What is ADHD?
Both children and adults can meet criteria for a diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD involves a pattern of difficulties related to sustaining attention and organization and/or difficulties regulating hyperactivity or impulse control. Getting an accurate diagnosis can be difficult, as many different problems can overlap or look similar to ADHD. However, assessment and diagnosis, or even being able to rule out a diagnosis of ADHD, is important for effective treatment planning.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Some people with ADHD only have problems with inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity, whereas others have problems with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Below are some signs of inattention. Do you…
- Have trouble paying attention when you are listening to other people or reading?
- Find yourself easily distracted by things in your environment or by your own thoughts?
- Feel like you have so many thoughts bouncing around in your head that you can’t focus on any one of them?
- Have trouble following-through on things or completing tasks, due to getting easily distracted?
- Frequently lose important things, like your keys or wallet, because you can’t remember where you put them?
- Tend to make careless mistakes, despite your best efforts?
- Avoid starting tasks that involve sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork, homework, writing reports, and completing forms?
- Frequently forget to do things that you need to do, such as returning phone calls, completing chores, or running errands?
- Feel that you’re not living up to your potential, and consequently, achieving less than what you’re capable of?
Below are some signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity. Do you…
- Feel restless and unable to sit still?
- Fidget with your hands or feet?
- Talk excessively?
- Have trouble waiting your turn, such as waiting in line at a store?
- Interrupt or intrude on others? e.g., butting into conversations or activities, taking over what others are doing, using someone’s stuff without asking first
- Blurt out answers before someone is done speaking?
- Feel like you’re always “on the go” or “driven by a motor”?
- Have trouble doing leisure activities quietly?
ADHD treatment can help you to:
- Learn organizational skills to help keep your belongings in order
- Practice time-management skills to increase punctuality and meet deadlines
- Implement problem-solving skills to help you cope with difficult tasks and situations
- Learn practical strategies to organize your personal affairs
- Reduce your distractibility and increase your ability to stay on task
- Improve your self-esteem and confidence
- Increase your self-awareness, and help you get along better with others
- Achieve your full potential, capitalizing on your existing strengths
Why is getting help for ADHD important?
Many people with ADHD feel that they are not living up to their potential in their work, school, and/or relationships. Therapy can help you to learn skills that will enable you to accomplish more, improve your relationships, and feel better about yourself!