We’ve all heard of ADHD in children – but have you ever wondered whether it is possible to show signs of ADHD in adulthood?
There are a number of symptoms of ADHD in adults; see if any of these sound familiar. Do you have:
- Trouble concentrating – you’re easily distracted, and your thinking is fast/out of control?
- Shifts in energy from hyperactive to flat/fatigued (occurring quickly and unpredictably)?
- Poor time management skills – so you are often late, disorganised, forgetful, frustrated and/or overwhelmed?
- What others perceive as a lack of will power?
- A tendency to overlook detail, zone out during conversation/interrupt, and have trouble completing tasks?
- Time when you are “hyper-focused”?
- Problems with forgetfulness, poor memory, losing things?
- A reputation for being spontaneous, reckless, or having poor self-control? Are you prone to risky or addictive behaviour?
- Problems with stress, and have trouble coping with frustration, temper and mood swings?
- A sense of underachievement and have trouble staying motivated, because you are craving excitement?
- Issues with getting bored easily, multi-tasking, becoming restless and having trouble sitting still?;
- Performance problems at work, in sport and in relationships?
In adulthood, ADHD can have a negative impact on every sphere of life, from mental and physical health implications, to work and therefore finances, to difficulties in personal relationships.
For example, adults with ADHD are likely to experience heightened stress and vulnerability to mental illness (eg depression, anxiety), substance abuse, addictive behaviour, low self-esteem and eating disorders. The individual’s career may be affected by these, or due to their poor time management and organisational skills.
Treatment for ADHD in adulthood
Seeing a psychologist can help you to better manage the symptoms of ADHD in adulthood, such as by coaching you in Mindfulness techniques.
Mindfulness is an approach which can be very effective in helping adults with ADHD. The aim of Mindfulness is to be present in the moment more often, and to observe your thoughts and how they affect your moment-to-moment focus.
Mindfulness exercises and mindfulness meditation have been shown to have a very positive effect on:
- emotional wellbeing; and
- pain management.
I utilise mindfulness-based techniques as a sport and performance psychologist, as well as in my general psychology work, as I find it is versatile and accessible to anyone. For adults suffering from the symptoms of ADHD, it can improve concentration and attention faculties, and the emotional and social problems frequently associated with attentional difficulties.
Author: Abra Garfield, BPsych, MPsych (sport & exercise), MAPS; Medicare ATAPS provider.
Abra Garfield is an endorsed Sport and Performance Psychologist, with a passion for helping others to achieve optimal performance whether on the sports field, in the classroom, home or office. By drawing on a range of therapeutic techniques including Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing, Abra helps many people with goal setting, motivation, and overcoming anxiety.
Abra is the Principal Sport Psychologist and founder of Summit Performance Psychology. Visit the Summit Performance Psychology website to learn more or like us on Facebook to receive Summit Performance Psychology Articles and event updates.
Psychologist Abra Garfield has moved.
Find his details on his website: Summit Sport & Performance Psychology.