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Picture a young person, clever and gifted with the ability to innovate and ‘think out of the box’. They have a lot of potential, but can’t focus and haven’t been able to make the most of it. They have low self esteem and are prone to anxiety as well as ‘ups and downs’ in their mood. They may also have used street drugs to help with these symptoms and improve their ability to focus. Now you know what someone suffering from ADHD as an adult usually presents like.
ADHD in adults has for many years been missed or confused with other diagnoses. It has traditionally been thought of as a childhood condition, but we now know that it doesn’t just go away with age. Those with symptoms from childhood may learn to compensate for some of them (usually the hyperactivity and impulsivity), whilst continuing to struggle with attention difficulties. The demands of adult life at work and at home can make things worse. Finally, the overlap with anxiety, depression and drugs & alcohol misuse make correct diagnosis and treatment even more challenging.