ADHD Symptoms In Adults: How To Recognise Whether You Suffer From Adult ADHD?

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ADHD Symptoms In Adults: How To Recognise Whether You Suffer From Adult ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD, may be familiar to readers as something that affects children, but how many people are aware that it can affect adults also?

The symptoms of ADHD in adults are varied and the condition can be more difficult to detect than in children and whether or not the condition was diagnosed in childhood symptoms can continue into adult life.

The condition is a chemical disorder of the brain and affects people’s ability to organise thoughts and actions. If undetected a person could be assumed to lack willpower and focus and be unable to remain calm. However, adult ADHD symptoms vary in each individual and not all of them will be present in each individual.

A general summary of the effects in adults is volatility, in behaviour, concentration, mood and interactions with other people.

Adults with ADHD can be disorganised and forgetful, but at the same time display an ability to focus intensely on one particular activity. This hyperfocus, as it is called, has been described as a coping mechanism either to avoid becoming distracted or to avoid carrying out tasks that do not interest the person.

Typical of adult ADHD symptoms are poor organizational skills so that the home, office desk or car are messy and cluttered. Such people will tend to put things off and have difficulty starting or completing projects. Frequent lateness, regularly forgetting appointments or losing things such as keys can also be signs of the condition.

Such symptoms if undiagnosed may result in a sufferer mistakenly being seen as rude, impulsive, reckless and having trouble behaving in ways generally regarded as socially appropriate. Mood swings, depression and insomnia, difficulty in relationships and becoming easily frustrated, unreasonably angry or hypersensitive to criticism are also common symptoms.

While there are medications that can help adults with ADHD symptoms, the most well-known of which is Ritalin, they do not work for everyone nor can they control all the symptoms. Side effects of such medications may also be a concern. Luckily there are other options to help treat adult ADHD which can either be used instead of prescribed medication or alongside it.

Exercise every day boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels. These all affect focus and attention and boosting them through exercise can quickly improve concentration, memory, and mood. It is not necessary to take part in formal exercise or sport, a half hour walk out in nature four times a week is equally effective.

If there are specific issues such as difficulty with relationships or time management a course of relationship counselling, talk therapy or behavioural coaching may be worth considering in addition to the basic advice, that regular exercise, a good diet and ensuring good quality sleep can help considerably. It is all about helping the sufferer to manage the behavioural and mood extremes that are often symptoms of adult ADHD.

Eating regularly and healthily and ensuring that the body is getting enough iron, zinc and magnesium is also important. If unsure it is worth considering taking a daily multivitamin. Similarly ensuring that your body is getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids either in the diet – from salmon, tuna, sardines, and some fortified eggs and milk products – or by taking an Omega-3 supplement.

Erratic sleep patterns and insomnia caused by an inability to relax or calm racing thoughts are disruptive for anyone who suffers them, leading to mood swings and irritability. It makes sense therefore for adult ADHD sufferers to use any technique that will help, from yoga and meditation to turning off the TV at least an hour before going to bed.

Oscar Strain is a health professional and writer specialising in nutrition and health maintenance. Oz leads the nutrition team at Troo Health Care, leading UK providers of specialist health supplements, including Focus ADDult.

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