Diagnosis of ADHD In Adults And Its Common Treatments

One of the most common disorders of the mind, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects many people silently. This mental disorder is mainly common in children, although it also affects adults.

The condition is easily detectable in children since the child readily shows difficulty concentrating and underperforming in school, among other symptoms. If undetected and untreated during an early age, attention deficit hyperactive disorder may develop into adulthood.

According to WebMD, it is difficult to prevent or cure ADHD. However, early detection and treatment plan dramatically helps the patient to manage the ADHD symptoms. WebMD also states that more boys are prone to get attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in early childhood development compared to girls.


Adult ADHD

Do you often feel restless? Are you having trouble paying attention? Do you forget the fine details about something? Do you get frustrated and feel hopeless? While these are the most common symptoms of this mental disorder, the best way to know your mental status is to get examined by a certified health expert who will make a comprehensive health report after a thorough test for ADHD.

A one-time test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder cannot be used to prove that you have the condition. Therefore, medical experts have to perform various tests for ADHD before ascertaining that your symptoms lead to the conclusion that you have ADHD. The ADHD tests may involve the use of various diagnosis tools, a question-and-answer session on your past and present health conditions, and an examination to rule out other mental disorders.

What Causes ADHD?

Medical researchers are still conducting studies to establish the root cause of this mental disorder. However, the following factors contribute significantly to contracting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;

  • Genetics- Many people who have been diagnosed with ADHD have their close family members with the same disease. ADHD runs in genes, and therefore if a family member has the condition, it’s time you went for a checkup.
  • Injury of the brain or disorder- Getting involved in an accident that damages the frontal lobe may lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The patient may be unable to control their emotions and impulses.
  • The environment- A person’s surroundings may also contribute to the risk of getting this disease. For example, exposure to lead while at a tender age significantly exposes one to the risk of contracting this disorder which can go undetected to adulthood.
  • Substance Abuse- Drug addiction and substance abuse among pregnant women have been pointed out as one of the leading causes of ADHD in children. Failure to detect and diagnose the disease while young will make the child grow with the disorder to adulthood.
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How To Diagnose ADHD?

The diagnostic method used by health professionals to test for ADHD involves using evaluation criteria rather than the use of physical tests, x-ray, and blood tests. The evaluation process usually consists of gathering personal health information to ascertain whether the data meets the threshold of confirming that the patient has ADHD.  

Mental health specialists and clinicians in the United States use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to crosscheck whether the criteria for ADHD are met before concluding that a patient has this disorder. This handbook contains the symptoms and descriptions of common mental health illnesses, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The evaluation report usually contains a series of questions that are used to guide the medical professional. A comprehensive evaluation report will include a behavior rating scale that compares other patients with ADHD and your behavior.

It would be best if you prepared for evaluation by carrying the necessary past medical reports. It would help if you also were willing to provide accurate information on your past health conditions so that the doctor can have an easy time assessing your situation.

How To Find A Qualified ADHD Professional Doctor?

Sometimes finding a reliable and qualified ADHD professional might be overwhelming, especially when you do not know the right people to ask or where to start. However, with the correct information, you can get an experienced and trusted professional to guide you in managing the ADHD disorder. Some of the most effective ways of finding the best doctors to test for ADHD include the following;

1. Look for recommendations

One of the best ways to get a qualified doctor is by getting a referral from family and friends. You can also liaise with your personal doctor, who will connect you with his/her fellow professionals who will eventually help you test for ADHD. You can also talk to patients who have successfully managed their conditions for more referrals and make informed decisions on the doctor to settle for.

2. Browse over the Internet

Doing your research is another crucial step towards finding a qualified ADHD professional. The internet is filled with essential information that includes details of qualified psychiatrists. By surfing the internet, you can find websites for professional doctors and contact them to find their medical charges. Some websites also contain a review section where patients provide helpful information about their experiences with medical professionals. Such reviews can help you identify your doctor to help you test for ADHD.

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3. Visit your doctor

If you suspect that you have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, you should visit your doctor immediately. The visitation/consultation should be geared towards getting diagnosed and starting a treatment plan that will help you manage the symptoms and live your everyday life.  

What Are The Symptoms of ADHD In Adults?

 A person suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder experiences repeated impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Many signs and symptoms of ADHD are grouped according to the three significant patterns of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.

1. Inattention Symptoms

Inattention occurs when an individual has problems paying attention to the tasks at hand. Inattention can manifest itself in the following ways;

  • When you get distracted easily during the cause of your job by unrelated stimuli.
  • Making careless mistakes in situations where those mistakes can be avoided.
  • Having difficulties following instructions and completing tasks on time.
  • Losing valuable items such as keys, money, and mobile phones.
  • Quickly forgetting fine details.

2. Hyperactivity and Impulsivity Symptoms

Hyperactivity is when you possess too much energy and aggressiveness when doing your daily activities. In comparison, impulsivity refers to your inability to control your emotions, especially when in public spaces. Impulsivity and hyperactivity are risky conditions that can escalate to other harmful behaviors such as drug and substance abuse and alcohol addiction.

An individual is said to be hyperactive when he or she exhibits the following signs

  • Experiencing a lot of restlessness while undertaking daily activities.
  • Interrupting others while undertaking their activities
  • Talking too much on unnecessary subjects.
  • Difficulty waiting for their turns to come.
  • Difficulty following meetings or proceedings that require sitting for extended periods.

What Are The Treatment Options For Adult ADHD?

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder is easily manageable when detected early. There are mainly two treatment options that your medical professional can use in the treatment of ADHD. They include the following:

1. Use of medicines

This method involves using recommended medicines in the treatment of ADHD. You should disclose your health status to your medical practitioner so that he/she may give you medications that your body is not allergic to.

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 The most common types of drugs used in the treatment of ADHD include stimulants and non-stimulants. The use of stimulants and non-stimulants in the treatment of ADHD helps alleviate the hyperactive and impulsive condition making the patient able to concentrate on simple tasks in his or her recovery journey.

The medicine acts on an active section of the brain, such as dopamine, helping it function normally. Some medical professionals also recommend the use of antidepressants in the treatment of this disorder. You need to consult your health professional to monitor your progress and in choosing the appropriate medical regimen.

2. Psychotherapy

Like other mental health disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can also be treated through psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves giving the patient personalized medical care that will help them to manage their hyperactivity and impulsivity. This treatment method is essential because it boosts the patient’s confidence and improves their concentration, enabling them to improve their jobs and other daily activities.

Psychotherapy may also involve getting a life coach who gives guidance and counseling to patients to avoid risky behavior such as drug addiction. The life coach can also teach the patients essential tips on time management, personal grooming, and personal health management.

Professionals providing therapy mainly emphasize eating a balanced diet and regular exercising to aid the patients in recovering.

3. Other Treatment Methods

Other interventions that can be incorporated in treatment include:

  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Taking medicines as directed by the physicians.
  • Maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.

You should regularly share your experiences of managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder from your support system of friends and relatives.

Final Words

Mental health disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety can be controlled if detected on time, and various treatment options administered to manage them. With the treatment options in place, patients diagnosed with ADHD can lead everyday lives and perform well in their jobs. The responsibility of getting treatment rests entirely on you, and therefore, you need to make informed decisions that will help you lead a balanced life.

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Author Bio: Reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, happiness researcher. Founder of Happiness India Project, chief editor of its blog. Writes popular science articles on happiness, positive psychology, and related topics.

• Our story: Happiness Project

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