How ADHD Affects Adults Differently

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When you think of ADHD, you may think of a child fidgeting or talking incessantly. But ADHD isn’t just a childhood problem; it affects many adults as well. Keep reading to learn how ADHD affects adults, and what you can do to control it.

It’s often thought that only children have ADHD; however, adults can suffer just as much from this mental disorder. Not every child who has the disorder will carry it into adulthood, but for those who do, treatment is vital to the symptoms. If you are an adult with ADHD, it’s important to understand how it affects you differently than it does a child. 

At Houston Medical-Mental Health Clinic, our team of experts treat a number of mental health problems, including ADHD. Lucas E. Egebe, DNP, PMHNP-BC is both a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Dr. Egebe has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to treating your ADHD symptoms.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a disorder that affects both children and adults. It’s often characterized by the inability to focus, fidgeting, and impulsive acts. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 8.4% of children in the US have ADHD. Adults aren’t immune though; an estimated 2.5% also have ADHD.

There are three different types of ADHD: Inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive, and combined. Each type has specific symptoms associated with it, and is typically diagnosed after you exhibit the symptoms consistently for six months or more.

It’s not completely understood what causes ADHD; however, there does seem to be a connection to genetics. This means that if you have a relative with ADHD, you’re more likely to have it as well. Other speculations on the cause include premature birth and extreme stress during pregnancy. 

The difference in adults and children

If you had ADHD as a child, you may actually “grow out” of the condition as you get older. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, if the condition follows you into adulthood, it can manifest itself very differently than when you were a child.

When you were a child, you may have had a hard time sitting still or staying focused on an activity. You may also have talked too much or had very messy and disorganized homework. 

As an adult, ADHD affects different aspects of your life than it did as a child. For example, you’re more likely to be involved in a car accident or get a speeding ticket as an adult with ADHD. You’re also more likely to take risks when it comes to your health. You may be involved with risky sexual behaviors, and are more likely to become pregnant when you don’t want to. This is often due to the impulsive aspect of the disorder.

The inattention aspect of the disorder seems to stick around much longer into adulthood than the hyperactive or impulsive areas. This often affects your overall job performance, which can lead to having trouble holding down your career. 

Relationships are also affected when you have ADHD in adulthood. This doesn’t only involve your romantic relationships—it also overflows into your family ties and your friendships. Both the impulsive symptoms and inattention symptoms lead to a lot of distress in different relationships.

While childhood ADHD and adult ADHD are similar in some aspects, the impact of the disorder on your life may seem greater as you get older. It also has far more pull on your mental health, often leading to anxiety and depression.

What treatments can help?

If you’re dealing with ADHD, there are a number of treatments that can help. It’s completely possible to be an adult with this disorder and live a productive life. Our team at Houston Medical-Mental Health Clinic helps you find the right form of therapy to get your symptoms under control.

Medication is one of the ways you can control the symptoms of ADHD. Medication management usually involves drugs to create more neurotransmitters in your brain that help keep your behaviors in check. However, medication isn’t the only way to manage ADHD. Other treatment options include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Emotional support programs
  • Getting help with organization
  • Maintaining a good diet and exercise regularly
  • Creating a calendar for important events

Getting enough sleep is another way to help you manage your symptoms. Medication and behavioral therapy, along with a few lifestyle modifications can greatly improve your mood and your condition. 

If your ADHD has created anxiety and depression in your life, it’s also important to address these issues. Dr. Egebe helps you with the treatment and therapy that you require to live successfully with ADHD as an adult.

If you or your child are suffering from ADHD, don’t hesitate to call our office in Houston, Texas today at 346-241-1990 to make an appointment. You can also book a consultation online using our booking tool.

Houston Medical-Mental Health Clinic
✆ Phone (appointments): 346-270-5897
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 346-270-5897
Address: 2833 Spears RD, Suite C, Houston, TX 77067