By Elliot H. Maruffi-Cowley, LCSW
Full disclosure: I am a 39-year-old with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It just so happens that I am also a clinical social worker, therapist, and counselor. I view this disorder as a blessing and I feel fortunate that ADHD has allowed me to explore a wide variety of subjects and hobbies in my life.
ADHD has also presented me with a number of challenges that I have learned to overcome, from impulsiveness to becoming easily frustrated. If you are concerned you may have adult ADHD, know that you are not alone.
Symptoms of adult ADHD
Below are some of the most common ways ADHD manifests itself in adults, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Disorganization and problems prioritizing
- Poor time management skills
- Problems focusing on a task
- Trouble multitasking
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Poor planning
- Low frustration tolerance
- Frequent mood swings
- Problems following through and completing tasks
- Hot temper
- Trouble coping with stress
Treating adult ADHD
The good news is there are a wide array of treatment options for adult ADHD. First, I typically recommend that people struggling with ADHD symptoms make an appointment with their family physician. Depending on what your doctor finds, you may decide to see a psychiatrist to discuss medication options to address ADHD.
Next, I encourage a patient to use a strengths-based approach to discuss the behavioral issues that are causing concerns in their life. This may mean ongoing counseling with a focus on behavioral modification techniques or cognitive-behavioral techniques to address difficulties involving time management or organizational skills.
Further on we address systemic challenges for people with ADHD. This may involve having therapy sessions to discuss parenting techniques, interpersonal relationships, or challenges in the workplace.
If you feel that symptoms of ADHD regularly affect your life, do what I did. Educate yourself, see a doctor, attend counseling, and take in all the information you can. It is your life and your body. Take charge of it. I can tell you that I am now a happier and healthier husband, father, therapist, and human.
If you’re looking to get support from home, you can see licensed therapists and board-certified doctors and psychiatrists on Amwell to get started on your path to feeling your best.