I often get questions about ADHD. These questions come from two directions. Parents who are concerned that their children are exhibiting signs of ADHD, and adults who are concerned that they may be.
ADHD is not something that is cured or outgrown, but it is something that can be successfully managed. Like in children, Adult ADHD stands for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, a syndrome characterized by an impaired ability to regulate activity level (hyperactivity), attend to tasks (inattention), and inhibit behavior (impulsivity). ADHD is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects the parts controlling attention, concentration and impulsivity. (Adultadhd.com)
ADHD may affect how one learns but does not actually affect intelligence. Individuals with ADHD are often very quick minded and intelligent. The key to being successful for individuals with ADHD often lies in the individual’s ability to assess their strengths and use them to their advantage, and to assess their areas of struggle and tap into strategies to support these struggles.
So, what does ADHD look like in adults?
Predominantly Inattentive: The predominantly inattentive type is an adult that is often seen as very dreamy and often not paying attention but just in their own world. Overall, they have difficulty keeping their mind focused which affects their concentration in conversation and when executing tasks. These individuals often are easily bored. Which sometimes has them constantly looking for attention.
Predominantly Hyperactive: The predominantly hyperactive type is the adult that just always seems on the go. They never seem to stop. Individuals in this category are often restless and have trouble sitting still. On the upside, they are often capable to fit more into a day than the average person because of their need to be constantly doing something.
Predominantly Impulsive: Individuals that are predominantly impulsive often have a hard time controlling their immediate reactions. This can lead to difficulties controlling verbal outbursts and problems with addictions to gambling, shopping, substance abuse etc.
Individuals that have ADHD can have difficulty filtering information. This makes it very easy to get distracted, to be impulsive and act before they consider situations properly and often not knowing when to stop. As you can imagine, these symptoms can have an effect on an individual starting a new job or continuing their studies or even raising a family.
So how can one successfully deal with ADHD as an adult? Firstly, ADHD is a medically diagnosed disorder and it’s a good idea to consult your physician. Share your suspicions and get some feedback on whether medical intervention would be beneficial. Next, reflect on your recognizing areas of strength and areas of concern. Start by writing a list. Having this list will give guidance on areas that need to be tackled.
Here are my top 6 helpful tips for Adults with ADHD.
Yolande Robinson, M.Ed.