Adult ADHD, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a “mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.”
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can be very disruptive in adults. Low self-esteem, poor work execution, and erratic personal relationships are all hallmarks of the disorder.
Although we are concentrating on adult ADHD, many of its symptoms begin in childhood and persist into adulthood.
As with the majority of mental disorders, the exact causes ofAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are unknown. However, slowly-gathering evidence seems to point towards genetic factors versus environmental factors.
Possible causes include:
- Genes: Someone withAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is four times as likely to have a relative with the same diagnosis, which may indicate a genetic basis.
- Nutrition and Food: Sugar and food additives can have an effect on behavior. Some believe food additives may intensifyAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Refined sugar as a cause is a popular belief, but this belief does not have strong research backing.
- Environment: A link betweenAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and maternal smoking may exist. However, those who have ADHD are more likely to smoke than the general population. Lead exposure has also been suggested.
- Brain Injury: Injury of the brain due to toxin exposure or physical injury, either before or after birth, may link to ADHD in a minority of affected people.
Five Persistent Myths of Adult ADHD
Myth: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is not a true disorder.
Fact: ADHD cases have been noted as early as 1775. Since then, several scientific publications have published over 10,000Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder related articles.
- Brain scans show developmental differences in brains of those with the disorder.
- If one twin has the disorder, there is a 70 to 80 percent chance the other does also.
- A child has a 57 percent inheritability chance if a biological parent has the disorder.
Myth: Overload of information causes the adult version of the disorder.
Fact: Adult-onset Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder does not exist. It starts in childhood and can continue into adulthood. It typically begins in children between three and six years old.
Myth: Everyone may have someAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms and if someone is intelligent enough, it can be overcome.
Fact: Although everyone may at times have symptoms, only those with true symptom impairment can receive the diagnosis.Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder does not discriminate based on intelligence, and intelligent people still need treatment.
Myth: Without a childhoodAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis, you cannot get it as an adult.
Fact: Many adults had the undiagnosed disorder as a child. Therefore, an adult diagnosis signals undiagnosed childhoodAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Myth: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a not a big deal.
Fact: ADHD increases the odds for anxiety, depression, interpersonal struggles, and unemployment.
Perhaps some of the topics here have you wondering if your symptoms could be adult ADHD. If so, make an appointment with your doctor to specifically address your concerns. If you experience some ADHD symptoms, this does not automatically mean a diagnosis is in your future. There is only one way to find out, and since a doctor is the one professional that can accurately diagnose ADHD, what are you waiting for?