A great deal of discussion is given to childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But this behavioral issue greatly affects adults as well. While the exact cause of adult ADHD isn’t yet understood, recent research seems to indicate that genes and heredity, the foods we eat, and our environment play key roles.

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Many adults who are eventually diagnosed with ADHD have always “sensed” that something was off, but they were too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. Others still never paid attention to the many signs:

  • Difficulty focusing attention, especially when it comes to reading maps, books or magazines.
  • Home, office, and/or personal spaces are always disorganized and messy.
  • It’s challenging to complete tasks and projects.
  • A mental fog or haze.
  • Friends and family members tease about being scatterbrained.
  • Symptoms have been present since childhood.
  • Other family members also have attention issues or suffer from depression or anxiety.

While this list of symptoms is a good starting point for conversation with your therapist, a comprehensive evaluation by a psychologist is recommended and often required by many prescribing primary care providers and psychiatrists. Psychologists are the only mental health professionals trained in the administration of these evaluations.

Other Disorders That Mimic ADHD

It’s also important to mention that there are other disorders and conditions that exhibit similar symptoms to ADHD:

  • Menopause
  • Sleep apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Certain prescription medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure medication
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Head injuries

Getting an Accurate Diagnosis

While you can try and diagnose yourself, your best course of action is to find a trained psychologist whois able to determine through a comprehensive evaluation if your symptoms are truly from ADHD or something else. Should you be diagnosed with adult ADHD, you will want to work with your therapist to come up with the right treatment plan.

Your plan may include a combination of therapeutic strategies such as medication, nutrition, behavioral therapy, exercise and joining a support group. Finding the right treatment plan for you will take a bit of research, planning and testing. But once you find your individual strategies, you will be able to manage your ADHD symptoms and live a happy and productive life.

If you are interested in getting diagnosed and exploring treatment options, please be in touch. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.