Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
While ADHD develops in childhood, it will persist into adulthood around 50% of the time.
ADHD is characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that impairs an individuals ability to function socially, academically, or occupationally. Around 1 in 5 adults who seek psychiatric treatment for other conditions may have undiagnosed ADHD. This disorder not only impairs multiple aspects of functioning, but is correlated with higher substance abuse and incarceration rates when left untreated.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects executive functioning (working memory, self-control, flexible thinking). As an oversimplification, individuals with ADHD do not have an adequate amount of the neurotransmitter(s) norepinephrine and/or dopamine available for use in the brain. For substantial symptoms, medication is usually necessary to replace these neurotransmitters or slow their natural elimination. Therapy may also be helpful, either to treat a milder form of ADHD, or as an adjunct to medication for more severe ADHD. Therapy may focus on learning organizational skills, coping skills, or working on impulse control.
Someone may experience just inattentive symptoms, just hyperactive symptoms, or a combination of both.
Some common inattentive symptoms include:
- Inability to concentrate and focus
- Misplacing or losing things
- Forgetting appointments
- Difficulty organizing tasks or environments
- Lack of follow-through
- Easily distracted
- Frequently makes careless mistakes
- Trouble paying attention to someone even when someone is speaking directly to them
Some common hyperactivity symptoms include:
- Fidgeting or squirming
- Difficulty sitting still or staying seated
- Difficulty with waiting ones turn
- Interrupting others even when they are busy
- Finishing the sentences of others or answering questions prematurely
- Feelings of being internally driven by a motor
- Inability to relax and unwind
ADHD can also cause significant impulsivity making an individual prone to engaging in risky behavior or conflict with others.
Adults who currently have ADHD
Percentage of adults aged 18 to 44 currently have ADHD
Childhood ADHD persists into adulthood
Approximately 50% of children with ADHD will continue to have ADHD as adults
Individuals with undiagnosed ADHD seeking mental health treatment for another disorder
Treatment We Provide
We can diagnose and prescribe medication to treat ADHD if appropriate. Please see our Services & Pricing page for more information on our evaluation.
References: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 2023, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd