Most people think of ADHD as a condition that affects children. Children with ADHD can struggle in school and to stay focused on activities. It can take hard work, a personalized education plan, and sometimes medications and counseling for children with ADHD to thrive in life and at school. It’s estimated that 30-70% of children with ADHD will still have the condition as adults. While less is known about adult ADHD, it can manifest itself in many different ways and cause problems that are very different than ADHD in children.
Adult ADHD Symptoms
Adults with ADHD may have trouble concentrating just like their child counterparts. They may have severe mood swings, suffer from bouts of depression, and find themselves unable to relax in their daily lives. Adult ADHD can also cause low self esteem. Many adults with ADHD have trouble managing their emotions and trouble understanding why they can’t seem to control their feelings.
Adult ADHD and Addiction
These symptoms can cause adults with ADHD to become addicted to substances. Some may use drugs or alcohol as a way to relax and escape from the stresses of daily life. Adults with ADHD are more likely to smoke or use drugs, often as a coping mechanism or a way to escape from anger, sadness, or fear. This can cause a brutal cycle of abuse and depression in adults suffering from ADHD.
Treating Adult ADHD
Speaking with a counselor can be the first step in managing ADHD. Teaching coping skills like breathing techniques, anger-management skills, and tricks for keeping concentration can be a big help. Many adults with ADHD may also choose medications to help them manage symptoms and lead a fulfilling, normal life. When properly treated and managed with healthy coping skills, adults with ADHD can live healthy lives and be free of these substance abuse problems.