What does it mean to be a sufferer of ADHD? The common perception is that ADHD is a disease that affects only children, but it has come to light in recent times that many adults too are suffering from this debilitating condition. This recent acceptance by the medical community means that many adults have been living with ADHD for a long time, without even knowing it.
ADHD stands for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, a syndrome characterized by an impaired ability to regulate activity level (hyperactivity), attend to tasks (inattention), and inhibit behavior (impulsivity). ADHD is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects the parts controlling attention, concentration and impulsivity.
This means a persons behavior can be anything from being “very dreamy” (or unable to pay attention) through to being “always on the go” (or hyperactive), behavior that can continue into adulthood.
For a diagnosis of ADHD, it was always thought that the behaviors must appear before an individual reaches age seven, but there is now a groundbreaking paradigm shift amongst experts. This shift is so profound that in many of the older definitions of ADHD, childhood onset is one of the defined parameters, this all now has to change. With all of the research money and treatments being funneled into treatment of children, adult’s with ADHD may find it hard to fit into societies preconceived notions of exactly what it is to be a ADHD sufferer. There are estimates that around two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD are still experiencing symptoms in adulthood.
A person with ADHD has difficulty filtering out all the information coming into his brain, so he’s easily distracted, tends to respond before he has considered things properly and doesn’t know when to stop. What has not been recognized before is the effects that these symptoms may have for an adult person, who may have to work, raise a family and continue with many of the complex and stressful tasks of modern society.