Undiagnosed ADHD can be a struggle
The CBC posted this excellent article Adults who don’t know they have ADHD can struggle. Here’s how a diagnosis can help
The following blends a summary of this article with information relevant to Saskatchewan residents.
Adults with undiagnosed ADHD can face significant struggles in their daily lives. If left untreated, adult ADHD can reduce a your quality of life. You may not even realize you have the condition and have learned to mask the symptoms.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is often genetic and with symptoms like hyperactivity, restlessness, and inattention. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD in childhood as Girls with ADHD often exhibit more inattentive symptoms.
While most people associated ADHD with being easily distracted many don’t realize how the struggles they have tackling a big mess, or a starting a new project can be linked to ADHD. ADHD impairs executive functioning so makes very hard to start working. Many people with ADHD are labeled lazy or their teachers say “they are bright but aren’t living up to their potential.” So what happens is the anxiety of getting things done has to overcome the impaired executive function which only happens as you get closer to the deadline. Eventually the obstacle is overcome with frenzied activity but all this anxiety can wear out your nervous system.
ADHD can cause serious problems like lower incomes, stress on your relationships, struggles at school and poor job performance.
In Saskatchewan you don’t need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist to be diagnosed. Your family doctor can diagnose ADHD and prescribe medication. You do not need a diagnosis to see a counselor or ADHD coach. If you are uncomfortable with using medication ADHD counselling can help you manage life.
Treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of prescribed medication and coaching. Stimulants are commonly used and long-acting preparations are considered safer than immediate-release ones. Some studies show that common ADHD stimulant medications don’t work for females as well as they do for males.
The medication primarily helps with
- Increasing attention span
- Reducing hyperactivity
- Controlling Impulsive Behavior
- Improving Executive Function
The common side-affects are
- Reduced Appetite
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
Medication has improved in recent decades. Most doctors now prescribe long-acting / slow release versions of the medication that provide a benefit throughout the workday.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, adults with ADHD can experience significant improvements in their lives, including better management of responsibilities and enhanced communication skills.
It is important for individuals who suspect they may have ADHD to seek help and not hesitate to pursue a diagnosis, as it can provide relief and guidance for navigating their path in life.
About the author: Leighton Tebay | IFS Therapist
Leighton Tebay is husband, father to three and a Certified Counsellor in Canada. Shortly after he started his internship for his counselling degree he discovered IFS. With that came a passion for helping people heal from trauma. In September 2021 Leighton finished the official training to become a Level 1 IFS Therapist. If you are interested in booking a session with Leighton he is available in person in Saskatoon and online serving all of Canada.