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Adult ADHD and Major Functional Impairments

Millions of adults in the U.S. remain undiagnosed and thus untreated for adult ADHD. The estimated number of adults with ADHD, aged 18 to 44, range from 4.4% to 5.2% of the nation’s population, with only 10%-12% of those numbers receiving any kind of treatment at all. Adults who remain undiagnosed face the potential consequences of major functional impairments in education, work performance, or family and community life.

Adult ADHD Symptoms of Impairment

For an accurate diagnosis the symptoms of ADHD subtypes of inattention, hyperactivity impulsivity, or combined, must cause some type of impairment in two or more areas with clear evidence of significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning. Receiving a proper diagnosis from a qualified psychiatrist is critical as part of the diagnosis of adult ADHD follows a comprehensive evaluation to determine that the symptoms noted above are not due to another mental disorder.

Symptoms of Inattention

As part of the assessment for adult ADHD, at least six of the following inattention symptoms needs to persist for at least six months of time, with reported functional impairment involved:

  • Forgetfulness in daily activities
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Difficulty with organizing tasks and activities
  • Difficulty sustaining attention on tasks or during an activity
  • Fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Does not appear to listen when spoken to directly
  • Frequently loses necessary items for work, tasks, or activities
  • Often avoids or reports dislike for tasks that require mental effort
  • Fails to follow through on instructions or direction, failing to finish work or duties

Symptoms of Hyperactivity – Impulsivity

Of the following symptoms, at least six must be present and have persisted for at least six months’ time. As with the symptoms for inattention, functional life impairment must also be seen.

  • Fidgeting with hands or feet; squirms around in seat
  • Excessive talking
  • Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • May run or jump about during inappropriate times, or reports feelings of restlessness
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Difficulty waiting your turn
  • Difficulty engaging in quiet leisure time activities
  • May blurt out answers
  • May abruptly interrupt others with opinions, or butt into other’s conversations
  • Often getting up from seat when situation dictates remaining seated

Adult ADHD Psychiatrist for Comprehensive Diagnosis

It is time to discover if your functional impairments and life difficulty are from undiagnosed adult ADHD. Call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive evaluation and receive an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Can Be Risky

Digital health smartphone apps have shown unprecedented growth in the medical field along with the development of mHealth (mobile health) technology. Psychiatry and mental health services are enjoying the potential of mHealth technology with Mobile mental health apps that put personal health information into easily accessible smartphones, smart watches, and personal health monitoring sensors.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Risk

With the explosion of smart apps that can be found and downloaded from the App Store or Google Play for example, come the question of the usefulness and risk of these mobile mental health apps. The majority of apps for mental health have been developed without research, lack of scientific evidence that shows proof of effectiveness, or may have poor protection of your personal data.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Evaluation

Digital health technology is still fairly new; however, the American Psychiatric Association has taken a proactive step by developing an App Evaluation Model to help guide clinicians and patients in the quality of a mobile mental health app or mHealth tool being considered.

Five Steps in App Evaluation Model

The APA’s App Evaluation Model has five steps where each step is a foundation for the next level. It is important to evaluate each app to make an informed decision before “trying it out.” Apps that make it through the fourth and fifth step are worth your consideration and review by you and your therapist for functional use in your treatment program.

Five Steps of Review in App Evaluation Model

  1. Background Information: Is there a fee for the app or is it free? If free how does it support its development? Who is the developer? Is there advertising within the app? What platforms does it work with? When it was last updated and what were the updates (security, glitches, added services, etc.)? Are there in-app purchases or upgrades?
  2. Risk, Security, and Privacy: Is there a privacy policy? What data is being collected? Is personal data de-identified? Can you opt-out of data collection? Are cookies placed on your device? What data is shared? Who is it shared with? Can your information be sold to third parties? Is data kept on the device or uploaded to the web or cloud? What are the security measures? Is data encrypted? Is the app HIPAA compliant?
  3. Evidence: If your app review has proven acceptable for the first two levels, then it is time to evaluate evidence for potential benefits. What does the app claim to do versus what it actually will do? Are there any peer reviews or published evidence about the tool or science behind the app? Is there any feedback from users available? Does the app appear to be of value for your needs?
  4. Ease of Use: Is it easy to access? Can it be used on a long-term basis? Can you customize the features? Do you need an active internet connection to use? Does it work on the platforms that you have? Is it appealing and simple to use? Apps that are difficult to understand or manage will most likely fail to be used.
  5. Interoperability: Can it work with other electronic tools and devices? Can you export or print the data from the app? Can you upload the data to an electronic health record that your psychiatrist or medical professional can use?

mHealth Psychiatric Treatment

Dr. Hege is a leader in offering convenient options such as video psychiatry, evening or weekend treatment scheduling, and use of new technology in providing the best psychiatric treatment available to you. Call the office today for a comprehensive evaluation of your needs. You may qualify for video sessions, so if that interests you please be sure to ask about it.

Video Psychiatry Brings Sessions to You

The world today is fast paced, with often hectic and stressful schedules. Use of technology with smart phones, Wi-Fi tablets, Skype, and interactive video conferencing have transformed the way we live our lives and impact on how we connect personally, socially and professionally with others. The American Journal of Psychiatry reports Video Psychiatry, also called Tele-psychiatry, has become an accepted option in this high-tech world we live in. It may be a good option for you!

Ease of Access for Video Psychiatry

The availability to access video psychiatry sessions is more than a convenience and viable option to receiving needed mental health services – live video psychiatry sessions bring mental health services to those who are unable to travel due to medical, physical or emotional limitations, to those who are out of town, who have family or work obligations that make it difficult to schedule a workable time to come into the office.

Technology and Security of Video Sessions

Video psychiatric sessions can be set up from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. Smart phones, laptops and computers can all be utilized for a session. The application used during set up of your session is secure and meets the federal government HIPAA requirements keeping your medical and personal privacy information safe.

Starting Video Mental Health Sessions

Dr. Hege, a leader in expanding his psychiatric practice to meet the needs and lifestyles of his patients, offers video psychiatric sessions. To receive this therapy option the doctor does require an initial in-office evaluation to determine what treatment plan will be most effective for you. While video sessions may be able to be arranged to begin by the second visit, some medical or psychological issues may require additional in-office visits — or may not be eligible. Be sure to ask about video sessions if this is something that interests you.

Georgia Video Psychiatry Appointments

Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment and evaluation of your needs. Weekend and evening appointments available. See if video psychiatry sessions are the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

ADHD Chaos at Home Affects Whole Family

While it remains unclear as to the impact and chaos a parent with ADHD has on the rest of the family, it has been shown that children with a parent with ADHD have higher rates of mental health issues and greater incidences of co-morbidities than those with a non-ADHD parent. In addition the general day to day routines of the family and of the marital relationship is also impaired when one of the parents has ADHD.

Heredity and ADHD Chaos

A recent research study published in Human Genetics suggest that ADHD is “highly heritable.” While scientists are not clear as to what causes ADHD, it is believed that anything from genes, brain injury, toxic exposure, and other medical issues contribute to the disorder. The study findings report that because ADHD may be from the influence of many factors which combine to cause the disorder in the presence of unfavorable environmental conditions – like a chaotic household where one parent with ADHD impacts the learned behaviors of the children.

Genetics and ADHD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reinforces the position of the important role genetics plays in ADHD. Statistics show that up to 50% of parents of ADHD children are also adults with ADHD. While the cause of ADHD is complex and involves multiple factors, there is no evidence that social factors alone can account for the condition; however, it is important to note that parents who do not treat their ADHD may model unhealthy behaviors and coping methods onto their children so that a household in chaos feels normal to them.

Modeling ADHD Behaviors

In a household where a parent has untreated ADHD the household routine and completion of daily routines become chaotic. A child that does not have ADHD can experience symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, anxiety, and display disruptive behaviors, all learned from modeling the parent or parents with untreated ADHD. Parenting without ADHD is often difficult and stressful – parenting with ADHD often brings one’s own personal chaos into their developing children’s lives.

Help for Parents with ADHD

Get your household on track through diagnosis, treatment, and developing coping mechanisms. Call Dr. Hege, an adult ADHD specialist, for help in creating and managing a calm, supportive, and structured home environment every ADHD affected family needs.

Hormonal Changes Affect Women’s ADHD Symptoms

For women living with ADHD it is an ongoing challenge, not only through the monthly hormonal changes, but through the various life stages as well. With fluctuating hormone levels, ADHD symptoms can be exacerbated, mood swings or depression can occur, or the effect ADHD medication normally has can become ineffective.

Hormonal Changes a Life-Long ADHD Challenge

Finding the right knowledgeable psychiatrist is a choice that can impact you for a life-time. With the average age for initial diagnosis of women with ADHD at 36 to 38 years of age, it is critical for a treatment plan to take into account the hormonal changes that will be occurring over the next 20 to 30 years.

Estrogen and ADHD

For a woman with ADHD it is important to work with a mental health professional who is aware of the interaction between ADHD symptoms and estrogen levels. Looking at a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, estrogen is at higher levels during the first two weeks and progesterone is higher during the last two weeks.

Estrogen may help ADHD medications work while progesterone may interfere with the effectiveness of those same medications. Due to the changing estrogen levels, the beginning two weeks of the menstrual cycle typically present with less complaints of bothersome symptoms. When the level of estrogen drops and progesterone increases during the last two weeks of the monthly cycle, increased complaints of exasperated symptoms and non-effective medication are often voiced.

Perimenopause and ADHD

Approximately 10 years before the onset of menopause a woman will go through perimenopause. During this extended time period of hormonal changes, the estrogen produced in the body slowly decreases until at the onset of menopause it has decreased by about 65%.

Perimenopause Symptoms Mimic & Worsen ADHD

The following list of symptoms experienced during perimenopause mimic those of ADHD as well as making any original symptoms of ADHD worse. It is thought that many women are diagnosed with ADHD around the time of these life-changes when the symptoms of ADHD combined with the symptoms of perimenopause, and then menopause, send them looking for help.

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Memory lapses
  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty with mental clarity
  • Trouble with word recall or retrieval
  • Difficulty sleeping

Hormonal Changes Continue into Menopause

The depression and cognitive deficits that occur with decreasing levels of estrogen as a woman enters menopause often bring a woman with ADHD to have difficulty with coping with daily life situations. Many women, beginning in their late 30s, often seek help for the first time when hormonal changes combine with ADHD symptoms. Others who have already been diagnosed with ADHD often find themselves with worsening symptoms that become overwhelming.

ADHD Treatment during Hormonal Changes

If you feel life changes are making you feel out of control and unable to cope with even normal daily routines, you may have undiagnosed ADHD. Help is available. For new diagnoses or for treatment adjustments during the years of hormonal changes, call Dr. Hege and regain control over your life once again.

Adults with ADHD Out of Sync with Rest of World

For those adults with ADHD, a common reported problem centers around the struggle with time management. Many with adult ADHD find themselves running late, not getting work done on time, difficulty organizing their time effectively, or just finding themselves out of sync with the rest of the world when it comes to following a routine time table.

Effects of Being Out of Sync with ADHD

Adults with ADHD may find they complete things too fast, making mistakes or leaving the task incomplete in their haste; others lose track of time or mismanage their time and find they end up being late for appointments or task completion. No matter if someone is too fast or too slow they feel a struggle to be in sync with the world around them, often feeling frustrated, anxious, ill-prepared, lagging behind or restless in the process.

Being Out of Sync Part of ADHD Experience

In the paper on adult ADHD written by Mikka Nielsen and recently published in Medical Anthropology, it was concluded that those with ADHD experience a state of desynchronization and inner restlessness with their surroundings and social connections, feeling like they are out of rhythm, out of sync, with the rest of the world.

Examples of Being Out of Sync with ADHD

Some common experiences where time management and feeling out of sync come into play include:

  • Difficulty with predicting or estimating how long a task will take to complete
  • Thinking about the present and not being able to plan effectively for the future
  • Typically running late for appointments or meetings
  • Finding yourself impatient and wanting to move on to the next thing
  • Looking for short-term rewards
  • Difficulty dealing with delayed gratification
  • Following an atypical sleep-wake schedule

Adult ADHD Help Available

If you find yourself constantly out of sync with the clock, schedules, and appointments, or feel scattered and unsure of how to manage and organize your time in a more functional and effective manner, it may be time to seek the help of an experienced specialist. If you are feel that you are letting yourself and others down by your poor time management, or that you do not feel a sense of accomplishment in life, it is time to seek help and treatment.

Local Adult ADHD Psychiatrist

It is time for a change. End the constant struggle. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment today.

Myth and Misconception Behind Psychiatric Sessions

Many people who have never seen a psychiatrist or mental health professional often have misguided perceptions or believe a myth about what to expect. If your idea of what goes on in a psychiatrist’s office comes from what you have seen on soap operas or in the movies you may have a set of expectations that could actually limit the ability of the therapist to do their best for you.

Pre-Appointment Mind Set

While it is important to make that appointment for help with any emotional, psychological or behavioral issues you or a loved one may be having, it is equally important to have an accurate idea of what to expect during your psychiatric session times. Having accurate perceptions in place will allow you to get the most out of each session and facilitate an active one-on-one working relationship where your therapist can develop and implement a successful individualized plan of treatment.

Common Myths about Therapy

Understanding what reality versus a myth is can let you take full benefit from your mental health services. Some of the most common misconceptions are:

  • “Therapy is supposed to make me happy.” While you may feel that you are happier with life and more comfortable overall, the intent of therapy is to assist you in becoming fully functional and connected with family, friends, work situations, school.
  • “I want to be cured in one session.” The entire process of therapy takes time with no quick fixes. Each person is unique with their own needs, perceptions, and motivation for change. The therapist needs to develop an individualized plan, making changes as progress evolves. Many people have more than one issue or concern which may require a higher level of coordination of services, or use of more than one type of medication.
  • “I want to be told what I need to do.” Many people go into a therapy session expecting to be told what to do to change their life or solve their problems. While a mental health professional will explore options, outcomes, or may refer for adjunct or group services, a therapist will guide rather than tell you what you need to do.
  • “Talking to friends and family is just as good as seeing a psychiatrist.” Having a good support base is important when you are going through a rough time, but mental health professionals have the training and experience to understand and treat basic to complex problems. A therapeutic relationship is also confidential, where you can feel free to discuss things you have never been able to talk about before.
  • “Only people that are crazy go see a psychiatrist.” Life is often stressful and full of challenging events and changes. In today’s world, getting help for psychological or behavioral issues is seen as part of keeping oneself healthy in both mind and body.
  • “If I try harder I should be able to get better on my own.” Sometimes people struggle for months and years before seeing psychological help. A medical, biological or behavioral component to some disorders require more than just trying harder to get better.

Having the courage to know you need professional assistance and seek out a psychiatrist to help you lead a full functional life is a sign of strength. Take the first step toward feeling better and making a positive change in your life – call the office for an appointment.

Undiagnosed Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Many people understand right away when they hear you have ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as the hyperactivity and impulsive components are easily recognized and accepted as part of ADHD. Having ADD however is less likely to be understood – when you take away the hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors what do you have left?

Adult ADD Primary Symptom

With adult ADD the primary symptom is a persistent pattern of inattention that interferes with normal daily life functioning. With ADD the components of hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors are not present. The symptoms of ADD typically are found interfering in two or more areas of a person’s life, such as at home, work, school, or in social situations.

Questions to Ask Yourself About ADD

If you find you are answering yes to the following questions it may be time to pick up the phone and make the call for a confidential evaluation with a qualified mental health professional experienced in treating adults with attention deficit disorder. You may not have ADD; however, if you do answer yes to several of the following questions it could indicate a need for professional help to change what is interfering with living life to the fullest.

Do you:

  • Have difficulty keeping your attention on either a work task or fun activity?
  • Have trouble remaining focused during conversations, while reading or listening to others?
  • Find you are easily distracted by something in your environment or by unrelated thoughts?
  • Avoid taking part in tasks that require sustained mental effort or thought?
  • Find that your mind wanders off to somewhere else while listening to someone, even when they are speaking directly to you?
  • Find that you miss project deadlines, pay bills late, have trouble managing your time, or have difficulty organizing daily activities or tasks?
  • Make careless mistakes because you fail to pay good attention to details?
  • Often lose or misplace something that needed like your glasses, phone, wallet, keys, etc.?
  • Find yourself sidetracked, losing focus and fail to finish chores or duties?
  • Have trouble waiting your turn (in line, to talk, etc.)?

Find Help from a Psychiatrist

These are just a few of the more common symptoms of adult ADD. If you have any concerns about your mental health, behaviors, or if your symptoms are interfering with living and going about with your daily life, make the call.

ADHD Symptoms in Everyday Life

Adult ADHD has three core symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity — any or all of which may impact a person’s daily life with their various symptoms and complaints. Many may miss out on years of successful treatment by not connecting the “dots” of symptoms and diagnosis. Learning to recognize what ADHD symptoms may look like in everyday life may help thousands get the treatment needed to live a more satisfying life.

Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Having one or several symptoms of adult ADHD does not mean that you do have ADHD – only an experienced health care professional or psychiatrist can make that diagnosis. Use these lists of common everyday symptoms to discuss any of the behaviors seen in yourself with a doctor who specializes in adult ADHD.

ADHD Symptoms of Inattention

What do symptoms of inattention look like in everyday life?

  • Frequently lose your keys, phone, wallet, or misplace other necessary items
  • Trouble staying focused on work, work is inaccurate, you miss details
  • Difficulty finishing what you start at home; projects left in various stages of completion
  • Messy, disorganized work, poor time management where you miss deadlines
  • Forgetful in returning phone calls, keeping appointments, paying bills on time
  • Does not listen closely, often getting incomplete information for work assignment, travel directions, or even time/date of party
  • Avoids challenging tasks of preparing reports, monthly budget, detailed job applications

ADHD Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity on daily basis

  • Feeling constantly restless and on the move; fidgets and squirms in seat
  • Interrupting conversations or intrudes on others, jumping in to finish others’ sentences
  • Difficulty standing in line at the check-out line, staying in seat waiting at doctor office
  • Have too much energy to wait your turn in bank line, deli line, etc.
  • Talks too much; may be called a “yapper;” people may avoid running into you
  • May borrow others’ items without asking permission first

Diagnosis and Treatment Give Relief to Symptoms

Living life with several ADHD symptoms, let alone one annoying behavior can bring added stress to not only your life but the lives of family and friends who have to negotiate through the day with you. Call the office for a comprehensive evaluation and see if adult ADHD is the easily treated diagnosis that fits you.

Societal Expectations Impact Women with ADHD

When looking at both men and women with ADHD, the underlying mechanisms of adult ADHD are the same. Both men and women have difficulties with planning, organization, paying attention and in the ability to recall details. It is however important to look at how ADHD’s symptoms are tied to gender differences with reason for these differences to be tied to society expectations.

Male vs. Female with ADHD

When looking at children, boys are diagnosed almost three times as often as girls. Besides other outwardly observable behaviors typical of ADHD, inattention issues more commonly seen with females are more subtle than the typical hyperactivity behaviors of boys, allowing many girls to slip through the cracks for both diagnosis and treatment due to the societal expectations involved. In adulthood the ratio of men versus women being diagnosed drops from three times as often in childhood to two times as likely indicating that more women are diagnosed later in life.

Is it ADHD or Not?

In adulthood, men and women do exhibit different symptoms. Men with ADHD tend to have more episodes of anger and behavioral issues, car accidents, and substance abuse; women are more likely to see conflict at home where they may often feel overwhelmed. Evaluation by a qualified psychiatrist or mental health professional is critical as men typically have those similar issues in general without having ADHD. The same occurs for women – women with ADHD are more prone to having an eating disorder, having low self-esteem, depression and anxiety – however women in the general population experience these issues as well allowing societal expectations for these symptoms to appear “normal.”

Society Expectations

Society’s expectations for those women with ADHD makes them harder to achieve. In the U.S., women’s traditional social roles include being the organizer, planner, the one expected to remember birthdays, anniversaries, school events, the one who have primary responsibility for child care, household tasks including cooking, laundry and cleaning, grocery shopping which need to be accomplished in addition to work and child rearing. For a woman with ADHD trying to “manage it all” is almost impossible without proper diagnosis and treatment.

Later Diagnosis for Women with ADHD

If you feel overwhelmed, have difficulty pulling everything together and keeping it together, have episodes of depression, anxiety and feelings of not being “as good” as other women you know, give the office a call. You may have adult ADHD which can be successfully treated, allowing you to live your life more fully and more confidently.