Let's start with the basics, what is ADHD? ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. People with ADHD can become easily distracted and may find concentrating difficult, affecting children and adults. However, it can be much harder to diagnose in adults and can often get missed if it hasn't been spotted in early life.
There are also some differences in the way that men and women exhibit symptoms. Typically doctors can diagnose men with ADHD more easily, so adult women are even less likely to receive a diagnosis.
Suppose you think you or someone you love may be suffering from symptoms associated with ADHD. In that case, it's important to be direct and honest with your healthcare provider, to attain a correct diagnosis. It's also worth looking into the causes of ADHD, as any correlations could lead to a quicker diagnosis. Read on for some of the long-term impacts on adults who have undiagnosed ADHD.
Although there is still a lot more research that needs to be done in this area, initial findings suggest that those with ADHD may find it more challenging to hold down relationships. One study reported that people dating or married to someone with ADHD reported lower marital satisfaction. However, of course, other factors come into play. Those with ADHD may find it harder to tolerate certain behaviors. If ADHD is diagnosed, it may be easier for those with the condition and their partners to be more understanding of specific behaviors and actions.
Mental Health Issues
In some cases, untreated or undiagnosed ADHD can lead to stress, low self-worth, and physiological distress. If left untreated, this can develop into extremely serious conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Problems at Work
Being undiagnosed can have long-term impacts on work. As those with ADHD can suffer from a lack of concentration, it can be difficult for them to graduate from high school or college and then go on into the world of work. Having a diagnosis can make a huge difference as most schools or colleges will be able to provide extra help where it's needed. This also rings true for the world of work. Although ADHD can come with negative symptoms, it can also come with positive ones. Understanding the condition can help someone choose what area of study or workplace will be suitable based on their strengths and weaknesses.
Drug and Alcohol Problems
Other long-term impacts can include the misuse of alcohol or substances. A study linked the symptoms of ADHD with a higher likelihood of becoming addicted or misusing substances such as nicotine, alcohol, or psychoactive substances.
As mentioned previously, undiagnosed symptoms could also lead to low feelings of self-worth, which could potentially lead to drug and alcohol problems, depending on the person.
While more research needs to be done in the area, it's important to get a diagnosis to receive the help or treatment they need to avoid any issues that stem from living without a diagnosis. Understanding the condition can greatly impact someone's quality of life. If you believe you or a child, a friend, a neighbor, or a family member are exhibiting symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, you should help encourage them to be screened by a health care professional.