With treatment, people with ADHD can be successful in school, work and lead productive lives. Researchers are using new tools such as brain imaging to better understand the condition and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent ADHD.
The essential feature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a persistent pattern of inattention and / or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
While the exact cause of ADHD is not clear, research efforts continue.
Factors that may be involved in the development of ADHD include:
Risk of ADHD may increase if:
While some behaviors associated with ADHD are "normal" and not a cause for concern to most people, someone with ADHD will have trouble controlling these behaviors and will show them much more frequently and for longer than 6 months.
People with ADHD may score lower on academic testing than would be expected for their age, intelligence and education. Learning disabilities can include problems with understanding and communicating.
Many adults with ADHD also have depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder.
Anxiety disorders occur fairly often in adults with ADHD. Anxiety disorders may cause overwhelming worry, nervousness and other symptoms.
Standard treatments for ADHD in adults typically involve medication, education, skills training and psychological counseling. A combination of these is often the most effective treatment. These treatments can help manage many symptoms of ADHD, but they don't cure it. It may take some time to determine what works best for you.
While most people with anxiety disorders need psychotherapy or medications to get anxiety under control, lifestyle changes also can make a difference. Here's what you can do:
Make a list of tasks to accomplish each day. Prioritize the items. Make sure you're not trying to do too much.
Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Consider using checklists.
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 see the reminders.
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, such as your keys and your wallet, in the same place.
Ask for help from family members or other loved ones.
Visit our Get Help page to learn about options for receiving immediate help.
Schedule an appointment to meet with a licensed counselor.
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