Understanding ADHD in Adults 

By Dr Sarunporn Sirikietsoong


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often thought of as a childhood condition, but it can continue into adulthood, significantly affecting various aspects of life. Despite being common, ADHD in adults frequently goes undiagnosed, leading to difficulties in work, relationships, and daily activities. Recognising the symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment can greatly enhance the quality of life for those affected.

Recognising ADHD in Adults

In adults, ADHD symptoms can be subtle and are often hidden by coping strategies developed over time. Unlike the obvious hyperactivity seen in children, adult symptoms typically include issues with concentration, disorganisation, forgetfulness, and impulsivity. These problems can disrupt professional responsibilities, making it hard to complete tasks and meet deadlines. On a personal level, maintaining relationships and managing daily routines can also become challenging.

Common indicators of ADHD in adults include:

  • Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble staying focused on tasks or conversations.
  • Disorganisation: Frequently misplacing items and having trouble keeping track of responsibilities.
  • Forgetfulness: Missing appointments and forgetting important dates or tasks.
  • Impulsivity: Making quick decisions without considering the consequences.

Why ADHD in Adults Often Goes Undiagnosed

ADHD in adults is often overlooked because the symptoms may be less pronounced than in children. Adults might have developed coping mechanisms, such as heavily relying on reminders and routines. However, these strategies do not address the underlying issues. Additionally, ADHD symptoms can be mistaken for other problems like stress, cognitive issues (e.g., short-term memory loss), anxiety, or mood disorders, complicating diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and intervention are essential. Untreated ADHD can lead to various complications, including poor job performance, relationship issues, low self-esteem, financial problems, health issues, and a higher risk of substance abuse.

Comprehensive Assessments

Accurate diagnosis of ADHD requires comprehensive assessments. Evaluations include detailed interviews and objective data collection to gain a complete understanding of the individual's situation. This holistic approach ensures that all symptoms and their impacts on daily life are thoroughly captured.

During the assessment, various aspects of the individual's history and current functioning are explored. This might involve questionnaires, cognitive tests, and discussions about behaviour patterns and life experiences. The goal is to create a detailed profile that aids in making an accurate diagnosis and developing a personalised treatment plan.

Treatment and Management

Effective management of ADHD in adults often involves a combination of medication, behavioural therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications such as stimulants and non-stimulants can help regulate attention and behaviour. Behavioural therapies focus on developing skills to manage time, improve organisation, and reduce impulsive actions.

Lifestyle changes are also crucial. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can significantly affect symptom management. Additionally, mindfulness practices and stress reduction techniques can help improve focus and emotional regulation.

Support and Resources

Living with ADHD can be challenging, but support and resources are available. Early intervention can lead to significant improvements in daily functioning and overall well-being.

At HealthDeliver, we provide ongoing support to help individuals manage their ADHD journey. Our team of professionals is dedicated to offering tailored guidance and treatment options that suit each person's unique needs. Contact us at HealthDeliver.Asia for more information or to schedule an assessment.

By understanding ADHD and taking proactive steps towards management, adults can lead fulfilling and productive lives. Together, we can work towards managing ADHD and improving your overall well-being.