What is Adult Attention Deficit Disorder?
Adult attention deficit disorder, also known as Adult ADD or Adult ADHD, is a psychiatric disorder or condition that affects an adult person.
It is a genetic transmitted neuro-disorder which starts during childhood but is not diagnosed until later when the child grows old. It is sometimes left undiagnosed until adult life has been reached. The disorder is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness. With such characteristics, people who have ADHD suffer from poor school or work performance, low self esteem, and unstable relationships.
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms and Signs
ADHD is also called hyperactivity. When a person has this kind of disorder, he or she will experience the following symptoms and signs:
- Susceptibility to distraction
- Difficulty in organizing activities and tasks
- Indecision episodes
- Susceptibility to boredom
- Substance abuse
- Poor time management
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Need for constant activity
- Susceptibility to anger
- Inability to cope with stress
- Mood swings
- Employment problems
- Relationship problems
Most often, adults tend to suffer from this condition. Without knowing that they have this condition, they just know that every single day is a challenge for them. They have a hard time prioritizing, and focusing on, tasks at hand, eventually leading to missed meetings or activities, and forgotten deadlines. Furthermore, they are impulsive, causing them to be impatient at times and to suffer from other mood swings such as rage which lead to shattered or troublesome relationships.
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Causes
Up until now, the cause of ADHD is still not known. However, research has suggested that this kind of disorder is perhaps genetically inherited or due to an imbalance of a chemical that is known to regulate behavior. Other studies have suggested that the cause of ADHD is due to one of the following:
- Alteration in the anatomy and function of the brain
- Genetically inherited traits
- Exposure to toxins in the environment during childhood years
- Exposure to maternal tobacco smoke, harmful drugs, and toxics, especially during pregnancy
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Tests
The only health personnel who can diagnose a person with ADHD are the psychologist, family doctor, neurologist, and psychiatrist. This kind of disorder is difficult to diagnose, especially when a person is in his or her adult years. The exact symptoms are hard to pinpoint, and there is no single exam or test which can confirm whether or not a person is really suffering from this disorder. Physicians are encouraged to use the criteria laid out by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), on which the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV) is based. The physician usually does the physical exam and medical history evaluation by giving out questions related to the disease condition. Other tests include:
- Blood level test
- CT scan
- MRI test
- Encephalography test
- Hearing and visual test
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Treatments
The positive thing about this condition is that this disorder can be treated symptomatically. There are effective and safe ways to treat this disorder, to help a person’s performance in school or at work, and to help reduce impulsiveness and inattention. The following are treatments for ADHD:
The physician usually prescribes nonstimulant, antidepressant, and stimulant medications.
Stimulant medications include:
- Methylphenidrate (also known by its trademarked name of Ritalin)
- Amphetamines which consists of dexedrine
Nonstimulant drugs include Intuniv and Strattera and antidepressant medications such as Wellbutrin.
Amongst the medications mentioned above, the antidepressant drugs provide positive results for people with ADHD, while the stimulant drug Ritalin is the well-known drug that has been associated with this condition.
This is the most effective and easiest way to reduce ADHD symptoms, leading to positive results like improvement of mood, memory, motivation, and concentration. At least 30 minutes in a day can be spared to do exercise activities. A workout at the gym or perhaps a walk around the neighborhood will do wonders.
Regular sleep episodes
Sleep is another important factor that is needed by people who suffer from ADHD. Prior to regular sleeping periods, caffeine-rich beverages should be avoided. Furthermore, to make the environment should be conducive to sleeping, the room should be kept dark and quiet. Milk can be consumed, if it is not contraindicated to your medications.
There is a need to have a well-balanced and healthy diet and eating routine, especially when one is inflicted with this disorder. It is advised to shop, plan, schedule, and prepare healthy foods. Processed foods and junk foods should be avoided or consumed less because they do not provide any health benefits to the body.
Relaxation therapy techniques
This therapy can be achieved through yoga or meditation. With such activities, the ability to focus clearly will lead to an increase in attention span as well as a decrease in common symptoms of anxiety, depression, and impulsivity.
Family and marriage therapy or relationship therapy
As mentioned earlier, people with ADHD have relationship issues. Family and marriage therapy will help them understand, and communicate with, people whom they have a relationship–husband, children, wife, siblings, relatives, mother, father and the like.
The therapy encourages the individual to change his or her beliefs that are negatively causing a problem in his or her life.
This therapy helps to connect with oneself, to accept and to know one’s self even better. It enables the person to open up to others with whom the person is currently having trouble communicating.
Behavioral coaching therapy
It teaches strategies which one can use in his or her work or home environment such as financial management or day-to-day structured activities.
The treatments mentioned above can be a good way to help manage this disease condition. One can visit a nearby ADHD center or ask a physician for help.