Adult ADHD? That’s not a thing. Is it? How does that cereal ad with the cartoon rabbit go? “Funny bunny, this cereal’s for kids.” Something like that, at least. What about adult ADHD? Same thing? Silly rabbit, ADHD is for kids??
With everything we have heard and seen about ADHD, we might all be tempted to think that ADHD is just for kids. What does that mean, though, for the adult who feels anxious, listless, and can’t concentrate? Well, the reality is that as an adult, you might have ADHD, too.
Adult ADHD isn’t common—evidence indicates 4 or 5% of adults may have it —but it is a possibility. Studies point to about 1 in 25 people lying somewhere on a scale of low grade ADHD tendencies to full blown adult ADHD.
So, what do you do if you think you may have adult ADHD? There are at least four things you will want to review. Read on to learn more.
#1 Review the Symptoms for Adult ADHD
WebMD identifies the following as key symptoms of adult ADHD:
- Doesn’t complete assignments on time
- Difficulty following directions
- Can’t concentrate
- Trouble with remembering information
- Fails to organize tasks
Now all of these symptoms probably apply to all of us at one point in time. Sometimes we find it difficult to concentrate at work. Or we forget the list of things that our boss just outlined for us to do today. Does this mean we have adult ADHD? In isolation, most likely not.
Again, only about 4% of adults actually have adult ADHD. If you can can’t concentrate, you might have adult ADHD, but it’s more likely it’s just part of life. Maybe you’re just having a bad day, didn’t get your morning cup of coffee, or are distracted by your team’s bad loss the night before. Not being able to concentrate or failing to organize tasks every once in a while just happens to us all from time to time.
Now, if you experience two, three, or more of these on a consistent basis, this might point to something more. Something like adult ADHD. Symptoms can point to an underlying cause. If you experience several of these individual symptoms, what about your bigger life patterns?
#2 Check the Life Patterns for Adult ADHD
Helpfully, WebMD additionally identifies life patterns and behaviors that also point to adult ADHD. While this list isn’t necessarily scientific or complete, it is helpful as an indicator when trying to identify the route cause of what you are feeling.
These things aren’t symptoms per se, but they are patterns that could, if combined with symptoms, point to an underlying connection in adult ADHD. Also, not all of the patterns will apply to everyone—for instance, marital trouble or reckless driving—but almost all sufferers of adult ADHD will most likely identify with tardiness or having trouble beginning a new task.
As with symptoms, you want to look for the connections. If you regularly see multiple symptoms of adult ADHD combined with one or two life patterns, you might want to look further. The nest step is getting a checkup.
#3 Get A Physical Checkup
ADHD is complex. There’s no real test for it, and there’s no real cure for it. What we know is that the manifestations of ADHD can be due to a host of factors. Many of these factors may come from co-existing conditions.
For instance, a poorly functioning thyroid or low levels of vitamin D may be contributing to your adult ADHD symptoms. Other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety may also be playing a significant role. If you never seek professional consultation, though, you may never be able to identify the root cause.
At FastBraiin, we’ve had some clients who, when treated for these issues, experienced great relief from ADHD symptoms. In some cases their symptoms disappeared altogether.
It’s critical on the outset of your journey that you see a provider and have them do a full checkup. Until then, you are operating in some sense in the dark. A professional health care professional can help you make the connections to diagnose adult ADHD. They can also point you towards step #4: identifying a treatment plan.
#4 Identify a Treatment Plan for Adult ADHD
If you have gone through all the steps and have identified that you do have adult ADHD, the good news is that it can be treated. The final step is identifying the right treatment plan for you. There are web articles available for managing the symptoms as well as tools and guides to finding the right treatment plan. Additionally, treating ADHD with supplements can be a viable (and highly affordable) option as well.
Realize you are not alone. There are others out there like you that have known for some time that no, ADHD is not just for kids. They can help guide you to identify the most effective plan for your situation.
There are good resources available. If you do have adult ADHD, you don’t have to worry. There is hope. There is help. Follow the steps, and the guide of those who have gone before, and you’ll be all right.