How to Know If You Have ADHD
If you or someone you know exhibits ADHD symptoms, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. An inaccurate diagnosis or improper treatment can lead to problems.
Certain medical conditions, psychological disorders and stressful life events can cause symptoms that look like ADHD. A specialist will evaluate you, use symptom checklists and standardized rating scales, interview family members and significant others, and conduct physical exams.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD
People with ADHD have a combination of symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Symptoms are often evident during childhood, but they can last into adulthood. ADHD can cause challenges in work, home life and social interactions.
Inattentive symptoms of adhd may include daydreaming during conversations, forgetting things, or being unable to stay focused on tasks. People with adhd find it difficult to complete tasks in a timely manner, and they get bored easily.
Women who have undiagnosed or unmanaged ADHD may suffer from low self-esteem and depression. They may also struggle with job loss, relationship conflict or substance abuse. ADHD symptoms can look different in children and adults, so it is important to speak with a health care provider about your concerns. They will help you identify if you have ADHD and create a treatment plan for you.
Causes Of ADHD
Many adults struggle with unrecognized ADHD symptoms. They may have gone through their entire lives believing that their problems are caused by other conditions, like depression or anxiety.
Getting a diagnosis of ADHD requires a thorough psychiatric evaluation. This can be done by a mental health professional or a primary care provider who has training and experience in caring for people with ADHD.
Some factors are likely to contribute to the development of ADHD, such as genetics and environmental influences during key periods in childhood. Other risk factors for ADHD include smoking or stress during pregnancy and certain problems with the brain’s development at some point in life.
If you have ADHD, you may struggle to keep your work life and household running smoothly. Symptoms of ADHD can also make it difficult to maintain personal relationships.
Getting Diagnosed With ADHD
Many adults who have ADHD go undiagnosed until they hit adulthood and begin to have a harder time keeping their lives in balance. They might feel frustrated at work, unable to keep up with social activities or find it difficult to get their children dressed and out the door in the morning.
They might also struggle to manage their emotions and be prone to angry outbursts. They might have trouble controlling their impulses, such as spending too much money or eating unhealthy foods. In order to diagnose ADHD, doctors must assess the severity of a person’s symptoms, determine when they started and how long they have been present. They must also show that they have a significant impact on their daily functioning. Their symptoms must be consistent across multiple settings, including home, school and work.
Risk Factors Of ADHD
People with ADHD often have trouble juggling many tasks at once — a demanding job, caring for children or an elderly parent, running a household. Their procrastination, disorganization and impulsivity can lead to missed deadlines and incomplete work. They may miss appointments and forget to take medications, creating health problems over time.
People who struggle with ADHD can have problems in their relationships as well. They might find it difficult to follow social cues, have a hard time understanding the emotional concerns of others and frequently interrupt them. They also tend to be prone to hyperfocus, when they become so engrossed in their activity that they neglect other obligations such as paying bills or attending to physical health needs.
To diagnose ADHD, a mental health provider will use a thorough evaluation that includes interviewing the person, their parents or caregivers and their teachers. They may also use standardized behavior rating scales and ADHD symptom checklists. They will determine whether the symptoms are primarily inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive or a combined presentation.
Complications Of ADHD
As adults, the symptoms of ADHD may be more difficult to recognize and cope with. They may have gone undiagnosed throughout childhood, leading to a sense of being viewed as a dreamer, goof-off, or slacker. Symptoms may become more noticeable as life demands increase in adulthood.
Difficulties at work and home can result from lack of organizational skills and a propensity to lose track of deadlines. Financial challenges can arise due to missing bills and impulsive spending. Family and romantic relationships may be complicated by a tendency to get so engrossed in tasks or activities that you forget to make time for them. The impulsive nature of ADHD can also cause trouble, such as barging into rooms without knocking or interjecting in conversations when it’s not your turn.