ADHD is also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This condition is widely known for affecting children. However there are many adults who are afflicted with it as well. Statistics indicate that approximately 70% of children who were diagnosed with ADHD will have continued symptoms when they reach adulthood. Adult ADHD can be very debilitating. It can affect a person’s ability to function well in society and maintain good relationships.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD: Many people have ADHD but it can be misdiagnosed or confused with other conditions. Some key symptoms include: impulsive behavior, anxiety, anger issues, problems keeping a job, and being forgetful. Poor Organization: The normal adult responsibilities of paying bills and caring for children can be overwhelming for someone with ADHD. They are often restless and confused and can’t keep up with these essential responsibilities. Relationship problems: Often marriages can be difficult to deal with. A person with ADHD tends to not listen well and maintain commitments. This can strain a marriage. Distraction: Being easily distracted can become frustrating when having to deal with work issues, deadlines and assignments. This can lead to frequent job loss or job hopping. Restlessness: Often the person is unable to relax and just enjoy themselves. They always feel restless and might appear moody. Anger: There can be frequent inappropriate anger outbursts over minor issues. This can be a quick angry response for a short period with little emotional control.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis process for ADHD has various parts. It begins with determining if the person had ADHD as a child. A health practitioner will take a medical history of the person’s behavior as a child. They will also conduct various psychological and physical tests. Treatment: There are various treatment approaches to ADHD. Medication: The medications are in the stimulant class. Statistics indicate that people find these medications very helpful to controlling their symptoms. The medications work to control hyperactivity and help the person to be able to focus more. Behavioral Therapy: Known as cognitive therapy, the idea is to develop coping strategies for the problems associated with ADHD. This therapy gives people real life situations that they would encounter and teaches them new skills to cope better. Hopefully cognitive therapy can help someone develop better coping skills. Support groups: Small groups of people who have ADHD can meet to provide a source of support and encouragement for one another.
Lifestyle changes: A healthy diet can definitely help to control some of the symptoms associated with ADHD. There are many foods that can aggravate the condition, making someone more irritated or anxious. Take a good look at your diet and keep a food diary. This can help to determine which foods might be triggering symptoms and which may be helpful. Foods that are healthy for your brain would be good choices. A high protein diet is helpful to improve concentration. Good food choices are lean meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, cheese and beans. Snacks should also be more protein based. Lower the amount of simple carbohydrates you consume. These would include foods such as sugar, white rice and white flour. Increase the amount of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Examples of these foods include vegetables and fruits such as apples and oranges.
Make sure you are getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in seafood such as salmon and tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids are also in nuts such as walnuts and Brazil nuts and olive oil. Always work the diet out with your doctor. He or she will be able to more accurately see which foods are helping you the most. There may also be some helpful supplements that your doctor may suggest for you. They may be prescription based. Don’t supplement on your own as some supplements can actually make the ADHD worse. The key to success is to log everything you eat and to make the changes slowly. In this way you can more accurately determine what is working for you. Other important considerations:
Enough Sleep: You need to get adequate rest to help with your ADHD. Six to eight hours nightly and consistently is a healthy routine. Medication: You need to take your medication seriously. Always follow the prescription requirements and don’t skip doses. Exercise: 30 minutes of daily exercise is not only healthy but very helpful for ADHD. Causes: There is no definite knowledge of what exactly causes ADHD. There is reason to believe there is some genetic correlation. Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins from cigarettes and alcohol while a fetus in the womb, is also considered a factor.
Medications Side Effects: Medications can have numerous side effects. They are mostly mild but sometimes they can be more severe. Usually after a few weeks these effects will subside. The standards medications include: Adderall XR, Focalin XR, Vyvanse and Certa Ritalin. Nausea: This can be lessened or avoided by taking the medicine with food. Sleep Difficulty: Taking the medication early in the day will lessen this effect as it will have time to wear off. Also avoid taking other stimulants such as caffeine and soda products. Weakness and feeling dizzy: the dosage level may be too high so let your doctor know. Other side effects include headache and poor appetite. Again these effects will wear away but always consult with your physician if you have any of them.
Living with Adult ADHD is not easy but can be controlled in many ways. You can definitely improve the quality of your life if you seek the appropriate medical care and make the changes necessary to do so. Before making any changes, always consult with your medical doctor, particularly if you are taking prescription medication or have any disease.