I want to talk about Adult ADHD because I have finally been diagnosed and it is changing everything for me. But many people that I have talked to about the disorder have misconceptions about it (this is true of most mental illness). In this post, I will be focusing on the clinical side of the disorder. I plan on sharing my personal journey in another post.
The thing is that people think of ADHD as something that only effects children. But what happens when those children grow up and become adults? Symptoms continue into adulthood in more than three-quarters of cases. This means that ADHD children are growing up into ADHD adults. Some with Adult ADHD are not diagnosed with ADHD until they are adults. This doesn’t mean that the disorder started in adulthood. It didn’t. It just wasn’t picked up on until they are adults. One of the major challenges is that it isn’t really a recognized thing which makes it something that is often missed.
I am not going to run through all the symptoms because it is all nicely laid out by Mayo Clinic.
Here are some facts that are often misunderstood about ADHD:
- ADHD looks very much like a willpower problem, but it isn’t. It’s essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain.
- ADHD affects persons of all levels of intelligence. And although everyone sometimes has symptoms of ADHD, only those with chronic impairments from these symptoms warrant an ADHD diagnosis.
- A person with ADHD is six times more likely to have another psychiatric or learning disorder than most other people. ADHD usually overlaps with other disorders.
- Many adults struggle all their lives with unrecognized ADHD impairments. They haven’t received help because they assumed that their chronic difficulties, like depression or anxiety, were caused by other impairments that did not respond to usual treatment.
For a nice over view of the disorder, watch the video at the bottom of this page.
Here are some other things to read to get a better idea of the disorder: