ADD as an adult, whats it like?

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Attention Deficit Disorder is often difficult to diagnose in adulthood as it sometimes masked by relationship problems, mood disorders, substance abuse, employment issues, or other psychological disorders. It was previously believed that children and adolescents would grow out of ADD, but it has just been acknowledged in the last few decades that it persists into adulthood. Actually, 67% of children with ADD will continue to exhibit signs well into adulthood. ADD is very difficult to diagnose in adults and sometimes only occurs after a child of the adult is diagnosed and the genetic link is made.

How is Attention Deficit Disorder exhibited in adults? Actually, in much the same ways as in children. Adults with ADD often have difficulty in completing assignments, fail to pay close attention to details, fidget, are inattentive, are unorganized, and talk excessively. Unfortunately, adult ADD is often commingled with lack of self-control, poor memory, anxiety, depression, mood swings, employment issues, chronic lateness, and difficulties regulating motivation, emotions and arousal. Like their child counterparts, these behaviors cause an inability to function in every day activities, which can especially cause a problem in employment situations.

Adults that have grown up being undiagnosed as having ADD often suffer from low self-esteem and feel like they are stupid, lazy, or even crazy. Diagnosing them as adults may lay to rest lifelong perception issues they may have had with themselves and may allow them to improve on self-esteem, as well as work skills and performance. It is believed that these reasons could actually be the basis for the depression and other psychological issues they have as adults.

Treatment for adults often includes medication, education, behavior skill building to better cope with their disorder, and counselling. Stimulant medication, as with children, may be the first stage in treatment. However, this is not a cure and should be coupled with behavior modification to reach full potential. Counseling may very well be an important aspect of treatment, as ongoing psychologically issues have been present. Likewise, just being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder may cause reason to seek counseling in order to come to terms with the diagnosis.

The important thing for an adult to remember when they have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder is that there is help available and treatment is easily attainable. They should find comfort in understanding the root of their behavior and actions and knowing help is available.

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