Do I have Adult ADHD?
It is no secret that Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a common discussion point amongst school aged children. The rate of diagnosis has been steadily increasing 3% a year since 2003 (adhd.org.au) and there seems to nothing slowing this number down. So what is the deal with this increase and ADHD phenomenon?
Well, there are multiple theories as to why there is such a steady increase. Many theories include behavioral, environmental, or biological changes but one of the more obvious reasons for the increase is awareness. We are discussing, treating, and screening for ADHD much more than we used to. It may be possible that there aren’t necessarily that many more children with ADHD today, we just were not paying attention.
Imagine, many adults went through a normal childhood education without an awareness of ADHD. Screening tools were not common, parents were not aware of the disorder, so oftentimes ADHD symptoms where simply chalked up to “poor behavior” or “learning problems” especially in a classroom of 20-30 kids. Symptoms could be easily overlooked.
Oftentimes children may “grow out” of many of the ADHD symptoms or learn effective ways to cope with the daily challenges independently, but many symptoms will linger through adulthood. A recent US study mentioned that the rate of Adult ADHD could be as high as 4 percent.
If you have always struggled with everyday tasks, or have ever wondered if you have Adult ADHD here are some common traits associated with an Adult ADHD diagnoses:
- Easily Bored. If you are easily bored and tend to struggle to focus on things that don’t interest you, it could be a sign of Adult ADHD. Let’s be honest, adult responsibilities tend to force us to work on things that we don’t always have interest in: reading instruction manuals, complete projects around the house, completing projects at work that aren’t interesting. Adult responsibilities aren’t necessarily interesting and if you have Adult ADHD, completing these responsibilities may be significantly more difficult.
- Extreme Procrastination. If you are easily bored or easily distracted by other things, you tend to put off projects that need to be completed. Procrastination at some level is pretty normal, but if you go to the extreme to avoid things you are not interested in, it may be a sign of Adult ADHD.
- Difficulties with personal organization and time management. This can surface within a career or at home. This may look like struggling to plan your day accordingly, constantly finding yourself running out of time, or loosing important items.
- Anxiety and/or Depression. Anxiety and depression are common amongst adults who have adult ADHD or have had ADHD as a child. Sadly, traits like low self-esteem are common. This may be due to the additional struggles that come with learning how to function with ADHD. Feeling like you are not as smart or the impacts of always getting in trouble in school can impact someone’s self-worth and identity. This can easily follow into adulthood as anxiety and/or depression.
- Adult ADHD does not have to involve hyperactivity. The inattention aspect of ADHD is often even harder to recognize and diagnose as a child, as usually the hyperactive activities are the most noticeable to parents and teachers.
If these descriptions sound like you, and are still impacting your daily life and functioning, help and treatment is available. Even understanding ADHD in depth can help bring clarity and understanding to a difficult childhood. Treatment through a local psychologist or psychiatrist can be highly beneficial. To book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online).