Much discussion is given to childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But this behavioural issue significantly affects adults as well. While the exact cause of adult ADHD isn’t yet understood, recent research indicates that genes and heredity, our foods, and our environment play critical roles.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
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:
- Difficulty focusing attention, especially when reading maps, books or magazines.
- Home, office, and/or personal spaces are always disorganized and messy.
- It’s challenging to complete tasks and projects.
- Mental fog or haze.
- Friends and family members tease about being scatterbrained.
- Symptoms have been present since childhood.
- Other family members also have attention issues or suffer from depression or anxiety.
Beyond assessing this list of symptoms, adults may also take the Conners Test. This test is considered the gold standard and superior to neuropsychiatric testing by many. The diagnosis of ADHD is a clinical one and does not generally require neuropsychiatric testing (unless you wish to have a child evaluated for learning disabilities).
You may find out more about the Conners test here.
Other Disorders That Mimic ADHD
It’s also important to mention that some other disorders and conditions exhibit similar symptoms to ADHD:
- Sleep apnea
- Certain prescription medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure medication
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance abuse
- Head injuries
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 indeed from ADHD or something else. Should you be diagnosed with adult ADHD, you will want to work with your therapist to develop the right treatment plan.
Your plan may include a combination of therapeutic strategies such as medication, nutrition, behavioural 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 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.