SAlthough Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is best known in children, it is sometimes not detected until adulthood.

According to this, according to the World Health Organization, at least 6.5% of the world population have this type of disorder. A neurobiological condition that causes difficulties with organization, task completion, concentration, impulse control, and can interfere with the development of daily life.

What is ADHD in adults?

ADHD in adults does not develop in the same way as in a child, even some specialists point out that the disorder in adults goes more unnoticed.

Although it originated in childhood, the disorder accompanies the person in the process of growth and maturation, so their symptoms and behaviors also follow and adapt.

What are the symptoms of attention deficit in adults?

Symptoms referred to attention:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • High sensory sensitivity to external situations such as sounds, textures or colors that easily distract them
  • Organizational and planning problems setting goals, managing time, and sticking to a routine
  • Paralysis when working, since it is difficult for them to know where to start
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Constant loss of everyday objects

Symptoms referred to hyperactivity:

  • Often moves hands or feet excessively
  • Often “runs” or often acts as if it has a motor
  • Often talks in excess
  • Difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly

Symptoms related to impulsivity:

  • Often rushes responses before questions have been completed
  • Difficulty keeping his turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others activities
  • Problems with self-control and "resisting temptations."

Other symptoms:

  • Difficulties in regulating emotions, motivation, activation to...
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulties in personal relationships
  • Difficulties with impulsiveness in areas with important potential risks: expenses, various addictions, food, physical safety, sexual relations, etc.

Diagnosis and treatment

A late or absent diagnosis has serious implications in the life of someone with ADHD. For this reason, it is vital to know how to recognize the main signs of this disorder in order to receive timely attention and treatment.

Currently, the same diagnostic criteria for ADHD are used in adults as in children, which can be challenging as symptoms can overlap with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. It is advisable to seek the evaluation of a trained mental health professional to obtain a proper diagnosis. Although no specific clinical, neuropsychological, or biological marker has yet been identified to diagnose ADHD, it is possible to improve life quality of affected adults through proper and effective diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment in adults can involve several components, such as consultation with medical specialists, taking medications, education about the disorder, participation in support groups, and development of behavioral skills, always accompanied by therapy. The treatment goal is to improve attention, reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity, and help adults develop effective strategies for coping with daily challenges.

The drugs that are used are classified into:

      • Stimulants, such as products containing methylphenidate or amphetamine, are often the most commonly prescribed medications, as they appear to raise and balance the levels of brain chemicals called "neurotransmitters."
      • Other medications used are the non-stimulant atomoxetine and certain antidepressants such as bupropion, which act more slowly than stimulants, but may be good options if the patient cannot take stimulants due to health problems or if they cause serious side effects.

Given that ADHD is a complex disorder, it is important to continue research to develop new treatments and improve the efficacy of existing ones, with the aim of providing multiple therapeutic options that improve the life quality of affected people and help them reach their maximum potential.

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