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Adult ADHD: Trouble in the Family

Adult ADHD: Trouble in the Family

When most people hear the term “attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder”, they think of children. There are several reasons for this, none of which have anything to do with it being more common in children. One, it has only begun to be diagnosed in the last twenty-something years with any regularity. That means that many grown men and women never had the opportunity to be screened when they were children. Secondly, the media focuses almost exclusively on the problem as it affects children. But adult ADHD is a real thing and it can present a problem when a family member suffers from its effects. Here are some tips on dealing with it.

The Problem

Adult ADHD may be one of the most under diagnosed conditions in the field of medicine. It could be fair to say that it is as under diagnosed as the children’s variety is over diagnosed. But the problems in both cases can be much the same. A sufferer is likely to be characterized with symptoms of inattention, lack of impulse control, and a tendency towards hyperactivity. These traits are not simply character quirks, but real issues that can interfere with the ability to lead a normal life. It can take a toll on their performance at work, their ability to socialize effectively, and their relationships with their families.

Effects on Others

As debilitating as it can be to live with adult ADHD, it can be just as bad for those who have to live with the sufferer. It has been known to take a dreadful toll on married couples, even to the point of divorce in many instances. It is easy for those who don’t suffer from the condition to regard those who do as lazy and selfish. They may see their actions as those of a person who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. Often, the condition-even if not inherited-can affect the children. Discipline may be an issue, as the parent with the condition may not be good at creating consistency.

Medical Treatment

The good news is that no one who suffers from adult ADHD must do so without help. There are treatment regimens that have proven highly effective and you should make sure the sufferer in your family gets medical help. Psychostimulants such as Ritalin, antidepressants, and even just therapy can address many of the problems brought about by the dysfunction. You should also open a dialogue with the family member in question and make sure nothing is off the table when it comes to communication. It’s not an easy road to victory, but great strides are certainly possible.