The recent surge in ADHD diagnosis in adults has caused some confusion, since most people associate it primarily with children. Many more adults are being diagnosed, and it is eye-opening for them. When parents learn that their child has been identified with ADHD, that information comes with a catalog of symptoms. Parents often begin to see those same issues in their own life and recall that they had the same difficulties focusing, managing time, and organizing as a child. The diagnosis in their offspring often prompts parents to see if they also have ADHD. Since it is hereditary, it makes logical sense that a child with ADHD would have at least one parent with it as well.
Did This Suddenly Just Appear?
No. And it doesn’t just go away, nor do you just grow out of it. If someone seemingly “gets better” as they age, it means they have learned to accommodate their weaknesses and learned some “work-arounds” to be productive and effective in life. It’s a chemical difference in the brain, so it’s not a behavior one just naturally grows out of, but one people can learn to change. It’s not going to just magically disappear either, so you might as well get used to it and also make the best of it.
This Isn’t Such a Bad Thing!
For most adults, to learn the reason for their life’s struggles can be very freeing. At least there is a reason for all they had, and continue to have, difficulties with. Also, now they have some means to solve some of the challenges and improve their skills and weaknesses. Parents who realize they have the same issues as their child can not only identify with their child but also be an asset for their child. At times I have encountered a few parents who feel guilty, who feel as if they caused this in their son or daughter. Well, it’s no different from diabetes –— that’s also genetically transferred, as are many ailments both physical and mental that we deal with as human beings. It’s just life. Issues are passed down from one generation to another. Period. This one isn’t life-threatening though. It just needs to be addressed so happiness can prevail in a person’s life.
How Can You Tell You May Have ADHD?
Adults may have been struggling at work and may have even received warnings from their boss due to lack of productivity or follow-through, and time management problems. They may have jumped from job to job, continuously hitting the same wall over and over, not knowing how to circumvent that occurrence. ADHD in the workplace can be quite troublesome. The employer may not understand why this smart and creative employee is always late, can’t meet deadlines, and loses paper and information constantly. The employee may not know how to get a handle on the problems either. Then there are work associates who get irritated with having to pick up the slack from this person who can’t seem to pull their weight. Eventually resentment sets in and productivity suffers.
Once the ADHD is identified, there are strategies and options for not just managing ADHD but turning some of the previously thought “deficiencies” into strengths. Check here for a complete list of Adult ADHD symptoms.
35 Percent of Entrepreneurs have ADHD!
That is not a typo! A huge number of entrepreneurs are identified as having ADHD. It makes perfect sense, too! Most with ADHD are more impulsive and therefore will have more of the “risk-taker” mentality: a quality inherent in most entrepreneurs. Also, that creative “think-outside-the-box” ability tends to be a perfect fit and dovetails with their ability to solve problems by finding solutions others may never come up with. Some really can harness their ADHD gifts and make them beneficial; however, it is often necessary to have assistants and employees on board who can take care of the details that often slip through the cracks in the life of a person with ADHD.
While some adult sufferers have managed to develop accommodations nicely along the way, others haven’t. Coaching or therapy by someone who specializes in ADHD has been a very effective way to learn to handle the challenges of living with ADHD. There are always ways to deal with the issues. Once you are educated on what you are dealing with, then the rest is easier to manage.
Do you have a question for this column? Email questions to Coach Juli, PCC, ADHD Productivity Coach, at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “question for column” in the subject line and they will be answered right here — your name is not used.