Understanding Adult ADHD isn’t easy.
Also, what causes ADHD for adults may be misunderstood, even by those who are struggling with the disorder themselves. And that can lead to a lot of problems for adults with ADHD, both in their professional and personal lives.
Does this sound like you or someone you know?
If so, understanding adult ADHD—including its types, causes, and symptoms—can be the first step to managing it.
Types of Adult ADHD
Typically, when you think of ADHD, the image of a hyperactive child comes to mind. Yet, there are several types of ADHD that can be present in adults.
- Hyperactivity: Although hyperactivity and impulsivity often diminish in adults, both can be just as present in adults as they are in children. When someone is just really impulsive and says whatever is on their mind, that could be a sign of adult ADHD.
- Inattentiveness: Adults with inattentiveness have trouble staying focused and paying attention. Thus, people with this type of ADHD often find it difficult to follow directions or stay on task.
- Combination: Someone who has a combination of both inattentiveness and also hyperactivity.
What Causes ADHD in Adults?
The same things that cause ADHD in children are also true for adults. For instance, one factor is heredity. Someone who has ADHD as an adult may have another family member who also struggles with the condition.
Another way ADHD can develop is through environmental exposure. For example, being exposed to lead in water pipes or paint when young can cause ADHD in adulthood. Also, the same may be true if your mother used substances while she was pregnant.
Finally, a third cause for ADHD is from developmental issues. Being prematurely born is an example of this.
These causes are important to note in order to connect the dots for understanding adult ADHD and formulating a treatment plan.
The Symptoms of Adult ADHD
Many of the same symptoms that children struggle with can also plague adults with ADHD. A common example is having difficulty with work or school.
Perhaps you find it hard to stay focused on your work, to be organized and on time, or to pay attention to directions (either written or verbal). You also may unintentionally “put your foot in your mouth” by blurting something out without thinking first.
These problems can spiral out of control, leading to even bigger problems, such as:
- Difficulties with relationships
- Trouble holding down a job
- Substance abuse
- Other mental health issues
The key to understanding adult ADHD is that those who have it may not even realize that they have a common disorder. The signs were probably missed during childhood.
This means that you may have spent a lifetime being frustrated and misunderstood. You may have not been as successful as you could have been because you didn’t get the help you needed early on.
Also, all of the highs and lows associated with ADHD may have led to you having many problems in adulthood that could have been avoided in the first place.
If this sounds like you, it’s never too late to seek the help you need. ADHD is not just a problem for children. It can be a real burden for adults with symptoms that have a significant impact on their lives.
If you believe that you may have ADHD, consider getting tested to be sure. Then, you can receive the support and treatment necessary for addressing the symptoms associated with the condition. By understanding adult ADHD, including its causes and symptoms, you will find that you will have more control over your life and be able to meet your full potential.
If you would like to know more about my approach to ADHD treatment, please click on the link.