Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, known as ADHD, is a brain type that affects between 15-20 million American adults, adolescents, and children. It is hard to know exactly how many have this rapid fire thinking pattern called ADHD because many go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed.
The primary symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, emotionality and sometimes hyperactivity. However, the diagnosis of ADHD is not based on the presence of these symptoms alone. Most people find themselves being distracted and impulsive, even hyperactive, at some points in their lives. But what distinguishes ADHD from “everyday” inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity is the severity, duration and scope of these symptoms, as well as how they affect a person’s everyday life.
People with these primary symptoms often find it challenging to:
Share and manage their feelings
Relate successfully to others
Realize their potential
In addition, they may have difficulty with memory and forgetfulness, distraction, excessive talking, and experience feelings of being overwhelmed or frustrated. Many also have challenges with procrastination, over-stimulation, and negativity.
Secondary Symptoms of ADHD
Secondary symptoms of ADHD may include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, boredom, addictions and poor self image. These symptoms are often a result of the stresses and challenges of living with the primary symptoms.
Most people with ADHD are brilliant innovators and top class problem solvers. With the right assistance from others, professional and nonprofessional, they can lead highly productive, resourceful and meaningful lives. They can draw on medication, therapy, coaching, educational resources, and the love and understanding of those around them to enrich and support their innate potential and interests. They can learn to trust themselves.