Symptoms of ADHD in adults include:
- problems with organising time; lack of organisation in work, study or housekeeping; failure to complete work that has been started; easily switching activities to new activities;
- a sense of constant restlessness; nervousness; inability to perform prolonged sedentary activities;
- impatience; inconsiderate shopping; making decisions without thinking; difficulty keeping a job; abruptly starting and ending relationships; over-engaging in activities without recognising risks.
Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also often have symptoms of emotion dysregulation, i.e. irritability, mood swings or excessive stress reactions. In addition, it is not uncommon for adults with ADHD to suffer from comorbid psychiatric illnesses, making the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder more difficult.
The diagnosis of ADHD in adults can be difficult. It affects both the presenting patient and the child they once were. Professionals observe two types of adults seeking a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The first part comes to the counselling centre with the belief that they are affected by ADHD. The second – comes to the appointment because of co-occurring disorders or as a complication of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The former, to confirm their suspicions, may take a short test for ADHD in adults – the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) – before the consultation.
Psychoeducation, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are used to treat the disorder. Medication for ADHD in adults is the same as for children. Pharmacotherapy is recommended before implementing non-pharmacological methods.
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