What to Do If You Discover that You Have ADHD as an Adult?

While kids are mostly diagnosed with ADHD, this disorder can appear in adults, as well. However, it is not something that should get you scared, as it can be easily treated with proper medication and treatment.

Moreover, some adults even make use of the traits that come with ADHD – like creativity, multi-tasking abilities -, in their day to day life. Most claim that these traits make them who they are and that they also help them be more successful persons.

Therefore, today we’ll be talking about what one should do if he or she discovers that they have ADHD.

Who Usually Gets ADHD as an Adult?

First of all, you should know that, if you had ADHD when you were a child, it is likely that you have it as an adult as well. Of course, in most cases, you were not diagnosed with ADHD when you were a child, and only now will you find out that you have it.

It is also known that most kids outgrow ADHD, but it is reported that about 60% of them still have this disorder as adults.

The Symptoms of ADHD

In order for you to determine whether you have ADHD or not, there are some things you can look into and check on yourself to come up with your diagnosis.

  • Task organization – you’ll find it hard to manage your time and organize the tasks you have, at home or at work.
  • Concentrate – you will also have a hard time focusing on only one thing throughout the day. Most of the times, you will find yourself away from your main point/ task of focus, and doing something completely different.
  • Remember information – as you can’t focus pretty well on certain things, you will also have difficulty in remember information and details that regard certain aspects of your life.
  • Follow directions – because your point of focus shifts almost randomly, you will have difficulty in following some directions given to you.
  • Finish work on time – you may get distracted while working, and spend some time not doing what you were supposed to do.

So far, it may seem that you won’t be able to have a normal life if you are diagnosed with ADHD. However, many people adapt to this disorder, and – as mentioned before – most of them make it a part of their life, that improves their qualities and strengths.

There are certain problems someone diagnosed with ADHD has to face. In certain cases, they will affect their social, school, and work life and environment. While most learn to cope with these, it’s recommended that you get a better understanding of the whole situation.

This means that you should have a talk with your doctor, and also ask the members of your family about your behavior at an earlier age and if you had any of the ADHD-related symptoms. Moreover, if someone from your family has ADHD, it is likely that you have it as well, as it runs in families.

The Treatment of Adult ADHD

After checking up with your doctor and finding out that you have ADHD, there are various treatments you can take in order to improve your quality of life – and learn how to cope with this disorder.

These treatments can involve therapy, medicine, learning more about the disorder – understanding your condition is the most important and vital thing you can do, so that you can learn how to live with it -, and in some cases, family support.

Medications

In terms of medication, someone diagnosed with ADHD can rely on the stimulant and non-stimulant medications. According to several studies, stimulant medications have greatly improved the ADHD-related symptoms in adults.

Some of the stimulant medications are:

  • Methylphenidate (Metadate, Methylin, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana)
  • Amphetamine/ Dextroamphetamine
  • Dexedrine
  • Dexmethylphenidate

However, taking stimulant medications is not always a good thing to do, as they can develop an addiction and be hard to remember to take. Moreover, if you forget to take them, you’ll have an even harder time do some of the activities that require focus – while you can also rely on alcohol to relax.

Therapy

Therapy treatments can help you cope with this disorder and eventually make it a part of your life. These can improve the quality of some of the problems you may face.

  • Life coaching can help you learn ways through which you can stay organized and manage your time.
  • Relaxations training/ Stress management can lower stress and anxiety.
  • Behavioral and cognitive therapy can greatly improve your self-esteem.
  • Mentoring and job coaching can help you with your work; they can also improve performance and make it easier for you to develop and improve relationships.
  • Family therapy and education can help you understand your disorder better; they will also give your family the chance to understand you better – and by doing so, you will be able to make ADHD affect your life less.

Additional Recommendations

Here are some other things you can do to cope better with ADHD:

  • Take your medication as directed – don’t increase or decrease dosage.
  • Organize yourself – but also be reasonable when making a list of daily tasks, for example.
  • Count to ten technique – if you get stressed or angry, breathe slowly while counting to ten, so that you relax.
  • Step away from distractions – if your working environment makes it hard for you to focus, you could wear earplugs or move to a place that’s quiet.
  • Extra energy – it is better that you let this one go from your body; exercise, take up a hobby, or anything else that can fill your pastime.

As you have seen, having ADHD is not that bad – you can get easily treated, and also learn how to cope with the disorder. It shouldn’t be seen as a disadvantage but as a part of who you are.