Adults

ADHD is a recognised neurological condition and therefore continues into adulthood. It is widespread, poorly understood and frequently remains undiagnosed. It is often associated with alcohol, substance and drug abuse and on-going emotional and lifestyle difficulties. Diagnosis may be obscured by years of compounding problems.

Common Problems

• Sense of underachievement, often false due to poor perceptions

Easily bored, craves stimulation, takes risks, gambles

• Fidgets, doodles, seem to be elsewhere, easity distracted or side-tracked

Mood swings, extremes of feelings, excessive anxiety or sensitivity; compulsive

• Over-excited, hyper focussed, obsessive

Intolerance, sudden unreasonable/unpredictable verbal/physical aggression

• Reluctance to read, hard to focus and concentrate

Reluctance to write, hard to express and sequence ideas, may be dyslexic

• Sets unrealistic goals and multi-tasks leading to non-completion of projects

Difficulty in getting organised, procrastination

• Subject hops, many thoughts in mind at once, disorganised

Impatient, tactless, interrupts, finishes other’s sentences

• Impulsive with no thought of consequences

Has trouble following authorised procedure, oppositional

• Inattentive, forgetful, can’t retain information, sudden blank mind

Often has a cluttering or hoarding problem

Can have physical symptoms

Cravings, addictions; allergy, hypersensitivity; migraines, headaches, dizziness; excessive thirst; eye troubles; digestive upsets; muscle aches such as twitching, tics, cramps; air hunger eg sighing, yawning; sleep disturbances, apnoea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome; excessive perspiration; skin, nail, hair abnormalities; poor temperature sense; thyroid problems.

Management

Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can be useful in managing the symptoms. Treatment must be tailored for the individual and should address all areas of need. For many, just getting a diagnosis and understanding that there was a reason for many of their past difficulties can be enormously helpful.

Common components of a treatment plan include:

• Consultation with appropriate medical professionals

• Education about ADHD

• Medication

• Behavioural management strategies, coaching

• Psychotherapy or counselling

• Support groups

• Vocational counselling

 

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