Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, can be a seriously disruptive condition for people of every age. It is usually associated with hyper kids that can’t sit still in the classroom, but it can carry far into adulthood and make it difficult to complete many daily tasks. With how complex ADHD is, it’s important to have all of the facts, especially if you’re beginning to wonder if things like your persistent forgetfulness are an indication of something more serious.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that is often first found in children but can have chronic effects that last well into adulthood. It is primarily believed that ADHD is caused by a difference in brain chemistry, as neurotransmitters like norepinephrine are often used differently in someone with ADHD compared to someone without it. This change in brain chemistry leads to ADHD’s most common symptoms, with persistent inattentiveness and hyperactivity being the most common.
Common ADHD Symptoms
ADHD is much more than occasionally forgetting to turn the lights off or getting distracted by loud noises. From constant fidgeting to regular issues with paying attention, ADHD’s symptoms are broad and vary in intensity from person to person. It makes properly gauging if you have an issue difficult compared to some other conditions, but there are some tentpole symptoms that can help determine if you really have ADHD.
Some of the most common ADHD symptoms include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Lack of restraint
- Mood swings
Many of these symptoms can manifest in unique ways, but if they become persistent enough that they are a regular disruption in a person’s life, it could be a sign of ADHD.
How to Get Help
If you’re ready to get help for your ADHD symptoms, there are a number of avenues you can take to find relief. From professional assistance to personal intervention, you never have to feel resigned to any issues you may have with this condition.
Seek a Professional Diagnosis
The first step to getting treatment for ADHD is finding out whether or not you actually have it. Getting an ADHD diagnosis is as simple as going to your primary care physician, a licensed psychologist, or a psychiatrist and talking to them about your issues. They will likely start by asking about any childhood behavioral issues that could be an indication of ADHD, then conduct an assessment of your current symptoms to reach a final diagnosis.
Develop a Treatment Plan
If you’ve been officially diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor will assist you in the creation of a treatment plan geared towards your specific needs. This treatment plan may vary depending on whether or not you went to a psychologist or psychiatrist, as if you went to a psychiatrist for your ADHD treatment, for example, they may recommend a prescription medication such as Adderall. It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether a therapy-based, medication-based, or hybrid treatment plan is best for you.
How to Improve Symptoms on Your Own
Alongside a regular treatment plan, there are some things you can do to make symptoms less severe. Getting a proper amount of sleep is a key factor in improving the effects of any cognitive issues, and it’s especially helpful when trying to curb ADHD symptoms. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are also beneficial, as the former releases many of the chemicals that the brain lacks in ADHD, and the latter ensures the brain and body get the nutrients they need to stay in tip-top shape.
It can be difficult to implement any kind of lifestyle change, but making these improvements to your health one step at a time can greatly improve how ADHD affects your daily life.
ADHD can be difficult to manage, but it’s not impossible to get a grip on your symptoms. It is important to remember that an ADHD diagnosis does not mean there is anything wrong with you. People with ADHD live fulfilling lives, and with some professional help and personal self-care, you can lessen ADHD’s impact on your life.
About the Author
Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.
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