According to recent CDC research, ADHD affects millions of US children. ADHD is more common in boys (13%) than in girls (6%). This is likely due to the fact that boys are more likely to display hyperactive behaviour, which is one of the main symptoms of ADHD.
Many people live with ADHD without realizing it due to a lack of knowledge and resources. Those living in underdeveloped countries like India are particularly affected, as people think ADHD is a mental illness and stay away from them as if it will spread.
I have been living with ADHD my whole life and learned about it amid the covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020 after coming across random Instagram reels, followed by posts.
After reading and researching more about ADHD, I was able to recognize a lot of the symptoms I had been experiencing my entire life, such as difficulty concentrating, procrastination, more anxious while doing some work, being hyperactive somedays and refuse to sleep early, feeling overwhelmed in social situations, and many more.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children and adults. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. ADHD is also associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person, ranging from mild to severe, and may include difficulty focusing, impulsive behaviour, and restlessness. Furthermore, the impact of ADHD can extend beyond just the individual, affecting family, work, and social relationships.
The exact causes of ADHD are not fully understood, but research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role.
ADHD is often treated with a combination of medication and therapy.
Behavioural therapy and counselling can also help individuals with ADHD learn strategies for managing their symptoms.
The Symptoms of Unknown ADHD
ADHD is often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, making it challenging to recognize. A person with ADHD may experience a wide range of symptoms that may be mistaken for those of other conditions.
For instance, a person with ADHD may experience difficulty concentrating, restlessness, impulsivity, and difficulty managing emotions, which can all be signs of other conditions like depression or anxiety. Additionally, ADHD manifests differently in adults than in children, making it hard to differentiate.
There are several common symptoms associated with ADHD, including:
- Difficulty focusing or paying attention
- Difficulty sitting still
- Difficulty following through on tasks
The Impact of Unknown ADHD on Overall Health and Well-Being
Without proper attention, the consequences of ADHD can be incredibly detrimental to one’s physical and mental health.
In addition to academic and workplace difficulties, undiagnosed ADHD can have serious consequences. Furthermore, having trouble focusing, paying attention, and completing tasks, ADHD can lead to poor grades, difficulty completing projects, and even being fired from jobs. It can lead to low self-esteem and a negative perception of oneself.
Social interactions and relationships can also suffer from undiagnosed ADHD. An individual with ADHD may have difficulty maintaining friendships and relationships due to impulsivity and hyperactivity. As a result, the person may find it hard to stay connected to their friends, family, and even romantic partners, leading to further isolation and distress.
Depression and anxiety may also be present in individuals with undiagnosed ADHD. Their inability to control their symptoms may make them feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and helpless.
Additionally, undiagnosed ADHD can lead to people feeling like they can’t control their behaviour, which can lead to them using substance abuse or self-harm as individuals attempt to cope with their emotions.
How to Recognize ADHD?
Identifying ADHD in an individual requires observing their behaviour and noticing patterns of symptoms that interfere with their daily functioning. Several signs and symptoms can indicate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The following are among them:
- Focusing on tasks that are not interesting or engaging is difficult
- Additionally, individuals with ADHD may struggle to stay organized and on track with assignments.
- Noise or movement can easily distract you
- Inability to follow instructions or complete tasks
- Squirming or fidgeting in the seat
- Inability to sit still or engage in quiet activities
- The tendency to blurt out answers or interrupt others out of impulsivity
- When taking turns in an activity, they have difficulty waiting for their turn
- Emotional or behavioural difficulties
- Having trouble managing time and organizing
- An inability to recall information
- Having trouble multitasking
- An inability to work under pressure
- Having difficulty starting or finishing a task
The symptoms listed above can also indicate other conditions, such as anxiety or depression, so it is important to see a qualified healthcare professional, such as a paediatrician or child psychologist, to make an accurate diagnosis.
An ADHD diagnosis is not one-size-fits-all.
ADHD comes in a variety of forms. Diagnoses are based on the visible ADHD symptoms, which can be divided into three types:
Inattentiveness in ADHD is characterized by difficulty paying attention, being easily distracted, and tend to make careless mistakes. This can manifest as difficulty following instructions, failing to complete tasks, losing things, being disorganized, and forgetting things easily. Inattentiveness can make it difficult for individuals with ADHD to complete tasks or engage in activities that require sustained focus.
Hyperactivity in ADHD is characterized by excessive movement and difficulty sitting still. This can manifest as fidgeting, squirming, excessive talking, running around, and difficulty engaging in quiet activities. Hyperactivity can make it difficult for individuals with ADHD to focus and pay attention in school or work.
Impulsivity in ADHD is characterized by acting on impulses without thinking through the consequences. This can manifest as interrupting others, blurting out answers in class or in conversation, having difficulty waiting for one’s turn, and engaging in risky behaviours. Impulsivity can make it difficult for individuals with ADHD to control their behaviour and think before they act.
Emphasizing this point, it is important to remember that ADHD can manifest differently, and not all children exhibit hyperactivity.
Natural Remedies for ADHD Without Medication
There is no quick fix for ADHD. Although several natural remedies may be helpful in managing symptoms of ADHD without the use of medication. These include:
1. Diet and nutrition
Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins may help improve symptoms of ADHD. Some studies suggest that eliminating processed foods, sugar, and food additives are also beneficial.
Regular physical activity has been shown to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may improve symptoms of ADHD.
Ensuring adequate sleep, a consistent bedtime routine, and a comfortable sleep environment can improve overall functioning and may help to reduce symptoms of ADHD.
5. Mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation techniques can help to reduce stress and improve focus and attention.
6. Mind-body practices
Yoga, Tai Chi, and other movement therapies can help improve focus and attention, and reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Natural remedies for ADHD can be beneficial for some people, but it is important to note that they are not a substitute for proper medical care. Even if natural remedies can help to reduce symptoms, they should still be monitored and adjusted over time, just like medications, in order to ensure that the most effective treatment is being used.
How do I manage ADHD?
You must have heard by now that having ADHD makes you multitask like a ninja as well sometimes, you feel that the blood in your body may burst through the veins. Regardless, one of the common symptoms of ADHD is getting triggered easily, which leads to anxiety. Constant overstimulation leads to an overload of emotions, which can be difficult to manage.
For me, I refuse to believe that anxiety makes you weak. For me, anxiety is a powerful tool that can motivate individuals to take action and make positive changes in their lives.
This may sound absurd to many of you as you tend to lose focus and control when you are anxious. Things can get haywire.
But I believe this is only temporary and that anxiety can be used as a source of strength. By learning to accept and embrace anxiety, it can be used as a tool to push us out of our comfort zone and strive for betterment. Anxiety can be a powerful motivator to achieve great things when used correctly.
After struggling through some tough times, I began identifying the things that trigger my anger and anxiety. Identifying small details can help you better understand and manage your emotions.
I learned some techniques, such as deep breathing, to help calm my mind and body. I began to go back to meditation. It wasn’t easy. But everything is always challenging, right?
Over time, deep breathing and meditation enabled me to become more mindful and in control of my emotions, allowing me to manage stress and worry better. It also enabled me to gain clarity and perspective, which has helped me make better decisions.
I find ways to channel my anxiety in a healthy way through writing.
Writing has been a form of therapy for me, allowing me to take my anxious thoughts and put them into words. This has helped me to understand my emotions better and gain a better perspective on my life. Furthermore, it has helped me to develop my skills as a content writer, enabling me to gain the confidence to pursue it as a career.
Indulging in art stuff — painting bottles, making DIY stuff, making candles (this is so thearchic).
I found the strength to organize my wardrobe as I read and watched videos about minimalism. It accidentally made me more creative, and I wrote a blog about it.
Being creative can be incredibly therapeutic and has helped me express myself in ways I never thought possible. It has also given me the motivation to simplify my life and organize my belongings in a more meaningful way.
Watching series that interest me more such as crime/mystery — which again is not for everyone. Crime and mystery can cause hell trigger one’s anxiety, and no health coach or psychologist ever advises this. But for me, I feel home when I watch them.
Finding something that works for you is important, as everyone has different methods of finding peace and relaxation. Whether watching crime/mystery/drama/comedy series, listening to music, or doing yoga, make sure that you find your own mantra and stick to it.
I have been following a lot of Instagram accounts that talk about ADHD. Through these accounts, I better understood my condition and learned the various strategies people use to cope with ADHD. It has also helped me become more self-aware and recognize and manage my triggers. This has been invaluable in helping me to stay on top of my condition.
I have been better for a year and a half. Still, again, I know, the current world situation has created many more distractions and stressors, making it difficult to maintain the focus and structure needed to manage ADHD effectively.
In conclusion, I would like to highlight that it’s important to note that ADHD is a complex condition, and each person’s experience may differ. Everyone’s brain chemistry is unique, and some people may experience the symptoms differently from others. Furthermore, the severity of symptoms can also vary widely from person to person and can range from mild to severe.
It’s also worth mentioning that people with ADHD often face a lot of stigma and discrimination. They may be seen as lazy or unmotivated when in actuality, they are dealing with a disorder that affects their focus and concentration.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, symptoms of ADHD can make it difficult for a person to pay attention, stay organized, and complete tasks.
Next time if you find someone struggling with ADHD, be patient with them, please. Reach out for help if needed!
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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