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Are you an Adult Living with ADHD?

Are you an Adult Living with ADHD?

Adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common mental health disorders, occurring in nearly 2.5 percent of adults. If you have ADHD, everything from paying bills on time to keeping up with work, family, and social demands can seem overwhelming. While ADHD was historically considered a childhood condition, it is now recognized as a lifelong condition that persists well into adulthood.

ADHD has a spectrum of severity levels and symptoms that can become more pronounced depending on the environment, but in general adults with ADHD often struggle with lack of focus and executive function skills like planning, organizing and time management. While these are widely known signs of ADHD, here are some more surprising signs:

  • Hyperfocus: While people with ADHD are often easily distracted, they can also get so engrossed in something that they can become unaware of anything else around them.
  • Impulsivity: Impulsiveness in someone with ADHD can manifest in many ways such as interrupting others during conversations, being socially inappropriate, acting without much consideration and impulse buying.
  • Negative self-image: Adults with ADHD are often hypercritical of themselves, which can lead to a negative self-image.
  • Lateness: Having ADHD tends to make you impatient and very averse to boredom. As a result, you don’t like waiting and you aren’t a fan of getting places early, so you might try to arrive to events exactly on time, with the predictable consequence that you actually end up just being late.

Adults with ADHD also tend to get distracted easily, misplace things, lose their temper quickly, find it hard to follow instructions, miss deadlines, have swift mood changes, among many more things. Naturally, this may create problems in many aspects of your adult life, but there are ways to cope, get focused and turn the chaos into calm.

While it’s not a cure or the only solution, medications help many people manage the symptoms of ADHD. Medications should be used in conjunction with other self-help strategies like regular exercise or getting a good night’s rest. Both of those can help improve concentration and boost your mood.

It can also help to schedule your meals or snacks throughout the day no more than three hours apart. Many people with ADHD eat erratically – often going without food for hours and then binging on whatever is around. Meal structure is good for your symptoms and overall health.

There are many great coping skills for ADHD, but a big one is to make a list - whether you’re working, running errands, or tackling household chores, it can be helpful to write down your top priorities. Try creating a schedule or list the night before so that you can start your day strong.

Remember that ADHD is a good-news diagnosis. Life can only get better when the diagnosis is made, a person embraces the condition, and gets the appropriate treatment. If you think you might be living with adult ADHD start a conversation with your physician.