Short: What is ADHD?

ADHD is the abbreviation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD leads to lifelong problems with attention or concentration, difficulty organizing, hyperactivity or overactivity, and impulsiveness.

ADHD is a neurobiological developmental disorder, which is often hereditary and therefore congenital, and which you will keep throughout your life. It was thought that you grew out of it and were over eighteen, but unfortunately, this is not the case in most cases. However, you may be less bothered by it in some periods than in others.

The diagnosis of ADHD is often made at a young age. Children often stand out because of their hyperactive behaviour and impulsiveness. Many adults continue to have complaints at a later age. In adults, attention and concentration problems are particularly prominent.

ADHD symptoms

People with ADHD often experience mood swings and irritability. About 1 in 4 people has another disorder besides ADHD, for example, a personality, anxiety or mood disorder. The following symptoms characterize ADHD:

  • Concentration problems
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
Woman with ADHD having a hard time concentrating.

Diagnosis of ADHD in adults

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has only been known to adults in our country since 1995. Not because ADHD did not occur in adults but because the disorder was previously not recognized by doctors. Many adults are, therefore, unaware that they have ADHD. Today, the diagnosis is made more often. However, one criterion to meet the diagnosis is that the problems have been present since childhood. It is common for ADHD to be diagnosed at a later age.

Symptoms ADHD adults

Adults with ADHD mainly experience problems with organization, planning and concentration. In addition, people with ADHD often exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behaviour. ADHD characteristics in adults are generally the same as in children with ADHD.

How to deal with ADHD adults?

Perhaps the most critical piece of advice is that ADHD is not an excuse, but it does explain why you keep forgetting appointments, don’t seem to listen carefully or are always late. It’s not disinterest or lack of character. It’s a disorder. The best thing is to accept ADHD as something that belongs to you. You are not bad, stupid or lazy! Acceptance helps to learn to live with it. Medication for ADHD helps to reduce the symptoms. Coaching helps to practically get a grip on your life so that you suffer less from your ADHD. It is sometimes said that adults with ADHD can cope with the symptoms better with treatment. In certain professions, having ADHD can even be an advantage.

ADHD in women

In general, ADHD is diagnosed more often in men than in women. This is because ADHD manifests differently in women than in men. Women are naturally better at communication and social interaction than men. At a young age, girls already learn to adapt to the environment and thus disguise their ADHD. As a result, ADHD in women leads to endless persistence, perfectionism, exhaustion, depression or anxiety and is often discovered relatively late. This leads to an increased risk of all kinds of physical disorders. Women with ADHD must be recognized earlier and receive help.

Treatment

ADHD treatment consists of three parts. The first part is medical, using medication when such is deemed beneficial by a physician. The second component is psychoeducational, focusing on understanding the strengths and challenges that come with ADHD. The third component is counselling in the form of ADHD Management or skill training. In such training, participants learn to strengthen executive functioning and decision-making and develop awareness to participate in events meaningfully. Psychoeducation and ADHD Magament or skills training is available in the La Ronge and Regina branches.

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