ADHD, It’s Not Just For Kids Anymore!!
Are you sick of hearing your co-worker say you should get tested for ADHD? Are your relationships in conflict because of problems you have with attention, motivation, memory, and moodiness?
And are you wondering if it is finally time to figure out why life has always been harder for you – why it takes you longer to do things that other people find easy; why you find it harder to remember things; and why things that should be simple can feel impossible to even begin?
Wondering What It Means To Have ADHD As An Adult?
About Adult ADHD
ADHD is a kid problem, right? NOPE!
ADHD is caused by differences in the brain. While many people with ADHD learn to compensate over time for some of the challenges that accompany ADHD, it is now accepted that most people do not outgrow it. Rather, as an adult the challenges you face and symptoms you experience may look a bit different.
The diagnosis of ADHD in adults has increased significantly over the last three decades. Despite the fact that Adult ADHD can be seriously impairing and cause a wide range of difficulties across all areas of life, ADHD in adults is still under-recognized and under-treated.
They didn’t have ADHD when I was a kid
Many people learn that the reason they struggled in some areas of their life as kids, and now as adults, is because they have ADHD.
If you are an adult now, it might have been unusual for you to have been identified with ADHD as a child. “Back in the day” many kids were simply identified as having behavior problems. They were sent to detention; considered to be not as smart as their peers; and often channelled into the vocational education programs and dissuaded from pursuing a college degree.
School was different then
We had recess, music, art and other opportunities to use our creative and active minds and bodies, without a diagnosis, medication or other treatment kids with ADHD had to “figure it out.” Some were fortunate to have proficiencies in specific academic or artistic areas that garnered them recognition and support. Some “just skated by.” Others were less fortunate and fell far short of their potential.
Symptoms of ADHD Change As We Get Older
Many people develop strategies to manage challenges they face as kids, but this does not mean that ADHD goes away. It does mean that many of the “academic” challenges we faced as kids may not be so apparent. But with adulthood come the complex and often ambiguous demands of relationships, occupations, and self-management. You still have a brain wired for ADHD, but the symptoms may look a bit different as you get older. You can find more about this in the article About Adult ADHD.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition (DSM-5™) states that the symptoms of ADHD are the same for adults and children, but clinical research highlights that adults have more diverse deficits in higher-level executive functioning and emotional control than children.
Getting Diagnosed Gives You a Blueprint for Success With ADHD
While some head injuries and environmental exposures can cause symptoms that look like ADHD, if you have ADHD as an adult, you most likely had it as a kid. Getting diagnosed as an adult can lead to a big “aha” moment, when many of the academic, social, and personal frustrations of your life suddenly make sense. Getting a diagnosis gives you a “blueprint” for understanding some of your challenges and starting to develop new strategies to manage them.
Numerical Low Down (stats and facts)
- 4.4 % of American adults (roughly 8 million) have ADHD.
- Research suggests that only15% of adults with ADHD have been formally diagnosed and treated.
Adults with ADHD are:
- Two-thirds are more likely to have been fired from jobs
- 3 times more likely to have impulsively quit jobs
- 33% percent more likely to have chronic employment difficulties
- 50% more likely to have changed jobs in a given period
- Twice as likely to separate or divorce
You Should Know
If you have ADHD, it’s not you, it’s your brain. You are wired differently – you aren’t lazy, dumb or incorrigible. You have a difference in your “wiring.” And it doesn’t condemn you to a life of misery.
When you understand how to work with your brain, you will realize that you have the potential to be wildly successful. People with ADHD are highly creative, find unique ways of solving problems, and they are persistent, brave, intuitive, passionate, exuberant, sensitive and lots of fun!
Read more here about famous and visionary people through history who have ADHD
You have to learn about your brain makeup and the systems, tricks and strategies that make sense for your unique brain wiring. When you do this you are able to activate and sustain your interest and be motivated.
The information on Your ADHD Life is designed to teach you about your brain, give you tips and strategies for being successful at home, in your relationships, at work and in life. Because, when you understand how your brain works and how to work with your brain, everything becomes a lot easier.
Here are some tips to get you started
Here are the top articles other adults with ADHD have asked for:
Want to know what symptoms make up ADHD? Read the Diagnostic criteria of ADHD.
Find out more about Symptoms of Adult ADHD.
Other Reliable Resources
Want to know even more about ADHD in adults? Check out the Attention Deficit Disorder Association website
Whether you are an adult, parent or affected other, CHADD has an extensive list of resources about ADHD.
One of my favorite go-to sites for articles on ADHD is ADDitude Magazine. You can start on their site learning about the perils of not playing