The answers to these questions are, respectively, yes…and no.
About 10 million adults have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is associated with depression, mood or conduct disorders and substance abuse. So it’s definitely a “thing.”
Difficulties with day-to-day living
“Many adults with ADHD have inconsistent performance at work, have difficulties with day-to-day responsibilities, experience relationship problems and may have chronic feelings of frustration, guilt or blame,” said Celeste Jackson, a behavioral health nurse practitioner at Marshfield Clinic. She specializes in treating adults with ADHD.
But can you outgrow it? Probably not, but it depends on the situation. Some children with ADHD have it as adults. Many adults who have it don’t know it; they just feel they can’t get organized and stick to a job and they may have problems with daily tasks like paying bills on time, missing scheduled appointments or deadlines and chronically running late. ADHD: Recognize common signs in children
High benefit to treatment
While ADHD can’t be cured and won’t just go away on its own, treatments are often very helpful for most people.
“There’s a high treatment benefit with medication like the psychiatric stimulants we prescribe, and we can tell within a week or two if they are working,” Jackson said. But treatment consists of more than medications.
Learning time management, living skills
“We put an emphasis on helping the patient learn time-management skills,” she said. “We can show them how to use their electronic devices to organize themselves and use alarms to avoid being late, and to remember to take medications. Patients can also find benefit from psychotherapy to learn additional strategies to manage symptoms.”
If you think you may have ADHD, contact your doctor for a referral to a behavioral health specialist.