Sometimes, when people think of ADHD ( Attention-Deficit/ Hyper Activity Disorder), they associate it with children, But, did you know that around 4-5 % of adults have ADHD? Every adult who has ADHD had it as a child. Some were diagnosed in childhood, but others found out much later in life. Typically, symptoms can change over time, so adults may find different symptoms from when they were children. While hyperactivity may become less prominent, difficulties with attention, organization, and impulse control can persist or even become more noticeable in adulthood. Adult ADHD can have a significant impact on various aspects of life including work, school, relationships, and personal well-being. ADHD is considered to be a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that significantly impacts a person’s daily functioning and quality of life. The symptoms of adult ADHD can vary but generally include:
- Inattention: Difficulty sustaining focus, being easily distracted, making careless mistakes, struggling with organization and time management, having trouble following through on tasks or instructions.
- Hyperactivity: Restlessness, difficulty staying still, excessive talking, feeling a constant need for activity or movement.
- Impulsivity: Acting without thinking, interrupting others, difficulty waiting their turn, making impulsive decisions without considering the consequences.
To receive a diagnosis of adult ADHD, a formal evaluation is necessary. This process typically involves a clinical interview, a review of symptoms and medical history, and assessment scales/questionnaires. Diagnosis should be made by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. There are a few well recognized and researched ways to manage adult ADHD.
- Medication: Medicine can be highly effective in managing the symptoms of ADHD. There are different types of medications used for ADHD, including stimulant medications and non-stimulant medications. Medication can be prescribed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist.
- Neurofeedback therapy: Neurofeedback therapy is an evidenced based treatment for ADHD. It is a non-invasive therapeutic technique that aims to train individuals to self-regulate their brainwave patterns. Individuals with ADHD may have abnormal or dysregulated brainwave patterns. By providing feedback to individuals to balance their brainwave activity, ADHD symptoms can greatly improve.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapeutic approach for ADHD. It focuses on helping individuals develop specific skills and strategies to manage their symptoms. Things such as coping, organization, and time management skills may be a part of CBT training. In general, CBT helps individuals identify unhelpful patterns or thoughts and replace them with more adaptive ones. CBT explores the connection among thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Some adults have known they have ADHD for a long time, while others have just found out! In any event, ADHD can be impactful and challenging at times. If you struggle with ADHD, you are not alone. Managing adult ADHD is a personal experience and needs can vary. Working with healthcare and mental health professionals can greatly assist in managing symptoms and overall wellbeing. At Mountain Vista Psychology, we are here to support you along the way! Reach out to us today!
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!