Approximately 10 million adults have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, many people with adult ADHD go undiagnosed. In adulthood, ADHD may be associated with depression, mood or conduct disorders, and substance abuse. Many adults with ADHD have difficulties at work and in their personal and family lives. Many have inconsistent performance at work or in their careers; have difficulties with day-to-day responsibilities; experience relationship problems; and may have chronic feelings of frustration, guilt, or blame.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
- Lack of focus
- Time management problems
- Emotional concerns
- Negative self-image
- Lack of motivation
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Physical health concerns
- Relationship concerns
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Making a Diagnosis
Healthcare providers use the guidelines in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)1, to help diagnose ADHD. This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are appropriately diagnosed and treated. Your provider will conduct a clinical interview to assess for the presence of symptoms outlined in the DSM-5. They may also have you complete a screening tool such as the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1).
Adults with ADHD can benefit by identifying the areas of their life that are most impaired by their ADHD and then seeking treatment to address them. They may benefit from treatment strategies similar to those used to treat children, particularly medication and learning to structure their environment.
Medications used to treat ADHD in childhood are often effective in treating ADHD in adulthood. These medications include the following psychostimulants: Focalin, Focalin XR; Concerta; Daytrana; Metadate CD; and the amphetamines, Adderall XR and Vyvanse. Atomoxetine (Strattera) is currently the only non-stimulant medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ADHD in adults.
In addition, mental health counseling can offer much-needed support to adults dealing with ADHD in themselves or someone they care about. Since ADHD affects the entire family, receiving services from ADHD-trained therapists skilled in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can help teach you new techniques to manage living with ADHD.
If you, or someone you love, is struggling with ADHD symptoms, call us today at 317-754-0808. We can assist by making a proper diagnosis, providing referrals to a psychiatrist, and beginning therapy using cognitive-behavioral therapy.