Most of us are familiar with childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but few may be aware of those who grow to adulthood while continuing to display such symptoms; following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, finishing work on time.
About 4% to 5% of U.S. adults have it (nearly 1 in 20). But few adults get diagnosed or treated, even though every adult who has ADHD had it as a child, some diagnosed, some not; nevertheless, 60% of those who had it in childhood (6 out of 10), have not outgrown it and still have it. While no two adults with ADHD are alike, many do quite well with it, but most who do not, suffer other emotional problems as a well, ranging from chronic boredom, procrastination, anxiety, depression and all the way to substance abuse or addiction.
Yet, this condition remains underdiagnosed as only 10.9% of adults with ADHD (about 1 in 10) receive any treatment. To complicate diagnosis, adults with ADHD often have comorbid (more than one) psychiatric disorders, which may mask the symptoms of ADHD.
(ncbi.nlm.nih in Primary Care Companion Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2009)
Too many times, as children, their parents were alerted by his/her teacher and were too quickly prescribed by their pediatricians. This begins a chain of side effects and unanticipated consequences, carrying into adulthood.
Dr. Ned Hallowell, psychiatrist, warned of this practice- overuse of medications, “It’s one tool in the toolbox. And I think the either/or mentality is a big mistake. Medication is just one tool. We have many tools. Medication should NEVER be the only intervention. Education is always the starting point. It’s really that kids-and by the way, adults have this too- that they understand what it is and what it isn’t. The race car brain with bicycle brakes is the best analogy I have. There are positives, but there is a BIG negative. You have no brakes. A Ferrari with no brakes is a dangerous machine. So how do we strengthen the brakes? And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, do I just say, “Take this pill. Not at all” (Dr. Ned Hallowell psychiatrist; author of several books including “Driven to Distraction” and “Driven to Distraction at Work” on the Diane Rehm Show, The Story Behind The Rise Of ADHD In The United States, Thursday, Sep 15 2016 • 11 a.m. (ET)
What is to be done?
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, chances are good that your doctor has prescribed a medication — typically a stimulant — and suggested cognitive behavioral therapy or even a life coach. She might also have suggested a good pocket planner.
Treating ADHD in adults requires a multi-pronged approach. Symptoms are generally treated with medicine.
But it’s not just a matter of taking a pill. There is work to be done on practical stuff, such as getting organized, and on other emotional issues that often come with the territory. (webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adult-adhd-treatment#1)
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. Our counselors and therapists are highly experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and life coaching. We can work in tandem with your trusted health care professional in this multi-pronged approach.
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