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Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Promotes Positive Change

Late diagnosis for many with ADHD or ADD does not happen until adulthood even though their symptoms have been present, in one form or another, since childhood. Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can lead to a lifetime of emotional turmoil and difficulty.

Late Diagnosis versus Inaccurate Diagnosis

Often a diagnosis, when finally given, is not an accurate one, leading to a common reason for a late or delayed ADHD diagnosis. Adults with ADHD tend to receive a diagnosis of depression with the focus of treatment and medications used dealing with the depressed mood, leaving ADHD undiagnosed and untreated. While depression may be present along with ADHD, it is common for the inexperienced mental health professional to treat the “most obvious” leaving their patient with continued frustration, life disorganization, and social difficulties.

Late Diagnosis ADHD Steps of Acceptance

Many adults find difficulty in coming to terms when they finally received an accurate late diagnosis of ADHD. Some of the common steps to self-acceptance through the treatment process include:

  • Denial – even with relief that a correct diagnosis and treatment is in place, it may take a period of time to accept the diagnosis and understand how treatment will change your life
  • Anger – many feel anger over past lost opportunities, at others for not seeking help for them sooner, at the unfairness of life in general, or with all the difficulties faced in life because of the undiagnosed ADHD
  • Depression – medication may not cure all the difficulties experienced with life and social relationships even though there is much improvement with less overall frustration. Many need time to adjust to a new lifestyle, sometimes wanting to return to old familiar ways even with all the daily struggles involved.
  • Acceptance – with support, education, medications prescribed, cognitive behavioral therapy, adjustment to a different type of lifestyle, or just with the passage of time, most are able to accept the late diagnosis of adult ADHD and enjoy the positive changes.

 

Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Implications

The serious impact of failing to treat ADHD continues throughout adulthood. Adults with unmedicated ADHD are 78% more likely to be addicted to tobacco and 58% more likely to use illegal drugs than those without ADHD. Additionally, 79% of adults with ADHD report symptoms of anxiety, depression, and physical ailments. Symptoms of ADHD interfere with personal relationships and reduce chances of personal satisfaction with life choices. Left undiagnosed and untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with.

Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Psychiatrist

Left undiagnosed and untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with. If you feel you may have ADHD, call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive evaluation for an accurate diagnosis which may include late diagnosis adult ADHD.

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.