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ADHD Awareness Month: What Are the Risks of Untreated ADHD in Adults?

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What are the Risks of Untreated ADHD in Adults

National ADHD Awareness Month is celebrated every October, with events and activities happening all over the country. You may have even noticed the color orange in more places, as this is the color of ADHD awareness. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness of ADHD and the treatment options that are available.

Even though most people today have a basic understanding of ADHD, this is still a relatively new condition. The symptoms of ADHD were discovered in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t officially called ADHD until the 1980s. By this point, many children and teens were undiagnosed and are now adults still struggling with symptoms.

ADHD is a treatable condition, which is why it’s important to identify it early. It doesn’t go away, but many symptoms subside with age, and medication and therapy can help. Unfortunately, there are many adults today struggling with work, relationships, and other aspects of life due to untreated ADHD.

Signs of Untreated ADHD in Adults

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that often shows up as hyperactivity, attention difficulty, and impulsiveness. Treatment can help, but ADHD is not a curable condition.

The signs of adult ADHD are:

  • Trouble paying attention or staying focused
  • Difficulty following instructions at work
  • Lacking organizational and time management skills
  • Losing things like keys, wallets, etc.
  • Being easily distracted and forgetful
  • Restlessness and unable to sit still
  • Acting without thinking
  • Interrupting others

It’s important to point out that there are gender differences in adult ADHD. Men tend to be more hyperactive and impulsive, while women experience more stress, anxiousness, and exhaustion.

Risks of Untreated ADHD in Adults

Untreated ADHD can lead to many negative consequences in key areas of life such as:

Low self-esteem

Adults with ADHD often have low self-esteem because they struggle with work, staying organized, and maintaining healthy relationships. Research also shows that self-esteem continues to drop because of the criticisms and life experiences people with ADHD face.

Relationship problems

Multiple studies suggest that adults with ADHD have trouble managing their emotions. This emotional reactivity has a negative impact on their relationships and often causes them to be angry, frustrated, and impatient.

Job instability

Adults with ADHD often struggle with holding down a full-time job, and they are less likely to graduate from high school or college. They lack communication skills, are easily distracted, and are frequently unorganized, which are difficult traits for the workplace.

Substance use

Multiple studies show that people with ADHD are 50 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They are also three times as likely to be nicotine dependent. This is likely due to self-medication.

Anxiety disorders

About half of people who suffer from ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. There are multiple theories for this, including the constant criticisms these individuals face. Fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment can help.

It’s Not Too Late to Get Help for ADHD

It’s important for adults to recognize the signs of ADHD so that they can get help. It’s never too late! Medication and therapy are effective ways to treat ADHD, and they can help adults improve their relationships, work performance, and everyday functioning.

If you or a loved one is dealing with an adult case of ADHD and co-occurring mental illness or substance use, contact Breathe Life Healing Centers. We are here to help our clients heal and lead a life of productivity and fulfillment.

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