ADHD (attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects a person’s concentration, focus and memory. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also increases impulsivity and energy levels. There is hope for those who are affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder though as research is constantly undertaken to fully understand this disorder.
What they can’t do well is control what to pay attention to. If something isn’t inherently interesting to them, it takes a huge amount of effort for them to tune in.
There are large numbers of people — as many as 4%, who are affected by the symptoms of ADHD. Many can’t hold a job or stick with a relationship. They’re chronically late or forgetful. They impulsively accept jobs, make purchases and enter into relationships without thinking them through, only to regret their impulsive actions later. They get stuck in self-destructive patterns and fall prey to addiction and depression. Yet they can’t figure out why they struggle so much more than everyone else.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children
ADHD often starts in childhood and it can affect schoolwork, the ability to socialise and can cause bullying as children with ADHD can be disruptive in class without actively meaning to. Their physiology is ‘hijacked’ by their ADHD. Research suggests that children with ADHD, who also experience anxiety, depression, or phobias, and are more prone to skip school for over 14 days compared to children with ADHD only (Classi et al., 2012).
ADHD tends to go hand in hand with absence from school and this in turn affects grades and an individual’s self-esteem.
Common ADHD behaviours
There are three main types of ADHD:
- inattentive (ADD)
- hyperactive-impulsive (AHD)
- combined (ADHD)
An individual experiencing ADD symptoms will display inattentiveness such as struggling to create structure and be organised. They might also avoid doing tasks that require focus, find it difficult to follow instructions and frequently lose track of items *such as pens, pencils, clothing etc).
Along with inattentiveness, ADHD may also involve hyperactive-impulses. They may be overtalkative, interrupt conversations, be fidgety, or find it hard to be patient. Combined ADHD includes features of inattentiveness and hyperactive
ADHD in adults
Many people with ADHD aren’t hyperactive at all, and by the time they reach adulthood, most hyperactive people have calmed down — at least on the outside. This helps explain why Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which used to be considered a childhood condition, is now being diagnosed in adults as well.
Many adults with ADHD do not realize they have the disorder. It is estimated that the disorder will persist into adulthood in 50% to 60% of affected individuals. Compared with those whose ADHD decreases by adulthood, individuals with persistent ADHD are more likely to experience social, educational, emotional, and cognitive challenges.
ADHD is now one of the most common and most studied conditions of childhood. Some research suggests that the type of ADHD may change as people get older. ADHD in adulthood complicates the ability to be organised and focus on priorities. Being easily distracted can be tiring over time, especially for the body when it is constantly in a hypervigilant state.
A little-known fact about ADHD is that sometimes, it can be linked to childhood trauma and complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is when the brain and body have become accustomed to being hypervigilant in childhood (due to abuse or neglect) in order to stay safe. This learned coping strategy can persist into adulthood and that is why learning to soothe your nervous system is so important.
Clever ways to manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Create structure and set yourself short and long-term goals to help you keep organised. Find effective ways to manage your stress as anxiety can exacerbate ADHD symptoms. Activities such as yoga, exercise, meditation, and attending to self-care can all help you manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Therapy is also highly beneficial. The Awareness Centre provides expert therapy to those requiring support. They are a trusted provider of mental health services and also offer low-cost counselling to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to access their vital services.
A Key To Managing ADHD Is To Seek Out Places Where You Thrive
An accountant mentioned that he loves his work because as long as he follows his checklist, he knows he’s doing a good job. A professor hates rules and needs to set his own agenda. They both do their jobs well, but they’d be disasters in the other’s position. Just like everyone else, people with ADHD need to understand their strengths and weaknesses and find or build an environment that will help them thrive.
Treatments for ADHD
Treating ADHD in adults with medication can be helpful – and it’s often the first suggestion a diagnosing doctor will make. But it’s often not enough. Adults with ADHD often need help getting and staying organized, even with their own priorities in life.
Therapy teaches you ‘grounding techniques and ways to self-soothe in order to find a calmer state of being. Grounding techniques essentially teach you how to feel safe and turn off your body’s alarm system – the amygdala. ADHD symptoms are often associated with high-stress levels and a feeling of being in danger.
Learning to go slow, limit distractions and live in the present moment can all help too. We live in a fast-paced world and slowing down is good for all of us whether we live with ADHD or not.
The exact cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is still unknown but it is clear that the brain, it’s functioning, the environment as well as prematurity, genes, and heredity play their part. The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.
The good news is that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is manageable and once you are self-aware, you will find ways that work best for you.