughts and actions. In turn, this often causes them to make risky decisions. For adults specifically, these symptoms can lead to some serious consequences, such as joblessness, relationship issues, and comorbidities such as addiction.

#2. The Prevalence of Adult ADHD

As previously mentioned, adult ADHD is more common than most people realize. The Journal of Global Health estimates that there were “139.84 million and 366.33 million affected adults in 2020 globally.”

Additionally, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) estimates that there are over 11 million adults currently struggling with adult ADHD just in the U.S. Also, these numbers are only relative to the people that are diagnosed, many of whom are not due to the lack of awareness surrounding the disorder.

#3. The Warning Signs of Adult ADHD

Understanding Adult ADHD Comorbidities

The more we know about adult ADHD and its warning signs, the better chances we have of getting people the professional help that they need. The following are just a few of those warning signs:

  • Being easily distracted, even with relatively small tasks
  • Having trouble sitting still, especially in calm settings
  • Not being able to communicate complete thoughts without jumping to the next one
  • Excessively talking, including often interrupting people
  • Easily losing and misplacing things
  • Experiencing trouble sleeping; insomnia
  • Having trouble organizing tasks

Once detected, these issues must be addressed as soon as possible. If adult ADHD goes untreated, it can inform detrimental and long-lasting side effects. 

#4. The Side Effects of Untreated ADHD in Adults

The side effects of untreated adult ADHD generally fall in the category of external consequences. For example, individuals who have trouble concentrating and focusing at work may find themselves struggling to maintain their job. Also, the behaviors of adult ADHD can often push others away because they can be misconstrued as rude and/or unacceptably aggressive.

Another major aspect of adult ADHD is that it can lead to issues of addiction. This can happen when individuals try to self-medicate with substances to treat their symptoms. Moreover, this is why getting help sooner than later is crucial. Adult ADHD is a chronic disorder, which means it will only get worse without professional intervention.

#5. Some Effective Treatment Options for Adult ADHD

The Signs of Adult ADHD

The good news is that there are many effective treatments when it comes to those with adult ADHD. These treatments include individual therapy, group therapy, and medication therapy.

Individual therapy and psychotherapy can be effective in that they offer tools to mitigate ADHD behaviors when they arise. Group therapy can help individuals participate in what is often referred to as “shared experience.” Shared experience not only offers insight into the disorder, but it can also give hope for recovery.

Lastly, it is very common for stimulant medications such as Adderall to be used to help lessen the severity of ADHD behaviors. Generally, a recovery plan that includes all of these treatment options is ideal.