Remember that boy in second grade? The one who couldn’t sit still? Who the teacher was always disciplining for not listening and distracting others? Chances are, he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
If so, chances are also good that ADHD is still a part of his everyday life.
Most people don’t outgrow ADHD. The good news? Once the disorder’s been recognized and treated, adults can learn to adapt. When managed with the appropriate combo of meds, therapy, education, and support, adults lead productive and successful lives.
Doctors once thought that ADHD only affected children, and boys, twice as much as girls. Now, we know that its symptoms continue into adulthood for about 60% of those kids. That’s about 4% of the U.S. adult population, or 8 million adults. Because ADHD is likely a genetic, inherited disorder, adults are often diagnosed when their son or daughter is.
You may have been un-diagnosed as a kid if:
- School report cards showed comments about behavior problems, poor focus, lack of effort, or underachievement.
- Teachers brought up behavioral issues with your parents.
- You had problems with peers, bed wetting, school failure, or suspensions.
ADHD affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part of the brain which lets us control thoughts and actions. Its symptoms include being:
- Easily distracted
And these symptoms can cause further struggles, like:
- Mood swings
- Anger problems
- Low self-esteem
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Trouble concentrating with reading and listening
Adults with untreated ADHD have trouble following directions, planning ahead, and finishing work on deadline. When not managed, this can lead to job loss and unhealthy relationships.
Talk to your doctor today if you think you or your child have ADHD.