The majority of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are diagnosed with the condition around second grade, with most parents spotting symptoms well before age 7.(1) As a result, ADHD is commonly thought of as a disorder of childhood. This is, of course, untrue. Children with ADHD grow up to become adults with ADHD, as well, and managing the condition in adulthood is an equally challenging experience. While the hyperactive component of ADHD tends to lessen as children become adults,(2) the symptoms of ADHD can still make work and family life difficult.
Understanding ADHD in Adulthood
Impulsivity, inattentiveness, problems with organization, hyperactivity, and even aggression or anxiety are all familiar signs of ADHD in childhood.(1) In adulthood, these symptoms remain, but less than 20 percent of today’s 8 million adults with ADHD are currently receiving treatment.(2) Adults with ADHD are also more likely to be experiencing other conditions, such as anxiety disorders or depression.(2) They are more likely to take risks and may even come across as reckless at times.(3)
Managing ADHD in the Workplace
Adults with ADHD may seem to their employers and co-workers like they aren’t interested in the workplace or in remembering their responsibilities, but they are really just struggling to manage their ADHD. Employees with ADHD can maintain successful employment by:
- Whenever possible, choosing a job that is flexible and fast-paced.(4) A slow-paced job with a lot of structure is likely to make ADHD symptoms more pronounced.
- Setting important reminders on your smartphone or another place that you’re sure to check frequently.(4)
- Taking notes and keeping checklists on work-related topics of importance, like meetings and deadlines.
- Asking a trusted friend, family member, or colleague to help with goal setting.
Managing Adult ADHD at Home
When it comes to relationships and family life, teaching partners and children about ADHD can go a long way toward fostering understanding within the family unit. Adults with ADHD should use websites, brochures, support group environments, or books to explain the disorder and how it affects behavior, choices, and emotions.
If you have symptoms of ADHD in adulthood, there are many treatment options that can help to improve your executive function skills. Treatments for attention problems at any age can include:
- Certain types of medications
- Therapies, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy. Families and couples might also benefit from marriage counseling or family therapy sessions.(5)
- Individual counseling to improve upon specific skills, such as problem solving, emotion management, or communication.(5)
- Classes to improve work or family life skills, such as a time management class.
- Mindfulness and meditation. Multiple research studies have shown that mindful meditation may have the potential to improve ADHD symptoms.
In Maryland, there are CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) support groups in Greater Baltimore, as well as Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County. Support groups provide additional education and community connection to individuals with ADHD. Adult support groups give you time to discuss and seek advice regarding your individual work or life-related problems that are affected by ADHD. Dr. Vincent P. Culotta of Neurobehavioral Associates (and one of the authors of School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders) has spoken at CHADD meetings in the past.
Neurobehavioral Associates serves adults and children with attention disorders like ADHD, as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders. We provide comprehensive neuropsychological assessments to successfully guide needed interventions, suggest area resources, and evaluate each individual condition. For more information on how we can serve you or your child with ADHD, contact our team today.
- Holland, K., Riley, E., & Krucik, G. T. (2017, October 24). ADHD Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.addrc.org/adhd-numbers-facts-statistics-and-you/
- Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/adult-adhd
- Chilsen, H. (n.d.). Deep Bench: Understanding ADD/ADHD in adults. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Deep-Bench-Understanding-ADDADHD-in-adults-564385951.html
- Bhandari, S. (2018, July 12). Adult ADHD at Work: Tips for Organization and Control. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adhd-in-the-workplace#2
- Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (2019, June 22). Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-adhd/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350883
- Constance, L. (2019, June 11). Research: 100% of Mindfulness Therapy Studies Show ADHD Symptom Improvement. Retrieved November 25, 2019, from https://www.additudemag.com/mindfulness-for-adhd-study-natural-remedy/