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It can present in a variety of ways. You might have difficulty in starting a task, and even once you begin, it might be hard to follow through. Organization and prioritization of assignments in the workplace may be overwhelming or seemingly impossible. It can be as simple as often losing things necessary for every day activity. These are all symptoms of Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder can present itself in a variety of ways, but predominantly as the inability to focus for long periods of time or organize thoughts.

What Is ADHD?

According to the CDC, ADHD is one of the most frequently found neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It can prevent children from behind able to focus in school, sit still in quiet moments, or control impulses. ADHD though typically associated with children and adolescents, affects adults throughout the world. The CDC states that millions of young people have this disorder, and that it can continue through to adulthood. As someone ages, their symptoms may change or appear to change in different environments depending on how they present themselves.

What Are The Causes?

There are several theories about concrete causes of ADHD, though there are clearly identified risk factors associated with the disorder. There is evidence that genetics are a significant contributor as to whether someone exhibits ADHD or not. In addition to internal triggers, environmental elements can have some influence. Exposure to toxins such as lead in early childhood or pregnancy can play a role. Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use during pregnancy can also lead to the development of the disorder. Brain injury can additionally cause the disorder to surface.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms are usually noticed in school-age children, and as they grow, the symptoms can shift with the learning or work environment they find themselves in. Symptoms typically involve inability to pay attention, associated with consistent daydreaming, not sitting still, taking unnecessary risks, and giving into temptations easily. 

Symptoms Include:

  • Forgetful
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Impatient
  • Inability to sit still
  • Trouble working and behaving in groups

Types of ADHD

There are three main types of ADHD depending on the specific presentation of symptoms:

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: Someone with this kind of presentation may have difficulty with following threads of conversation, taking direction, and is easily distracted from the task at hand. If a job requires consistent attention, it is difficult to stay on track.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: This kind of presentation generally displays as someone who cannot sit still, or refrain from talking. As the name implies, impulse control is difficult for someone with this kind of presentation. It’s also easier to notice and identify, as this kind of behavior is more disruptive to others.

Combined Presentation: In some cases, both kinds of presentation can be observable in an individual. As mentioned above, symptoms may change over time, so presentation can also change.

Adults With ADHD

While there are clear identifiers for children growing up with ADHD, adults present their symptoms slightly differently. Typically, adults with ADHD show difficulty with focus and follow-through at work, with personal relationships, or even health related issues like drug or alcohol abuse.

Adults with ADHD not only lose interest in particular tasks, but can also lose interest in a job entirely. This translates into someone either having multiple jobs or switching jobs frequently.

Without the ability to focus or control impulses, it can also be difficult to care for or be attentive to the needs of others. Personal relationships can suffer as a direct result of a person with ADHD not paying attention to a significant other or partner. It’s possible someone with this disorder may have difficulty maintaining relationships or have multiple marriages in succession.

Because impulse control can be a problem for individuals with ADHD, rejecting vices and saving money can also be a problem for adults, resulting in feelings of financial insecurity, drug abuse, or alcoholism. Each of these factors can then spiral into their own anxiety and depression problems.

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Seeking A Diagnosis

While there is no absolute test for ADHD, a professional can look at a wide range of factors to make a diagnosis. It’s important to establish a clear diagnosis from a professional because many other serious conditions, such as depression, sleeping disorders, and general anxiety disorders, can lead to similar symptoms.

The doctor is discussing with the patient after a physical examination of the results and treatment guidelines.

Treatment

Those diagnosed with ADHD usually benefit from a combination of both medication and behavioral therapy. Typically, the younger the individual, the more behavioral therapy is encouraged. This can involve educating parents on how to work with the child on controlling impulses and refocusing attention. It’s important to consult with a doctor on treatment to ascertain what kind of treatment is best suited for each unique patient.

Part of treatment involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A healthy body is easier to maintain and guide through other treatment. Developing habits like regular daily physical activity, a healthy amount of sleep, and a balanced and varied diet can do wonders when creating a stable foundation for further treatment and assessment.

If you’re experiencing symptoms like those listed above, it’s important to reach out to a professional for a diagnosis. Though there is no cure for ADHD, management of symptoms is possible with proper attention. If properly diagnosed, disruptive symptoms can be reigned in quickly, so don’t delay!