Type : Temporal Lobe Add
Symptoms: primary ADD symptoms plus a short fuse, misinterprets comments, periods of anxiety, headaches or abdominal pain, history of head injury, family history of rages, dark thoughts, memory problems, and struggles with reading. Often seen in families with learning or temper problems.
SPECT: usually low temporal lobe activity plus low prefrontal cortex activity during activities that require concentration
Supplements: multiple vitamin, NeurOmega fish oil, GABA or taurine for irritability, or Brain Vitale or NeuroMemory for memory issues.
Medications: Stimulants, by themselves, usually make people with this type more irritable. Effectively treated with a combination of antiseizure medications and stimulants.
Dont Miss: How Do You Fix Stress Incontinence
The Impact Of Treatment On Adhd Symptoms In A Pandemic
As reflected in past surveys, most ADDitude readers are not making ADHD treatment changes right now. Just 16% of survey respondents said their treatment has become more consistent in quarantine the remaining readers said they are skipping dosages, missing appointments, and generally not maintaining consistency of treatment during the pandemic.
The reasons for this inconsistency are varied. Some are worried about finances, so they have cut ADHD medication in order to save money. Others are staying away from doctors offices and pharmacies to safeguard themselves and their families against infection. Others are finding that, without the pressures of in-person school, their children dont need medication for symptom control in the same way.
We noticed that she was able to function without the meds and, upon consultation with her pediatrician, we stopped for the whole time she will be at home,wrote one mother of 14-year-old twins. Now we a happy child who is back doing creative things and playing her piano again! She is not a moody, grumpy, emotional roller coaster!
Still others find that routine and schedule disruptions have thrown their treatment plans into disarray.
Because of the lack of routine, my med regime has become quite scattered, wrote one parent of two children with ADHD. I forget to take my meds almost half of the time. I have managed to make sure my son gets his, though. Another example of how I am able to prioritize others, but not look after myself.
How To Seek Treatment For Adult Adhd
It’s not uncommon for mothers to learn they’ve been living with ADHD after their child begins to have concentration issues and are then diagnosed with the condition by a professional. “Once the parent addresses the diagnosis with their child, the mother often then realizes that they have been living with the same symptoms their whole lives, too,” says Dr. Jimenez, whose research also found ADHD runs in families.
But it’s important to get treatment as early as possible. Dr. Goodman encourages womenâespecially mothersâto educate themselves about ADHD. “If a woman is struggling with focusing, restlessness, disorganization, or other similar issues, they should consult a professional to seek a diagnosis and discuss care options. Treating the root issue is critical,” says Dr. Jimenez.
Other symptoms to look out for include deflated self-esteem and mood difficulties, drug and/or alcohol abuse because of poor impulse control and/or in their search for social acceptance, and excessive anxiety from growing responsibilities as they pursue higher education, marriage, motherhood, or career. There are resources available to learn more about ADHD, such as the Children and Adults with ADHD Association.
Don’t Miss: Can You Develop Autism As A Teenager
Types Of Stress Experienced By Adhd Adults
All stress is not alike. It is easy to see that some stress is more intense and long-term than others. Stress can be classified into four different types:
- Acute stress: you experience agitation, moodiness, irritability, headaches, and/or gastrointestinal upset.
- Episodic acute stress: you suffer from migraines, high blood pressure, emotional difficulties, and serious gastrointestinal distress.
- Chronic stress: you are more vulnerable to systemic illnesses. It compromises your immune system. Although it can be reversed, it usually takes time and professional intervention.
- Traumatic stress: You experience this after personal or other tragedies. Post traumatic stress disorder can be a result of a catastrophic event such as a hurricane, foreign war, violence, or death.
You Get Better By Getting Better
Theres a common saying among mental health professionals: You get better by getting better. That simply means that getting treatment can greatly improve a persons quality of life who has any kind of mental health issue.
And, when life gets easier, self-medicating is less likely. With proper intervention and treatment, patients dont have to rely on alcohol or drugs to get relief. When substance abuse is removed from the equation, the person can follow a healthier lifestyle, improve personal relationships, and reach goals.
Also Check: Can Not Taking Prenatal Vitamins Cause Autism
Behavior Therapy Including Training For Parents
ADHD affects not only a childs ability to pay attention or sit still at school, it also affects relationships with family and other children. Children with ADHD often show behaviors that can be very disruptive to others. Behavior therapy is a treatment option that can help reduce these behaviors it is often helpful to start behavior therapy as soon as a diagnosis is made.
The goals of behavior therapy are to learn or strengthen positive behaviors and eliminate unwanted or problem behaviors. Behavior therapy for ADHD can include
These approaches can also be used together. For children who attend early childhood programs, it is usually most effective if parents and educators work together to help the child.
Children younger than 6 years of age
For young children with ADHD, behavior therapy is an important first step before trying medication because:
- Parent training in behavior management gives parents the skills and strategies to help their child.
- Parent training in behavior management has been shown to work as well as medication for ADHD in young children.
- Young children have more side effects from ADHD medications than older children.
- The long-term effects of ADHD medications on young children have not been well-studied.
School-age children and adolescents
- Parent training in behavior management
- Behavioral interventions in the classroom
- Peer interventions that focus on behavior and
- Organizational skills training.
What Can Worsen Your Adhd Symptoms
ADHD symptoms can change over time. Some people can even outgrow their ADHD. Many things can be involved in these changes and in how severe your symptoms seem to you. Your symptoms may shift because of:
- Life experiences
Other things that can make ADHD symptoms more difficult as you get older include:
Stress. A busy schedule and feeling overwhelmed can trigger an episode of ADHD symptoms. But itâs a circular relationship: Your ADHD itself may also cause stress because itâs harder to filter out stressors around you. If you deal with anxiety , this can make stress worse, too.
Poor sleep. Just like ADHD and stress, sleep and ADHD have a circular relationship. Having ADHD makes you more likely to sleep for a shorter amount of time, have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, and increases your risk of developing a sleep disorder. When you donât sleep enough or well, your brain can become foggy and worsen ADHD symptoms such as inattention and carelessness. Sleep problems tend to get worse as you get older.
Certain foods. There’s no clear scientific evidence that ADHD is caused or worsened by what you eat. But everyone benefits from foods low in fat, sodium, and sugar. Some additives may be problematic, too. These include:
- Sodium benzoate
- Red and yellow dyes
One study linked some dyes and sodium benzoate to greater hyperactivity.
Also Check: Can You Join The Police With Autism
How To Cope With Stressors With Adhd
The best predictor of how you deal with these challenging times is how you have handled stressful situations in the past. If youve always done something a certain way, youre likely to do it that way now. And if those approaches have worked well for you, you will likely handle the challenges presented by COVID and work stresses as well as anyone. If you have not been successful in the past, coping with these events may be your greatest challenge yet.
When you search the Internet, youll have no trouble finding advice about reducing stress. There are literally thousands of articles suggesting warm baths, yoga, meditation, prayer, exercise, eating healthy and staying hydrated, staying connected to friends through technology. If any of these have worked for you in the past, or if you think theyll help you now, use them now. But if you have ADHD, and they have not worked, its not likely that youll try them now. Some of them ask you to tap into skills that you may not have.
Messy Homes And Offices
Some people say clutter is a sign of genius. Research suggests it may signal creativity. But a messy nest could make some symptoms worse. Those piles of papers, books, or laundry remind you of all the stuff you need to do. Sometimes it can be too much. On the flipside, clearing the clutter can make you more productive and ease your worries.
Read Also: When Is Autism Awareness Month
What Are The Risk Factors Of Adhd
ADHD is largely a hereditary condition. If one or both parents have been diagnosed with ADHD, their children are more likely to have it as well. Although the exact etiology of ADHD are ill-defined, healthcare providers report other associated risk factors:
- Biological: ADHD is associated with the way certain neurotransmitters work, especially dopamine and norepinephrine, and this difference causes changes in two different attentional networks of the brain the default network, associated with automatic attention and the task positive network, associated with directed or effortful attention.
- Environment: Exposure to toxins in the environment has been linked to ADHD in children.
- Prenatal substance exposure : Smoking and/or drug and alcohol use during pregnancy is associated with ADHD in children.
Dont Miss: Is It Stress Or Depression
Adhd Sleep Problems In The Pandemic
Its well established that ADHD brains struggle with sleep. Sometimes this has to do with poor time management staying up too late and paying the price when the alarm blares in the morning. ADHD brains also have a tendency to buzz with ideas, thoughts, and ruminations well past bedtime, keeping us awake and overwhelmed. Today, pandemic anxiety is also part of the equation.
Anxiety related to COVID-19 is causing disrupted sleep, and its also causing people to feel exhausted, freeze, and take more mid-day naps than ever before in their lives.
I am sleeping more because it is a coping strategy when I am overwhelmed, but I do not feel as rested, wrote one parent.
My sleep patterns have been disrupted because anxiety about loved ones has added to stress levels fueling depression, wrote one adult with ADHD, depression, and PTSD. I find myself losing time and my adult daughter has reported similar. She finds herself staring at the ceiling.
The burden is even greater for essential employees who continue to report to work during the pandemic. On top of anxiety and worry , they are waking up to early alarm clocks while it seems the rest of the world is sleeping in.
Anxiety induced insomnia and panic attacks are leading to disrupted sleep, wrote one survey respondent. But Im working full-time so there is no time for naps during the day. Im working exhausted, making mistakes, and falling behind.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Autistic Child To Take Medicine
Get Seven To Eight Hours Of Sleep Every Night
Being tired may trigger anxiety or increase your risk for feeling anxious. Try to sleep for seven to eight hours every night. If youre having trouble falling asleep, try meditating or taking a warm bath before bed to help quiet your mind. Also plan to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Setting a sleep schedule can be an effective way to train your body to sleep when its time for bed.
If you continue to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. If youre taking medication for your anxiety or ADHD, it could be interfering with your sleep. You may also need to temporarily take a sleep aid. Dont start taking any additional medication without first discussing it with your doctor. Some medications may make your anxiety or ADHD symptoms worse.
How To Differentiate Adhd And Stress
You can experience stress and overcome it within minutes through mental techniques such as meditation and positive affirmation.
With ADHD, its not easy to overcome the symptoms within minutes.
If you feel frustrated due to a particular reason, then you may be experiencing stress. However, if you feel frustrated for no specific reason, then you may have ADHD.
Recommended Reading: How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Autistic
Taking Hours To Do Something You Think Will Take Minutes
For marriage and family therapist Cameron Hunter, who was diagnosed with ADHD at 37, frustration arises when he takes longer to complete a task than he thinks it should.
The temptation there is to get overwhelmed and shut down, says Hunter, who has a private practice in Vancouver, Washington.
For many people with ADHD, procrastination or not being able to accomplish tasks on time, or at all, triggers a shame spiral particularly if youve been called lazy or told you cant handle things, explains Hunter.
What Makes Adhd Symptoms Worse
Certain behaviors are expected depending on the age of a person. Because the brain doesnt develop at the same rate in everyone, cognitive functions may be poor in some people and not in others. A child 10 years old, for example, might only have the abilities of a younger child 8 years old rather than his or her same age peers. Therefore, as you or your child get older, the problem is not that ADHD gets worse, its that the childs abilities are not developing synchronized with age.
Although ADHD doesnt get worse, the tasks expected of the person become more complicated with age and circumstances, such as increased demands in school, therefore, the problematic behaviors become more problematic. For example, as the child may get a lower grade for turning in late work. Examples of other complications include:
Read Also: Are Autistic People Smarter
How Adhd Sometimes Gets Worse
Thomas E. Brown PhD
WHEN WE SAY THAT A PERSON’S ADHD HAS GOTTEN WORSE, what we usually mean is that the persons executive functions, his ability to manage himself, have not yet developed enough to meet task requirements usually expected for a person of that age. As a child gets older, family, teachers, friends, and the wider community increase their expectations for how much a person is able to demonstrate adequate self-management. If the discrepancy between what that individual and most other persons of similar age are able to do is too great, people tend to say that he or she is behind in his or her development.
Perhaps it would make more sense to ask, What factors make a persons ADHD more problematic? than to ask, How does ADHD become worse? A number of factors may make an individuals ADHD symptoms become more problematic at a particular time of life or in particular situations. Some of these include the following factors.
Being required to undertake new challenges without sufficient support.
Being criticized or punished repeatedly or harshly for failures they cannot adequately control.
you with your homework when you dont even bother to hand it in and get credit for it? You spend hours intently focused on playing your video games, but you claim you cant focus for just 20 minutes on doing your social studies homework.
Suffering fromadditional emotional, cognitive, or behavioral problems that may be co-occurring with ADHD.
Adhd Adults Ask Is All Stress Bad
During regular work/life situations, some stress can be helpful. For example, good stress results in feeling pumped up or ready for a challenge such as a sporting event, interview, or a happy occasion.
But when stress is extreme and long-term, it is harmful to your physical and emotional well-being. For example, for Harris, stress is negative. He is overloaded and cant focus and perform effectively. He has negative thoughts and physical symptoms of stress such as a headache or butterflies. Although he manages his ADHD symptoms under ordinary circumstances, external events are triggering significant new pressures. His unmanaged stress aggravates his common symptoms of ADHD, such as sleep problems.
Also Check: How To Deal With An Autistic Sibling
How Untreated Adhd Affects Adulthood
Marilou Jimenez, M.D., the chair of the Addiction and Mental Health Center at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland, says majority of women do not outgrow the ADHD symptoms they had as girls. As adults, they may suffer from poor self-image, have a hard time with social obligations and relationships , and an inability to organize and complete tasks in a timely manner. They are also at risk for underachieving and being less successful than their peers.
“Sometimes they are scattered with things in life,” says Baltimore-based licensed clinical professional counselor Hope Gilchrist, who has patients with ADHD. “Some may have had multiple jobs or career changes due to boredom or due to too many moving parts in the job.”
Many of those affected also have at least one comorbid condition, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, tics, learning disorders, and substance abuse, according to David W. Goodman, M.D., an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. A study of adult ADHD in the United States found a significantly higher proportion of females than males with ADHD receive treatment for mental or substance abuse problems. But only about 12 percent of adult women with ADHD actually get treatment for the condition.
What Are Adhd Symptoms In Adults
Adults have the same general ADHD symptoms as they did during childhood. Symptoms can change and become milder or more intense. The symptoms can also vary depending on the type of ADHD. These include:
Predominantly inattentive. This type of ADHD causes trouble focusing, distraction, and forgetfulness. Adults with inattentive ADHD can have trouble with memory, planning, and organization. You might also have trouble prioritizing, which can lead to problems with work and relationships.
Some symptoms can include:
Finding the right medication and dose can take time. You should keep regular appointments with your doctor until you find the right treatment. Tell your doctor about any side effects. A combination of medications and therapy is often the best treatment.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Affect Blood Sugar
Recommended Reading: Does My 16 Month Old Have Autism