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Is it Possible to Develop ADHD in Adulthood?

Mar 09, 2023

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Is it Possible to Develop ADHD in Adulthood?

Many people occasionally experience difficulty concentrating or completing a task, but people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder deal with this to a much greater extent. It can even start to impact their daily life and routine.

While ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it is possible to be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. The team at The Modalities Group in Bowie, Maryland, details how they diagnose ADHD in adulthood. Whether you’re facing ADHD as an adolescent or an adult, there are treatments like medication and CBT that can help. 

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that makes it hard to pay attention, sit still, and control certain behaviors. This disorder is most commonly found in children and teens but can continue into adulthood. 

Some common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Having trouble focusing
  • Not remembering to complete tasks
  • Being easily distracted
  • Interrupting people while they’re talking

Cases of ADHD can be different, and you might have just one of these symptoms or you could have them all.

ADHD in adults

While it’s possible to get an ADHD diagnosis as an adult, studies point to the fact that it’s unlikely that the condition developed in adulthood. ADHD is generally considered to be present when you’re born and is often diagnosed in early to late childhood. This is because ADHD is a disorder of the brain and is most likely genetic, so outside factors can’t “give” you ADHD. 

However, if you’re starting to notice symptoms of this mental disorder as an adult, there are a few different scenarios that could be at play. 

The main reason you might’ve just received an ADHD diagnosis in your adult years is that you didn’t have any symptoms as a child, or you were good at masking them. But just because you didn’t have many behavioral problems in school growing up doesn’t mean that ADHD can’t manifest itself later in difficulties in relationships and at your job.

Another possible factor is a misdiagnosis. You may have been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, depression, or bipolar disorder in your teen years, but you have ADHD. 

Getting a proper diagnosis

Up to 70% of people born with ADHD have symptoms that continue into adulthood. You might have noticed that you’re constantly running late, you drive recklessly, and you have trouble controlling impulses. All of these are ADHD symptoms that adults are more likely to experience. 

If you’re well into your adult years and feel like you’re just starting to show symptoms of ADHD, you’re not alone. If you think that you’re showing signs of ADHD, don’t wait to seek professional help. There are many available treatments out there that our team can discuss with you so you can regain your quality of life.

To learn more about ADHD in adults, contact our office in Bowie, Maryland, or use our online scheduler to book an appointment with us today.