Related Conditions In Adults With Adhd
As with ADHD in children and teenagers, ADHD in adults can occur alongside several related problems or conditions.
One of the most common is depression. Other conditions that adults may have alongside ADHD include:
- personality disorders conditions in which an individual differs significantly from the average person in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others
- bipolar disorder a condition affecting your mood, which can swing from one extreme to another
- obsessive compulsive disorder a condition that causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour
The behavioural problems associated with ADHD can also cause problems such as difficulties with relationships and social interaction.
Page last reviewed: 24 December 2021 Next review due: 24 December 2024
Diagnosing Adhd Inattentive Type
ADHD inattentive type can be diagnosed by a mental healthcare provider such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. A primary care physician, family doctor, or pediatrician can provide a reference to a healthcare provider who specializes in ADHD.
The diagnostic process may involve:
- A detailed personal and family medical history
- A standard rating scale or checklist of symptoms and their severity
- An interview with the healthcare provider
- Interviews with the childs family members or teachers
- Other psychological tests, blood work, physical exams, or imaging scans required to rule out other conditions or confirm the diagnosis
The healthcare provider will determine whether the persons symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD inattentive type laid out in the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual:
- The person has had the symptoms for over six months.
- The person has had many of the symptoms since before they were 12.
- The symptoms are present in two or more settings, such as school/work, home, social settings, or while doing other activities.
- The symptoms significantly interfere with the persons ability to function.
- The symptoms are not better explained by another mental health condition.
Its important to note that a persons symptoms of ADHD may change over time, as they get older. Therefore, the type of ADHD they have can also change. So, even though they may currently have ADHD inattentive type, that could change in future.
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Inattentive Type In Adults
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neuropsychiatric disorder that makes it difficult to pay attention, control impulsivity or manage excitable behavior . The disorder interferes with the quality of life by intruding on day-to-day functioning.
Three different types of ADHD have been identified based on criteria from the American Psychiatric Association. These are:
- Predominantly inattentive presentation.
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation.
- Combined presentation .
Adults who have significant problems with inattention, but exhibit few or no symptoms of hyperactivity, are said to have the predominantly inattentive presentation of ADHD. People with this type of ADHD have trouble paying attention to details, are easily distracted, often have trouble organizing or finishing tasks and often forget routine chores .
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What Happens After I Apply
After you submit your application you will be contacted by an Access to Work assessor to discuss in detail:
- Your work circumstances
- How your ADHD impacts your work
They may also speak to your employer and request a workplace inspection.
Processing times vary, but when you apply theyll give you a rough estimate on how long youll need to wait for your Access to work for ADHD application appointment.
Is Adhd Considered A Disability At Work
It depends. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act , ADHD can be legally considered a disability in some cases. But smaller companies may not be required to provide workplace accommodations under the ADAand even at companies that are required to comply, a diagnosis alone isnt enough to qualify for protection under the law. In addition to a formal diagnosis, the individual must also establish that symptoms substantially limit functioning on the job and that they could perform their essential job duties if given reasonable accommodations. If such limitations can be adequately documented, those reasonable accommodations must be provided by the employerthough the employee and employer may disagree about what reasonable means in a specific case.
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Symptoms Of Adhd In Adults
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Can you have ADHD if youre an adult? The short answer is, yes. In fact, recent studies report that around 5% of U.S. adults currently have a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And that doesnt include people who have it but havent gotten the diagnosis yet! So, what do you do if you think you might have this, ADHD? The first step is to learn the symptoms.
Ending Adhd Distractions At Work
The next step is to develop a workplace strategy that will enable you to work at peak efficiency. Minimizing distractions is a top priority. One of my clients worked out a schedule where he came in early to work, when it was quiet, says Novotni. That way, he could focus and get his work done.
If you have a flexible schedule or a private office, terrific. If not, you may be able to take your work to an empty office or conference room. Dont answer the phone. Let your voicemail take messages, and return calls later. To discourage interruptions, you might even want to hang a Do Not Disturb sign. To minimize visual distractions, face your desk toward a wall. Keep your workplace free of clutter.
Of course, not all distractions are external. Nadeau identifies three types of internal distractions:
- Ah-ha! distractions are creative ideas that pop up in the middle of unrelated work. To avoid getting sidetracked, jot them down on a pad for later review, then return at once to the job at hand.
- Oh no! distractions involve suddenly remembering youve forgotten to do something. To prevent these, use a planning system in which you write down all appointments, phone calls, meetings, and so on.
- Ho-hum distractions involve daydreaming as a way to avoid the work at hand a sign that you need to make your work more interesting, or to find more interesting work.
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Understanding Adhd In Adults
Life can be a balancing act for any adult, but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , previously known as ADD. ADHD affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career.
While scientists arent sure exactly what causes ADHD, they think its likely caused by a combination of genes, environment, and slight differences in how the brain is hardwired. If you were diagnosed with childhood ADHD or ADD, chances are youve carried at least some of the symptoms into adulthood. But even if you were never diagnosed as a child, that doesnt mean ADHD cant affect you as an adult.
The good news is that no matter how overwhelming it feels, the challenges of attention deficit disorder are beatable. With education, support, and a little creativity, you can learn to manage the symptoms of adult ADHDeven turning some of your weaknesses into strengths. Its never too late to turn the difficulties of adult ADHD around and start succeeding on your own terms.
Accommodating An Employee With Adhd
Employees who disclose an ADHD diagnosis are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which may require you to provide reasonable accommodations for them to help them perform essential functions of their job. ADHD may be a mostly invisible condition, but you will likely notice a major change in employees who are offered accommodations.
Though every individual is different, reasonable accommodations for employees with ADHD may include simple adjustments such as:
- A quiet workspace or noise-blocking headphones to reduce distractions
- Calendars to keep track of important deadlines
- Timers to help the individual stay on task
- Tasks that are divided into smaller, more manageable chunks
- Short, intermittent breaks
- Extended deadlines or more time for completing work
- An established peer-review system to double check detailed work
- Altered work hours to accommodate peak periods of focus and attention
Before you make any assumptions on what your employee may or may not need, ask them how ADHD has impaired their ability to perform essential job functions or if their health care provider has provided any specific recommendations.
Once accommodations are in place, check in with the employee frequently to make sure the accommodations are meeting their needs or if minor adjustments need to be made. For more information on accommodations for ADHD, review the Job Accommodation Network External Site.
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Workplace Benefits Of Adhd
People with ADHD have different personality traits, but having the condition can be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. Each person with ADHD has their own unique skills and strengths. It is commonly known as ADHD Superpowers among the ADHD community.
Some of the benefits of ADHD are as follows:
Managing Employees With Adhd
Managing a team member with ADHD effectively involves supporting them in overcoming their own challenges while also taking advantage of their strengths as a member of the team.
In the case of someone in your team who reports they have ADHD and requests additional support, schedule a meeting to discuss what would be helpful to them.
Listed below are a few strategies that help you manage employees with ADHD at work.
- Like with any member of the team, you should find out what training style works best for them.
- Make sure you provide them with written instructions and reminders as a way to prevent forgetfulness.
- Ensure they receive additional training for new activities and refresher training as needed.
- Provide a quiet and private workspace for your team and those with ADHD to reduce disruptions.
- Providing them with noise-cancelling headphones or relocating them to a quieter area may help.
- Help them become more organized so they can focus on what they do best.
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How Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Inattentive Type Diagnosed
There is no single medical or genetic test for the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD. To diagnose ADHD requires a careful review of symptoms. A qualified mental health professional, often a physician or clinical psychologist, can evaluate the person. The evaluation consists of these three steps:
Your doctor or other mental health professional:
Technically, to be diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type, adults must have:
- Five or more symptoms of inattention symptoms can change over time
- Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months
- Symptoms must interfere with or reduce the quality of social, home or work life
- Several symptoms were present before the age of 12
- Several symptoms are present in at least two major areas of your life, for example, work, home or social life. Some examples might be job loss due to inattention symptoms or financial problems caused by poor organization or failing to pay bills on time.
- Symptoms are not due to another mental disorder
Managing A Short Attention Span
A short attention span is one the classic symptoms of ADHD. Adults with ADHD can have difficulty maintaining concentration, even when a task or project is interesting. Beyond that, low attention span can also impact listening skills. If the mind wanders during meetings or phone calls, work will suffer.
Consider the following strategies to learn to work with the attention span you have:
Break down tasks into manageable pieces that can be achieved over time.
Avoid getting stuck in a daily routine schedule breaks and slight changes to your work routine can help you settle down to deal with the task at hand.
Set an alarm to focus for set periods of time, followed by a break.
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Symptoms Of Adult Adhd
Despite its increasing prevalence, ADHD is challenging to diagnose especially in adults because there is no lab test to diagnose the condition. In addition, the diagnostic criteria for the condition were developed for children, and adults with ADHD also often have other behavioral conditions External Site like depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder that may mask or mimic symptoms associated with hyperactivity. Many adults dont even realize they have the condition.
There are three different types of ADHD External Site: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined.
Ways To Manage Your Adhd During The Workday
For some people, the challenges presented by their ADHD are most strongly felt at work. After all, the time you spend in the workplace is often the part of your day that requires the most focus and control. But ADHD symptoms can throw roadblocks in your way, whether itâs through a short attention span, time management struggles, or problems with planning and organization.
But you donât have to let your ADHD stop you from thriving at work. By putting some thoughtful strategies in place and collaborating with your colleagues, itâs possible to find professional success and even advance your career. In this article, weâll dive into five methods to help manage your ADHD during the workday so you can be more productive and happier while on the job.
1. Start with Treatment
If your ADHD is currently untreated, the best place to start is by having a discussion with your doctor. Implementing other strategies at work may be less successful if you donât address the root cause of your symptoms.
Some of the treatment options you may want to consider include:
These options can help you deal with the symptoms of ADHD at work. In addition to finding the best treatment plan, consider trying one or more of the tactics listed below to make the workplace more conducive to your condition.
2. Use Time Management Strategies
3. Limit Distractions
4. Find Ways to Move
5. Ask for Accommodations
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Can Adhd Help Me Work Faster
In some cases, yes. Though ADHD is often characterized by distraction, many people with ADHD find that they are able to focus intensely for certain periods, particularly if the task at hand is of great interest to them. This is called hyperfocus. During a period of hyperfocus, the person may find that they are more productive or able to work much more efficiently than usual. While hyperfocus can be difficult to predict, some with ADHD find that they are able to deliberately harness it in certain instancesby turning a boring task into a game, for instance, or by rewarding themselves for completing each smaller chunk of a larger project.
Effects Of Adult Adhd
If you are just discovering you have adult ADHD, chances are youve suffered over the years due to the unrecognized problem. You may feel like youve been struggling to keep your head above water, overwhelmed by the constant stress caused by procrastination, disorganization, and handling demands at the last minute. People may have labeled you lazy,irresponsible, or stupid because of your forgetfulness or difficulty completing certain tasks, and you may have begun to think of yourself in these negative terms as well.
ADHD that is undiagnosed and untreated can have wide-reaching effects and cause problems in virtually every area of your life.
Physical and mental health problems. The symptoms of ADHD can contribute to a variety of health problems, including compulsive eating, substance abuse, anxiety, chronic stress and tension, and low self-esteem. You may also run into trouble due to neglecting important check-ups, skipping doctor appointments, ignoring medical instructions, and forgetting to take vital medications.
Work and financial difficulties. Adults with ADHD often experience career difficulties and feel a strong sense of underachievement. You may have trouble keeping a job, following corporate rules, meeting deadlines, and sticking to a 9-to-5 routine. Managing finances may also pose a problem: you may struggle with unpaid bills, lost paperwork, late fees, or debt due to impulsive spending.
Adult ADHD doesn’t have to hold you back
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Research Shows That Obesity Can Be Increased In Adhd
When in a conversation or meeting, some people may find it hard to wait their turn and could be prone to interrupting others. They may dominate, interrupt and talk too much or take a long time to get a point across, perhaps going off at tangents and being unfocused.
Some may be fidgety, tap a leg or desk, play with office tools like pens, pick fingers or nails or fiddle with hair. It may be hard to remain still in a chair and this can annoy colleagues. It can be hard to sit through a meeting and making excuses to get up is common.
It may be hard to relax and ADHD patients often describe feeling always on the go and driven. They may struggle to unwind and may be a workaholic. Other people with ADHD however, have low levels of motivation.
Driving to work, customer meetings and suppliers premises may be a problem if a person finds it hard to focus. There are higher accident and offence rates in work related driving for people with ADHD and there can be real risk to jobs if this happens.
Should I Share That I Have Adhd
Whether or not to disclose ADHD to an employer is a personal decision. Unfortunately, due to lingering stigma about mental health conditions, some employers may respond poorly or assume that ADHD will render the employee unable to succeed in their current role. However, if a boss is understanding, he or she may be willing to make reasonable accommodations that allow the individual to perform more effectively at their job. If the employee has been formally diagnosed with ADHD and can prove that it is causing substantial problems at work, they may be able to seek accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act however, this course of action is not without risk.
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