Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

About the Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

The signs and symptoms of ADHD people are most familiar with are hyperactive behavior and an inability to focus. There are other symptoms, too.  A person may have trouble staying focused, hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior. These could lead to other problems like trouble in school or work with reading or writing. Understanding how ADHD affects a person can help the person and his or her family plan for the future.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition. The signs and symptoms of ADHD manifest as symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. People with ADHD tend to be hyperactive or have trouble staying focused. ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Signs of ADHD

There are different signs of ADHD to look out for. These include:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Talkativeness
  • Interrupting others

Some people with ADHD might also have problems controlling their emotions or be constantly on the go. Some people turn to use substances to control the negative symptoms of ADHD.

Adulthood ADHD

ADHD is often thought of as a childhood condition. However, it may continue into adulthood. The signs and symptoms of ADHD can be more severe in adulthood. In many cases, people first find out about their ADHD as an adult.

Symptoms of adulthood ADHD include:

  • Fatigue
  • Activity level that is too high
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Slow growing brain
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Anger management problems

People with ADHD may also have problems with relationships with family, friends, or coworkers. People with ADHD may find it hard to hold down a job and may have trouble making plans or keeping commitments.

Medications Use to Treat ADHD

There are many different medications that can be used for ADHD. These medications include:

  • Stimulants like dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft)

Other Treatments for ADHD

Some symptoms of ADHD might be treated with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that helps people work through their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. There are several different types of psychotherapy for ADHD that may help improve or relieve symptoms:

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy focuses on changing specific behaviors to make the person better able to cope with life. This type of treatment may include working with the family, school, or workplace to change problems related to ADHD or learning disorders.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach to psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative or incorrect thinking patterns which can lead to behaviors. CBT can help people better manage their behavior and work more successfully with others.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy helps family members learn how to communicate better and develop learning strategies for dealing with ADHD symptoms. Family therapy may also help adults learn new coping skills.

ADHD Support Groups

A support group provides emotional and information support to people with a condition. The group members give each other advice on coping with the condition and understanding new treatments or medications. Some support groups are led by professional psychologists or psychiatrists, while others are run through local health departments.

Support groups can also help family members of people with ADHD. They can learn how to deal with problems that come up because of ADHD, like other stressors in the family or difficulty dealing with health insurance companies.

Responding to ADHD

It is important for people with ADHD to have support from family, friends, or coworkers. It is also important that people with ADHD try to develop coping strategies that work best for them. People with ADHD may find it helpful to keep a journal of their symptoms and when they occur. This can help people learn about their disorder and what helps them deal with it.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Some people with the signs and symptoms of ADHD may also have substance use disorder or other mental health issues. Symptoms of ADHD can make it harder to deal with these problems. There may be a higher risk for substance abuse or depression in people who have ADHD. These issues may need to be addressed in treatment for ADHD.

Where to Get Help for ADHD

If you have symptoms of ADHD, you should see a doctor and get a complete physical examination. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional can make a proper diagnosis and provide treatment and counseling for ADHD. People with ADHD can learn coping skills to deal with the condition more effectively. A support group is also an excellent way to meet people who understand what you are going through and who can provide support.

If you struggle with ADHD and substance use disorder, consider learning more about treatment. Contact Harmony North Carolina for more information on how we can help.

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