Tanya Monger, M.A.Ps., L.Psych.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects about 5% of children, and about ½ to ⅔ of them will carry those symptoms into adulthood. On top of that, many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed (CADDRA, 2017).
Untreated ADHD can cause numerous mental problems that can put a strain on relationships and cause difficulties in many aspects of everyday life (which also leads to a higher number of substance abuse, divorce rate, anxiety disorders and depression). It’s important to recognize the signs of adult ADHD so you can get proper treatment.
Adult ADHD Symptoms May Include:
Many adults with ADHD do not realize they have the disorder. An ADHD assessment typically includes a review of past and current symptoms, the use of adult rating scales or checklists (for self and other family members), psychometric testing (to measure working memory and processing speed) and psychometric interviewing methods. Adults with ADHD are treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. Behavior management strategies, such as ways to minimize distractions and increase structure and organization, and involving immediate family members can also be helpful.
What Causes ADHD?
Researchers have not yet identified the specific causes of ADHD. However, there is evidence that genetics contribute to ADHD. For example, 3 out of 4 children with ADHD have a relative with the disorder. Other factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD include being born prematurely, brain injury and the mother smoking, using alcohol or having extreme stress during pregnancy.
I Might Have ADHD…..What Is Next?
You can learn more about the disorder and the process of psychological assessment by contacting a psychologist who specializes in adult ADHD or ask for help from your family doctor.
You can learn more about Adult ADHD by visiting the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA) website.