Thousands of adults suffer from ADHD
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Imagine being so distracted you can't keep a relationship, or forgetful enough you've replaced your cell phone three times just to lose it again. These are all symptoms of ADHD, and for adults with the disorder, it can be disruptive of day to day life.
Researchers say one in 25 adults have ADHD. It is a life-long disorder.
Dr. Gale Hobson, a psychologist for the Mercy Behavioral Health Program says adults with ADHD have always had the disorder, but they may not have been diagnosed until later in life.
"The problem is the symptoms are fairly broad, so you can see many people who think they have those issues and that's not really truly that," she said.
Dr. Hobson says people with ADHD may be easily distracted or impulsive.
"They tend to have troubled relationships as adults because they can't be attentive to one relationship," Dr. Hobson said.
Other symptoms are extreme procrastination, poor time management skills, forgetfulness and trouble focusing.
"I find myself just doing one thing when I'm supposed to be doing something else," Jordan Eason said.
Eason did not realize he had ADHD he had until he was an adult and a coworker pointed out his trouble paying attention. Now, he says he can see how the disorder affected him since childhood.
"Maybe that's why I wasn't always the best kid in school," Eason said.
Evan Decker's diagnosis was made early, at age seven. But he still deals with the disorder today.
"I still have the lack of focus. I still have going a million miles per hour. Sometimes I talk too fast where people can't hear me," Decker said.
Decker uses medications to help them through the disorder. Eason does not.
Dr. Hobson prefers a therapy approach where she sits down with patients to find practical tools for dealing with ADHD like utilizing day planners or teaching patients to slow down and take a breath before making decisions. But she says there is no one approach for dealing with it. She says patients just need to be knowledgeable about their disorder.
"How can I understand and use these symptoms to make better choices?" Dr. Hobson said.
Dr. Hobson says if you think you have ADHD, do some reading and learn more about the disorder. She says you should also talk with friends and family to see if they've noticed the symptoms in you over a long period of time. After that, make an appointment with psychologist or therapist so they can make a diagnosis.