Did you know that ADHD affects over 2% of the adult population? And despite this number, many experts suggest it’s closer to double that!
With the recent shift in attitudes towards neurodiversity thanks to the recent pandemic, more adults are beginning to question their personalities in greater depth.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes up ADHD and how you can help yourself or those around you to live with ADHD.
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Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity in their behaviour.
Symptoms of ADHD in children and adults are similar. In fact, it’s estimated that about 70% to 80% of children with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms into adulthood.
The main difference between children and adults with ADHD is that as life progresses, many of the hyperactive traits subside and the ADHD becomes more distinctly inattentive, as memory loss, time management and anxiety become more severe.
ADHD is one of three types: inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type or combined type.
The inattentive type of ADHD is characterized by an individual who may have the other symptoms, but does not show hyperactivity. These individuals are often found to be daydreaming or spacey, and may have problems with organization and prioritizing. They are less likely to cause issues to others in the workplace or school setting, but because of this, they often suffer in silence as their problems go unnoticed.
People with the Hyperactive/Impulsive Type of ADHD are generally impulsive, hyperactive, and talkative. They have a difficult time sitting still or being quiet for long periods of time. They may also have difficulty with time management, and they are often forgetful.
Combined Type ADHD is, as it implies, a mixture of both the other types. It’s also the most commonly diagnosed too. That’s most likely because it’s the easiest to spot.
ADHD is diagnosed by gathering information from parents, teachers and others, filling out checklists and having a medical evaluation (including vision and hearing screening) to rule out other medical problems.
Treating ADHD should not be seen as a cure, since there isn’t one. What’s more, having ADHD merely creates a different way of thinking.
Whilst the debate is strong for and against different types of therapy, ADHD is unique in that medicines for ADHD can significantly improve symptoms, which in turn makes it easier to make adjustments to your life such as getting more exercise.
Here are some treatment options to consider if you’re receiving an ADHD diagnosis.
Medication is available in two main types: stimulants and non-stimulants. Here we go into a little more detail on each.
Some children experience dramatic relief from medication, while others may only experience partial relief, or it may stop working.
A change in medication, adjustment in dose, or additional therapy specific to problem behaviours can improve response for most people with ADHD. Medications help people gain more control and organization in their lives.
ADHD therapy comes in many different types. For example, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) teaches the person how to change their thinking patterns and behaviour.
Many are sceptical of certain types of therapy as they make those with ADHD fit the world around them, and not the world accommodate for their needs.
That’s why some prefer a more person-centric approach, operating on less of a one-size fits all and more of a tailored programme for that individual’s needs.
For people with ADHD, the workplace can be a difficult place to get anything done. Luckily, there are ways to make it easier on both you and your employer. Here are some quick tips to help along the way:
1. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
2. Be on time for work, and make sure your employer knows about any appointments that could cause you to be late or miss a day of work.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations, such as a quiet workspace or time to take care of personal matters outside of normal business hours.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise. Exercise and other activities can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress as your body gets its fix of dopamine and serotonin. It’s also great for the heart as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it with completing tasks. Like many hidden disabilities, without asking for help it’s not obvious to others that you may need that extra support.
Many see ADHD for its negative impact on their lives, and rightly so. But with the right treatment and support, skills such as hyperfocus and an ability to react impulsively in a crisis can turn ADHD into your biggest strength.
Keep reading to better understand neurodiversity and what it means for the wider world!
Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Neurodadversity
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