Friday Health:Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


with Nyasha Kawanzaruwa



Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition exhibited by difficulty maintaining attention, as well as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. 

Adult ADHD symptoms can lead to a number of problems, including unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, and low self-esteem.

ADHD always starts in early childhood, but in some cases it's not diagnosed until later in life. 

It was once thought that ADHD was limited to childhood. 

But symptoms frequently persist into adulthood. 

For some people, adult ADHD causes significant problems that improve with treatment.


Adult ADHD symptoms may include: 

     - Trouble focusing or concentrating

     - Restlessness

     - Impulsivity

     - Difficulty completing tasks

     - Disorganization

     - Low frustration tolerance

     - Frequent mood swings

     - Hot temper

     - Trouble coping with stress

     - Unstable relationships

Many adults with ADHD aren't aware they have it they just know that everyday tasks can be a challenge. 

Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. 

The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.

All adults with ADHD had ADHD as children, even if it was never diagnosed. 

Some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they age, while others continue to have significant symptoms as adults.

What's normal and what's ADHD?

Almost everyone has some symptoms similar to ADHD at some point in their lives. 

If your difficulties are recent or occurred only occasionally in the past, you probably don't have ADHD. 

ADHD is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your life.

These persistent and disruptive symptoms can be traced back to early childhood.

Diagnosis of ADHD in adults can be difficult because certain ADHD symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders. 

And many adults with ADHD also have at least one other mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. 

When to see a doctor:

If inattention, hyperactivity or impulsive behavior continually disrupts your life, talk to your doctor about whether you might have ADHD. 

Because signs of ADHD are similar to those of a number of other mental health conditions, you may not have ADHD and mdash; but you may have another condition that needs treatment.


While the exact cause of ADHD is not clear, research efforts continue.

Multiple factors have been implicated in the development of ADHD. 

It can run in families, and studies indicate that genes may play a role. Certain environmental factors also may increase risk, as can problems with the central nervous system at key moments in development.

*Risk factors*

You're potentially at increased risk of ADHD if: 

     - You have blood relatives (such as a parent or sibling) with ADHD or another mental health disorder

     - Your mother smoked, drank alcohol or used drugs during pregnancy

     - Your mother was exposed to environmental poisons such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during pregnancy

     - As a child, you were exposed to environmental toxins such as lead, found mainly in paint and pipes in older buildings

     - You were born prematurely

Treatment for adult ADHD is similar to treatment for childhood ADHD, and includes stimulant drugs or other medications, psychological counseling (psychotherapy), and treatment for any mental health conditions that occur along with adult ADHD.


ADHD has been linked to: 

     - Poor school performance

     - Trouble with the law

     - Problems at work

     - Alcohol or drug abuse

     - Frequent car accidents or other accidents

     - Unstable relationships

     - Financial stress

     - Poor physical and mental health

Although ADHD doesn't cause other psychological or developmental conditions, a number of other disorders often occur along with ADHD. 

These include: 

     - Mood disorders. Many adults with ADHD also have depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder. While mood problems aren't necessarily due directly to ADHD, a repeated pattern of failures and frustrations due to ADHD can worsen depression.

     - Anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders occur fairly often in adults with ADHD. Anxiety disorder may cause overwhelming worry, nervousness and other symptoms. Anxiety can be made worse by the challenges and setbacks caused by ADHD.

     - Personality disorders. Adults with ADHD are at increased risk of personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder.

     - Learning disabilities. Adults with ADHD may score lower on academic testing than would be expected for their age, intelligence and education.

*Lifestyle and home remedies*

 Because ADHD is a complex disorder and each person is unique, it's hard to make recommendations for all adults who have ADHD.

But some of these suggestions may help: 

     - Make a list of tasks to be accomplished each day. Make sure you're not trying to do too much.

     - Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

     - Use sticky pads to write notes to yourself. Put them on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, in the car or in other places where you'll benefit from having a reminder.

     - Keep an appointment book or electronic calendar to track appointments and deadlines.

     - Carry a notebook or electronic device with you so that you can note ideas or things you'll need to remember.

     - Take time to set up systems to file and organize information, both on your electronic devices and for paper documents. Get in the habit of using these systems consistently.

     - Follow a routine that's consistent from day to day and keep items, like keys and your wallet, in the same place.

     - Ask for help from family members or loved ones.


If you're like many adults with ADHD, you may be unpredictable and forget appointments, miss deadlines, and make impulsive or irrational decisions. These behaviors can strain the patience of the most forgiving co-worker, friend or partner.

Therapy that focuses on these issues and helps you better monitor your behavior can be very helpful. 

So can classes to improve communication, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. Couples therapy and classes in which family members learn more about ADHD may significantly improve your relationships.

Nyasha Kawanzaruwa is a nurse at Matizha clinic in Gutu, Masvingo Province.


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  2. Your insightful exploration of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) sheds light on a crucial but often misunderstood aspect of mental health. In the journey of understanding and managing ADHD, having accessible resources is paramount. For those navigating this terrain, an online doctor Pakistan free, offering free services, can be a beacon of support. It's heartening to see discussions like yours contribute to the awareness and destigmatization of mental health challenges. Let's continue fostering an environment where resources are readily available, and individuals can seek guidance without hesitation.