Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be tricky to diagnose. Multiple factors, from parents, healthcare professionals, environmental factors, and teachers, can all play a role in diagnosis, or lack of one, even into adulthood. ADHD can also have vastly different symptoms, depending on the individual.
The predominantly inattentive presentation might include symptoms like failing to pay attention to details, making careless mistakes, losing things, getting distracted easily, not seeming to listen, not following through on instructions, having trouble staying organized, or avoiding specific tasks when they require a lot of mental effort.
On the other hand, the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation includes symptoms like fidgeting, excessive talking, trouble sitting still, having a hard time waiting or taking turns, interrupting, having a hard time with quiet activities, or feeling as though they’re driven by a motor (that’s a common description that people with this diagnosis will give).
Then there’s the combined presentation. That’s where a person might meet the criteria for both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive presentations. So symptoms can be very individual.
Any one symptom on these lists doesn’t necessarily make an ADHD diagnosis. But if you notice these symptoms and they’re causing disruption in your life, it’s a sign you should seek help from a medical professional by making an appointment with your provider. Here are some signs it might be time to take that step.
If you consistently are underperforming at work and you’re not sure why there could be several reasons. But if you notice this as a constant in your life because of symptoms on the list above, it’s worth considering that you might be dealing with ADHD.
Maybe you always forget to load the dishwasher, or your plans for dinner with your significant other’s family slipped your mind. You might have promised to put together that IKEA bookshelf but never got to it. ADHD doesn’t explain all relationship struggles, but if your relationships suffer because of tasks you don’t complete, it could be a sign to seek help.
If you were never a strong student, barely scraping by, you should take a closer look. Primarily if that underachievement extends into other aspects of your life, ADHD could be partially to blame.
Ongoing struggles with stress and anxiety could point to ADHD. The hard part is it’s common to overlook the underlying cause and treat the anxiety independently. You might also experience intense or chronic guilt, blame, or frustration. These could all be reasons to reach out.
Being distracted from daily tasks, avoiding quiet activities like making a grocery list or unloading the dishwasher, and not being able to sit still when you need to go through your bank statements could negatively impact your life.
Another big reason to seek help for ADHD is if you think you might be in one of the groups that aren’t always considered for a diagnosis when they should be. ADHD tends to be underdiagnosed in girls, which means many women with ADHD might not get a diagnosis until their 20s or 30s. A lot of the time, symptoms in women and girls are similar to those of boys and men. But they might look a little different in how they’re expressed. Or sometimes, they might be dismissed as characteristics of their gender. But that’s not always the case.
If you’re wondering if ADHD might be impacting you, reach out to your provider for an evaluation. Get in touch with a CHP clinic in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingston to take the first step by making an appointment.