ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, but sometimes, it’s missed. Despite the fact that many conversations surrounding ADHD focus on kids, ADHD does indeed impact adults as well. If you’re an adult who thinks they might have ADHD, where do you turn? Thankfully, there are answers.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention hyperactivity deficit disorder. Statistics from CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) say that 4.4% of the adult population in the United States lives with ADHD, and it is considered a very common condition. ADHD is characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity, and for some, hyperactivity. Symptoms may include but aren’t limited to trouble initiating tasks, difficulty sustaining concentration or focus on a task, fidgeting, getting sidetracked easily, interrupting others, feeling as though one is “driven by a motor,” feeling reckless or making impulsive decisions, excessive speech, and forgetfulness in daily activities. Symptoms of ADHD can impact all areas of life, including work, school, interpersonal relationships, and everyday tasks.
Why do professionals and parents miss the signs? While the answer varies from person to person, there are a number of common reasons this may occur. Research shows that symptoms of ADHD may get overlooked in certain populations. For example, those assigned female at birth are less likely to be diagnosed and treated for ADHD. It is also true that ADHD symptoms manifest differently in different people. For example, one person may encounter a predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation of symptoms, where another may encounter predominantly inattentive presentation or a mixed presentation of symptoms. Although this is known in the field, those who experience fewer outward symptoms of hyperactivity may get overlooked at times.
How To Get An ADHD Evaluation As An Adult
It is possible to get diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and if you’re struggling with ADHD symptoms, there are many reasons why you may determine that getting a diagnosis is worth it. For example, if you’re pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, you may need accommodations at school, or your symptoms could be impacting your career and other important areas of life.
Often, the best way to start the process of getting an evaluation for ADHD is to talk to your primary care physician, another general doctor, a psychiatrist you work with, or a therapist. Any of these professionals will be able to help you make the next step by giving you a referral to someone who is qualified to provide you with an evaluation for ADHD. It is also possible to look for a center or provider that offers testing by searching the web. If you’re using insurance, you will have to verify your insurance coverage in order to have your evaluation covered. The center or provider you contact should be able to help with this. Some people find it helpful to seek testing from someone who has worked with adults frequently in the past. When you are referred to or find the provider or center you’re comfortable with, you will generally make a phone call or contact them through another appropriate modality so that you can either get on a waiting list or make an appointment for your evaluation.
Talking about symptoms can be helpful, and it is common for co-occurring concerns, such as depression and anxiety, to be recognized in those who live with ADHD. If you’re struggling, it’s crucial to reach out for support.
Whether you’re facing ADHD symptoms, life stressors, or something else that’s on your mind, talking with a therapist or counselor can help. There are a number of ways to find a therapist who meets your needs. You can ask your doctor for a referral, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, search the web, or sign up for a reputable online therapy platform with licensed providers like BetterHelp. BetterHelp is often more affordable than traditional in-person services are without insurance, and the platform allows you to start seeing someone who is licensed in your area quickly. Regardless of how you find a therapist, you deserve to get the support you need, so don’t hesitate to take the first step today.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.