by Felicia Chan
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a mental health disorder characterised by symptoms such as inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that affect ones functioning in multiple settings, such as workplace, home and even in relationship. ADHD affects 8.4% of children an 2.4% of adults. The symptoms of ADHD manifest differently in children and adults – the difference being that the symptoms are often move obvious in children. Therefore, the rate of ADHD in adults may be higher than stated as many of them often go undiagnosed. Many adults may not realise they have ADHD as they have learnt how to mask or cope with their symptoms.
How do you know if you have ADHD?
If you have ADHD, here are some of the symptoms you may experience:
Restlessness or fidgety
You often misplace things
Inattentive or find it hard to stay focused
Adult ADHD and Work
This can affect how you function at work. For instance, adults with ADHD may struggle to focus and become easily distracted, causing them to overlook details. They may also struggle with organisation, which can lead to problems with prioritising tasks, finishing what they have started and keeping track of their progress of work.
Procrastination is also an issue for adults with ADHD, especially when the task required higher mental effort. This can affect their performance at work if they are unable to meet their deadlines or complete their work at a satisfactory standard.
Adult ADHD and Relationships
ADHD can also affect your relationships. Being impulsive is one of the traits of ADHD. This may manifest in different ways such as interrupting conversations, being socially inappropriate and act without considering the consequences. Consequently, adults who suffer from ADHD may be perceived as insensitive, inattentive and uncaring in their relationship.
This may affect the quality of their relationships as well as their ability to make new connections.
Treating Adult ADHD
If you find yourself often misplacing things, forgetting important details or dates or feeling restless and fidgety in ways that affects your work and your relationships, you may have adult ADHD. It is important to note that different individuals have different symptoms and it is important to get assessed by a therapist to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate care and treatment.
As a clinical psychologist, I begin with a psychological assessment to help you to identify your symptoms and discuss ways to cope with it. Then, I use psychotherapy to help you find strategies to cope with your symptoms. For example, I may use cognitive behavioural therapy to help you organise your work flow into manageable chunks and schedule breaks to help with your concentration. As part of The Mind Faculty’s holistic approach to mental health, I may also refer you to a psychiatrist if I feel that you may benefit from medication to help you to manage your symptoms and better implement the strategies we’ve discussed. Each individual is unique and I will tailor my approach to something that best suits you and your current situation.
While there is no ‘absolute’ cure for adults with ADHD, we can help you to find the appropriate supports to help you excel in work and in your relationships.
TMF Academy offers affordable mental health services in Kuala Lumpur from psychological assessments to counselling sessions. Get assessed for ADHD from RM 150.