Focus Partners

FAQs: Adult ADHD Medication

Answers to Your Questions About ADHD Medication

Navigating the different types of ADHD medication can be a confusing process. There are so many out there, and learning about each type is understandably overwhelming for many, especially when you’re newly diagnosed with ADHD.

That’s why we’ve put together a guide that answers all of the most commonly asked questions about ADHD medication.

adhd medication for adults, vyvanse, adderall, strattera

Trusted Online ADHD Treatment for You

At Focus Partners, we provide trustworthy and effective treatment services (including medication management) for adults living with ADHD. We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment to start your ADHD treatment journey today.

Adult ADHD Medication Guide

adhd medication, vyvanse, adderall, strattera

Adult ADHD Medication Guide

If you have ADHD, then taking the right medication can make a world of difference. The problem is that there are so many different medications for adult ADHD, and navigating them all can be incredibly confusing. Stimulant medications have been found to be helpful for most adults with ADHD, but if they don’t work for you, then there are other options, too.

Here is a complete guide to medications for adult ADHD.

Stimulant Medications for Adult ADHD

Psychostimulant compounds, or stimulants, are the most commonly used treatment for ADHD. They’re so widely used because they work — around 70 to 80% of people with ADHD see improvement in their symptoms with stimulant medications.

Stimulants work by increasing the amount of certain chemicals, like dopamine and norepinephrine, that are available in the brain. ADHD affects the levels of these chemicals, which is what causes symptoms. Taking stimulants can even out the effects of ADHD and ease symptoms like distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Stimulant medications for ADHD can be divided into two types:

  • Amphetamines
  • Methylphenidate

Both types of medication are central nervous system stimulants, and both are effective for people with ADHD. Which type of stimulant works better depends on each person. And about half of the people who take these medications find that both types work about the same for them. Your treatment provider can help you decide which one to try first, and you may need to go through a process of trial and error before you find the right one for you.

Common types of amphetamine medication:

Some common brand names for amphetamine medications for ADHD include:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine
  • Mydayis
  • Evekeo
  • Zenzedi
  • Vyvanse

Common types of methylphenidate medication:

Some common brand names for methylphenidate medications for ADHD include:

  • Metadate
  • Concerta
  • Ritalin
  • Methylin
  • Quillivin

What are the most common side effects for stimulant medications?

For most people, the side effects of stimulants are temporary and/or mild. Some of the most common mild side effects of stimulants include:

  • Insomnia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle twitches or tics
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Irritability

Long-term and serious side effects of stimulants are rare, but do affect some people. Some rare serious risks of stimulant medications include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Abuse or addiction (with use at higher than FDA-approved doses)
  • Skin discoloration

If you already live with high blood pressure or are at high risk for heart disease, then stimulants may not be for you. 

A note about stimulant medication and addiction: Stimulants are a Schedule II medication, and some people abuse ADHD medication. In general, ADHD medication, when taken as prescribed, has not been found to increase people’s risk for substance use disorder.

There have been studies that show that patients who are appropriately diagnosed and treated with stimulants experience reduced substance abuse disorder as adults.

However, if you’ve struggled with addiction to stimulant drugs (like methamphetamines, cocaine, or ADHD medication used recreationally) in the recent past, your treatment provider may suggest another type of medication on a case-by-case basis.

Sometimes, living with untreated ADHD can increase your risk of addiction more than taking stimulant ADHD medication does. It’s important that you are honest with your treatment provider about your entire medical history, including any past experience with addiction. They can use that information to help you make the right medication choice.

Other things to know about stimulant medication for ADHD

Again, stimulant medications are the best-known and most widely used type of ADHD treatment, and they help up to 80% of people with ADHD. After conducting an assessment of your medical history, your treatment provider will let you know if stimulants are a good option for you.

Both amphetamine and methylphenidate medications come in short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting forms. Long-acting medication is popular because you don’t need to take it as often (usually just once a day). Many people also say that long-acting ADHD medication feels smoother to adjust to, because the effect is released throughout the day instead of all at once.

Unlike other psychiatric medications, stimulants start to work almost immediately (usually within an hour of taking them). You don’t need to let stimulants “build up” in your system for them to be effective.

Because of its immediate effect, some people may also take breaks from taking stimulant medication or only take it on an as-needed basis. However, you should always take your medication exactly as prescribed — never stop taking your ADHD medication without getting your doctor’s approval first.

Non-Stimulant Medications for Adult ADHD

Stimulants like the ones listed above are, by far, the most effective type of medication available for adult ADHD. But if stimulants aren’t the right fit for you (whether they don’t work, aren’t safe, or cause too many side effects), then your treatment provider may prescribe you with a non-stimulant ADHD medication.

There are two types of non-stimulant medications that are used specifically to treat ADHD symptoms. One is atomoxetine, the non-stimulant that’s most commonly used for adult ADHD. Two types of blood pressure medication, guanfacine and clonidine, are also sometimes used to treat ADHD.

Atomoxetine for adult ADHD

Atomoxetine, sold under the brand name Strattera, is the only non-stimulant medication that’s FDA-approved to treat ADHD in adults. It isn’t typically used for any other purpose.

Atomoxetine is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI. It’s thought to work by increasing the amount of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) that’s available in your brain. Unlike stimulants, atomoxetine does not boost dopamine levels.

Some common but mild side effects of atomoxetine include:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Sexual side effects
  • Upset stomach

In some cases, atomoxetine has been found to cause liver damage. Your treatment provider will probably monitor your liver if you take atomoxetine. This might not be a good medication option for you if you already live with liver disease.

Blood pressure medication for adult ADHD

Two types of Alpha-2 agonist medications, typically used for high blood pressure, have also been used successfully to treat adult ADHD. The extended-release formulations of these medications are FDA-approved to treat ADHD in children, but not adults. But if neither stimulants or atomoxetine are good options for you, then your treatment provider might suggest one of these medications.

The two blood pressure medications that are used to treat ADHD are:

  • Guanfacine (sold under the brand name Inutiv), and
  • Clonidine (sold under the brand name Kapvay, among others).

It’s unknown exactly how these medications work for ADHD, but they have been found to reduce symptoms in children and adults. We do know that they relax your blood vessels to lower your blood pressure. Experts think that these medications may also impact levels of norepinephrine in the brain.

These medications are usually only used as a second- or third-line treatment option for adults with ADHD if stimulants or atomoxetine aren’t helpful or cause too many side effects. They can also be used alongside stimulants, which makes them more effective.

Side effects for these medications are often related to the way they lower blood pressure. Common but mild side effects for guanfacine and clonidine include:

  • Dizziness upon standing
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sexual side effects

More serious side effects include low blood pressure and an irregular heart rate. You may not be able to take these medications if you already have low blood pressure.

Antidepressants for Adult ADHD

Lastly, antidepressants are sometimes, but rarely, used to treat ADHD symptoms in adults. They’re used as a last-resort option in most cases because stimulants and other non-stimulants are so much more effective. The types of antidepressants that can improve ADHD also tend to come with a lot of side effects.

Antidepressants are not FDA-approved to treat ADHD. They are used “off-label,” which means that your treatment provider can prescribe them (and they’ve helped some people), but they weren’t designed to be used for ADHD.

Some types of antidepressants that have been used to treat ADHD in adults include:

  • bupropion (sold under the brand name Wellbutrin)
  • Venlafaxine (sold under the brand name Effexor)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), like Nardil
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), like Tofranil

People tend to tolerate Wellbutrin and Effexor better than they do MAOIs and TCAs. MAOIs and TCAs have been found to help some people with ADHD, but they’re rarely prescribed because they come with many unpleasant side effects. MAOIs, in particular, can have dangerous and even life-threatening interactions with foods and other medications, so your treatment provider will probably only prescribe this if absolutely nothing else is an option.

A note about ADHD and depression: ADHD and depression often overlap. People with ADHD are 3 times more likely to also have major depressive disorder. If you live with both ADHD and depression, antidepressants might help you to combat symptoms of both disorders. If you do experience symptoms of depression, make sure to tell your treatment provider about it.

Focus Partners: Online Treatment for Adult ADHD

At Focus Partners, we will provide a thorough assessment to determine which, if any, of these medications may be the right choice for you. Sometimes, it takes a process of trial and error to find the right medication fit — and we will walk with you every step of that journey.

We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now.

7 Benefits of Telehealth for Adult ADHD Treatment

adhd telehealth, online adhd treatment, online adhd treatment for adults

Why Telehealth for Adult ADHD Treatment?

If you’re newly diagnosed with ADHD (or if you’re looking to be evaluated for a potential diagnosis), it’s understandable to want to be very careful about who you choose as a treatment provider. It’s important to be familiar with all of your treatment options to be able to choose the provider that’s right for you.

Telehealth services for adult ADHD may not be a traditional choice for treatment, but research has found that it’s just as effective as in-person treatment. On top of that, telehealth ADHD treatment may come with unique benefits that you wouldn’t get if you limit yourself to only in-person providers.

So why should you consider telehealth for adult ADHD treatment? Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth, or telemedicine, is an umbrella term that’s used for any type of health service that’s delivered over a virtual platform. There are many types of telehealth services, from digital health apps to receiving lab results online to having a doctor’s visit over a video call. Telehealth has been around for a while, but it exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic. When people were afraid to leave their homes, especially to go to the hospital, they were able to have their health appointments online. 

Many health services can be delivered through telehealth platforms, including psychotherapy and . Obviously, some hands-on medical care like surgeries can’t be delivered online. But for most minor doctor’s visits, telehealth provides us with a convenient option for treatment.

Benefits of Telehealth for Adult ADHD Treatment

People see many different health professionals for help with ADHD, from their primary care provider to their in-person therapist. Telehealth may not be the best option for everyone, but in general, it’s a safe, effective, and accessible way to receive ADHD treatment.

Studies have found that online telehealth for adult ADHD treatment is comparable to in-person ADHD treatment in terms of both effectiveness and satisfaction.

So why do people choose telehealth for adult ADHD treatment? Here are 7 specific benefits to consider.

It’s geographically accessible.

If you live in a large metropolitan area, then you may have no problem finding a local adult ADHD treatment provider in your area. But others who live in remote or rural areas might not be so lucky.

Many people, even in the U.S., find themselves without specialized medical services in their local area. Rural mental health services are especially lacking.

For people who aren’t fortunate enough to have an ADHD treatment provider in their area, telehealth services can make ADHD treatment more accessible. They can receive quality, specialized ADHD treatment without having to commute outside of their area. This helps bridge the gap between the adults who need ADHD treatment and those who are actually getting it.

You can choose a provider who specializes in adult ADHD.

When you’re seeking assessment or treatment for adult ADHD, it’s important to see a provider that specializes in ADHD. ADHD is still such a misunderstood condition, which is why so many people reach adulthood without ever having received the correct diagnosis. Seeing a general practitioner for ADHD is, in many ways, a game of chance. Some practitioners may have expertise on adult ADHD, but others may not.

If you choose a telehealth platform, you can choose to work specifically with an ADHD specialist. This will make it more likely that your provider will be able to catch all the signs and symptoms of ADHD that may be affecting you and refer you to the type of treatment that’s right for your specific situation.

Teletherapy is effective.

Some people worry that mental health services over telehealth aren’t as effective as in-person therapy. Research so far shows us that this isn’t the case. Studies have found that online mental health therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy.

That means you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting quality treatment if you choose an online platform — and you can focus more on whether your treatment provider has specialized experience in treating adult ADHD.

Telehealth saves money and time.

Even if you have an ADHD provider in your local area, the time and money that you spend on commuting to appointments adds up. You’re a busy adult, and getting ADHD treatment should make your life easier, not more complicated. 

Telehealth appointments can save you time and money by taking the commute out of the equation. You can also save time and money on smaller details, like having to get professionally dressed. We can’t speak for all online treatment providers, but at Focus Partners, we don’t care if you arrive at your appointment wearing pajama bottoms!

Telehealth simplifies the treatment process.

Because telehealth appointments are so much easier to attend, the treatment process (from initial consultation to follow-up) is often more simplified when receiving services online.

After going through your initial assessment and receiving an ADHD diagnosis, your treatment provider will probably prescribe you with medication. But the process shouldn’t end there — regular follow-up appointments are important so your provider can monitor your symptoms and how you’re reacting to the meds. Telehealth makes it easier to attend these follow-up appointments without canceling or postponing them.

Telehealth can be easier for people with ADHD.

On top of other things, ADHD makes it hard for people to keep their schedules and tasks organized. Attending treatment appointments may feel like yet another task on the never-ending to-do list, and it’s easy to become so overwhelmed that you put off making an appointment at all.

Communicating online, and not having to physically transport yourself to an office, can make it easier for people with ADHD to keep up with appointments. There’s often more flexibility in scheduling with online appointments, as well. For example, you don’t need to account for commuting time or traffic. All of this makes telehealth appointments much easier for adults with ADHD.

Telehealth can feel like a natural way to communicate for millennials and Gen Z patients.

Younger people grew up using technology for communication, and they often primarily communicate with their friends through technology, too. In some cases, seeing a treatment provider online might feel more natural to you than visiting an unknown office somewhere. 

If you attend telehealth appointments at home, it can sometimes also give your provider a glimpse into your life that they wouldn’t necessarily get if you went to their office. You might feel more natural at home, and more free to be yourself rather than trying to mask your symptoms. This can give your provider a more accurate look into what you’re going through and how ADHD affects your life.

Online Adult ADHD Treatment with Focus Partners

At Focus Partners, we’re committed to providing effective and trustworthy treatment online for adults with ADHD. Our online clinic specializes in adult ADHD, so you can feel confident that you’re receiving treatment from providers who know ADHD very well. We offer online assessment and diagnosis, online medication management, and other services.

We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential.  Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team works with adults residing in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

Adult ADHD Treatment Options

adhd treatment options, online adhd treatment for adults

Adult ADHD Treatment Options

It can be confusing to navigate the complex world of ADHD treatment options. Different treatment types are most helpful for different people, and it can feel overwhelming when you’re presented with all of the options.

At Focus Partners, we will walk you through every adult ADHD treatment option and recommend treatments that we think are right for you. In the meantime, here’s a simple guide that explains every ADHD treatment option, including different medications and therapies.

Medications for Adult ADHD

Most adults with ADHD can find relief through psychiatric medications. In broad terms, there are two types of medications used for ADHD: stimulant medication and non-stimulant medication.

Medications are helpful because ADHD affects the way your brain works — and it may not be working like it’s supposed to. For example, ADHD affects your executive functioning skills, like memory and task organization. This is why ADHD makes it so difficult to complete everyday tasks like starting on projects or keeping spaces organized. Medications interact with your brain to help it function like it should.

Most people start with stimulant medication, but may use other types of medication if stimulants don’t work for them.

Stimulant medication

Stimulant medication is used as the first-line treatment for ADHD. That means that treatment providers suggest that people with ADHD try taking stimulants before moving on to other medication options. This is because there’s a lot of evidence that proves that stimulants are helpful for most people with ADHD; research has found that stimulants help around 3 out of 4 people with ADHD.

Stimulants work by increasing levels of chemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain. This decreases certain ADHD symptoms like impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity.

The two main types of stimulant medications that are used for ADHD are amphetamines and methylphenidate.

Specific types of amphetamine medications include:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine
  • Evekeo
  • Vyvanse

Specific types of methylphenidate medications include:

  • Ritalin
  • Concerta
  • Focalin
  • Metadate

Stimulants like these are considered to be controlled substances, and are often used recreationally in other forms. But the evidence so far suggests that they don’t increase your risk for developing an addiction. In fact, for adults who have ADHD, taking medication may actually reduce your chances of having substance use disorder.

If you’ve struggled with stimulant abuse in the past, then another type of medication might be a better option for you. You should be honest about your past history of addiction with your treatment provider.

Non-stimulant medications

If stimulants don’t work for you, then your care provider might suggest that you try other, non-stimulant medications. There are non-stimulants that are specifically used for ADHD, but sometimes, your provider may suggest you try other classes of medication, like antidepressants.

The only non-stimulant medication that is FDA-approved to treat adult ADHD is atomoxetine (sold as Strattera). This medication works by increasing levels of norepinephrine in your brain. There are other non-stimulants that are approved for treating ADHD in children, including:

  • Kapvay
  • Intuniv
  • Qelbree

Other medications, like antidepressants, are sometimes used “off-label” for ADHD. This means that these medications weren’t intended for treating ADHD, but research has found that it’s sometimes helpful.

Antidepressants that are used off-label for ADHD treatment include:

  • Wellbutrin
  • Effexor
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), like Marplan and Nardil
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), like Anafranil and Pamelor

MAOIs and TCAs are rarely used because of their risk for serious side effects. But your doctor might suggest them if other medications haven’t worked for you.

Therapy for Adult ADHD

Stimulant medication is the most effective treatment for adult ADHD. But there’s some evidence that suggests that psychotherapy can be helpful for people with ADHD, too.

You don’t need to choose between therapy and medication. Often, people take medication and receive other non-drug treatments to help them manage their ADHD symptoms. This is especially true if you live with other mental health conditions on top of ADHD, like depression. 

Studies have found that people with ADHD are more likely to also have depression, and many people with ADHD also struggle with low self-esteem. Therapy can help boost your self-image and challenge the negative thoughts that often come along with ADHD.

The type of psychotherapy that is the most helpful for adults with ADHD is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT has been found to increase productivity for adults with ADHD, as well as improve their organization and self-esteem.

Especially if you didn’t get diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood, you may have lived with frustration and disappointment your entire life. Careless mistakes and an inability to focus leave many adults with ADHD feeling like they’re not meeting their full potential.

CBT helps people to notice, and challenge, their negative and unhelpful thoughts about ADHD.

For example, you may have had a thought like: “I made such a stupid mistake. Why am I so dumb and careless? I can’t do anything right.”

A CBT therapist can help you notice when you’re talking to yourself like this. They can help you challenge these thoughts and replace them with more helpful ones, like:

“ADHD makes it harder for me to focus, and so I may make mistakes sometimes. But I know that I don’t have to be perfect to be worthy. I’ll keep up with my treatment plan and learn more and more skills to stay on top of my work.”

Behavioral Intervention for Adult ADHD

We tend to think of behavioral therapy as something only for children with ADHD, but there are behavioral interventions that are helpful for adults, too. 

When it’s used with kids, behavioral therapy strategies teach the whole family, along with other adults like teachers, ways to reward the child for positive behavior. For adults, there is no one to reward you but yourself. Behavioral intervention for adult ADHD usually focuses on strategies to help the adult with life skills like organization and time management.

Learning these skills is a reward in itself for adults with ADHD. These strategies make life with ADHD a lot easier, and can allow adults with ADHD to improve their careers and relationships. Knowing how to manage ADHD symptoms can also lessen feelings of frustration or incompetence.

Some adults are able to learn behavioral strategies on their own. Others may choose to work with an ADHD coach or therapist.

Some specific life skills that behavioral therapy for ADHD can teach you include:

  • Creating a distraction-free working environment
  • Time management skills
  • Task organization skills, like using lists and calendars
  • Home and space organization
  • Setting up reminder systems
  • Finding alternative, healthy behaviors for hyperactive energy
  • Social skills (like how to have a conversation without interrupting)

ADHD Education

A complete treatment plan for adult ADHD usually includes some type of ADHD education.

Knowing what ADHD is, how it operates, and how it affects your life can help you learn how to manage its symptoms, especially when you’re newly diagnosed. Of course, education alone isn’t typically enough as treatment. But when you are equipped with important knowledge, you can strategize ways to live well with ADHD.

For example, if you know in advance that ADHD makes it difficult for you to concentrate, you can choose the way you work or study wisely — like putting in noise-canceling headphones or facing toward a blank wall.

Having education about ADHD may also limit the ways ADHD affects your mood and mental health. Instead of blaming or labeling yourself for mistakes, you can recognize when ADHD has caused you to become forgetful. You may also be able to explain to loved ones how ADHD affects you so they can support you the best they can.

Get Online Adult ADHD Treatment Now

ADHD is a chronic condition, but that doesn’t mean your life is over. Far from it — with the right treatment, you can learn to live well with adult ADHD and even turn some of its symptoms into strengths.

Focus Partners provides effective online ADHD treatment for adults residing in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York. . We can provide you with a thorough medical assessment and help you navigate the treatment options that may be right for you. See if we can assist by taking our initial online ADHD assessment to start your ADHD treatment journey today.

Adult ADHD Symptoms and Signs

adult adhd symptoms, online adhd treatment, signs of adhd in adults

Adult ADHD Symptoms and Signs

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, isn’t only a childhood condition. It affects over 4% of adults in the U.S., and the actual number may be even higher because of the number of adults who are mis- or undiagnosed. 

Although the recognized symptoms of ADHD are the same in both children and adults, ADHD can present differently for adults. We often think of kids with ADHD as bouncing off the walls, but adults with ADHD may behave in different ways.

Here are the most important signs and symptoms of adult ADHD, including the official diagnostic criteria as well as other signs to pay attention to.

Adult ADHD Symptoms: Diagnostic Criteria

ADHD is listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), which is often considered the ultimate authority on psychiatric disorders and their symptoms. The DSM defines three presentations of ADHD: the predominantly inattentive type, the hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type. Each presentation comes with its own symptoms.

To meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis as an adult, you must experience at least 5 symptoms of inattention and/or 5 symptoms of hyperactivity.

The symptoms of predominantly inattentive ADHD are:

  1. Lacks attention to detail; makes careless mistakes
  2. Difficulty with sustained attention during tasks
  3. Cannot or does not follow instructions
  4. Doesn’t seem to be listening when spoken to
  5. Difficulty organizing or prioritizing tasks
  6. Avoids tasks that require sustained effort or attention
  7. Loses or misplaces objects
  8. Easily distracted
  9. Forgetful in day-to-day life

The symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD are:

  1. Fidgeting or squirming
  2. Getting out of your chair when expected to stay seated
  3. Restlessness
  4. Cannot engage in quiet leisure activities
  5. Difficulty staying still for a long time; “on the go”
  6. Talks excessively
  7. Interrupts or blurts things out
  8. Trouble waiting in line or waiting their turn

The most common type of ADHD is combined type; if you have combined type ADHD, you would have some symptoms from each of these lists.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, you must have had these symptoms since you were 12 years old or younger. Some people think, at first, that they only developed their ADHD symptoms in adulthood, but with closer examination, it’s usually discovered that these symptoms were present (although perhaps hidden or masked) when they were children as well.

Signs of ADHD in Adults

The DSM diagnostic criteria is used to help clinicians make an ADHD diagnosis, but it might not be very helpful for you if you think you may have ADHD.

Both children and adults with ADHD face the same symptoms, but they can present in very different ways. It’s important to know what ADHD looks like in adults, specifically, so you can recognize the signs in yourself and get treatment if you need it.

Here are some clear signs of ADHD in adults, and descriptions of how they might present in your life if you live with ADHD. These signs are based on the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRSv1.1), which is a screening tool for adult ADHD that is used by clinicians and physicians for adult ADHD.

Trouble with focus

A major sign of inattentiveness in ADHD is an inability to focus. In adults, this symptom may present as “spacing out” during meetings, lectures, or conversations or being easily distracted while you’re trying to complete tasks. They may also find their attention drifting while they’re in the middle of a conversation and have a hard time following along with what people are saying. Unrelated sounds or sights around them might distract them easily.

Many adults find this difficulty with concentration leads them to make careless mistakes at work and home, especially when the task is repetitive or boring. They may have trouble following instructions or miss the details in their work.

Difficulty with organization

If you’re an adult with ADHD, it may feel to you like your space (both internal and external) is a constant mess. This doesn’t mean that you’re emotionally unhealthy or a slob; it just means that adults with ADHD often have trouble organizing both tasks and spaces.

For example, you might have trouble starting on an assigned project because you can’t organize the steps involved. Or the reverse may be true: you may be able to start on projects, but not be able to finish the details. The space around you, like your office, home, or car, may also be cluttered and messy.

Many adults with ADHD remember having messy backpacks and desks at children, no matter what their academic performance was like.

Forgetting appointments

Partly because of the difficulty with organization, many adults with ADHD have a hard time remembering appointments or deadlines.  Adults with ADHD may suddenly realize that they forgot to call a colleague back after they promised to, or notice that there was a deadline the week before that they completely missed. 

This is one of the reasons why ADHD is such a serious condition. If left untreated, symptoms like this one can start to cause problems, especially at work.


Adults with ADHD often feel restless, or as if they’re driven by an internal motor. It might be difficult for them to wind down at the end of a long day, even if they’re exhausted, because they’re constantly “on the go.” Both adults and children with ADHD have difficulty staying seated for long periods of time because of this restlessness. They may squirm or fidget a lot, like tapping their legs or pencil.

Children with ADHD are often depicted as “bouncing off the walls,” but adults with ADHD have usually learned to control their restlessness to some degree. However, restlessness continues to manifest in their lives in different ways. For example, adults with ADHD may get out of their seats often during long meetings, even when they’re expected to stay seated. They may have racing thoughts and ideas that keep them awake at night.


Everyone procrastinates sometimes. But for adults with ADHD, procrastination may be a lifelong habit that has wreaked havoc on their lives. Many people with ADHD procrastinate not because of “laziness,” but because they simply don’t know how to or don’t feel able to get started. Tasks that are repetitive or that require a lot of concentration can feel torturous for people with ADHD. If you have ADHD, you may constantly put off these types of tasks until you’re faced with the consequences.

ADHD might also make it difficult to prioritize tasks; people with ADHD may spend a lot of time trying to organize the different steps involved and run out of time to actually complete the task. Other adults with ADHD may start the parts of projects that interest them, but have a difficult time finishing or polishing them. 

Low tolerance for boredom

Often, adults who are newly diagnosed with ADHD say things like, “But I can pay attention while I’m playing my favorite game/talking to my favorite person/doing my favorite activity. How could I have ADHD if I can pay attention sometimes?”

The truth is that people with ADHD don’t always have trouble concentrating in every scenario. Some people with ADHD may even experience something called hyperfocus, which causes them to become completely absorbed in a task or activity that interests them.

But most people with ADHD do have a very low tolerance for boredom. It’s during boring, repetitive, or tedious tasks that ADHD symptoms flare up the most. Of course, most people don’t enjoy doing boring tasks. But adults with ADHD may avoid these tasks altogether or get very frustrated when they’re unavoidable.

Misplacing objects

Adults with ADHD are known to misplace important objects, like their car keys or cell phone, on a regular basis. As a child, if you were lucky, you may have had an adult in your life who kept track of your important things for you. But as adults, most of us are responsible for ourselves — and adults with ADHD can have a hard time keeping track of their own things with nobody to help them.

Part of this may be because their space is disorganized and cluttered due to inattention caused by ADHD. If you are an adult with ADHD, there are behavioral strategies you can use to help you keep track of objects you tend to lose on a regular basis.

Talking too much

Have your friends ever told you you talk too much? Do you find yourself interrupting conversations or finishing other people’s sentences, even when it isn’t appropriate? Do you find that you have “no filter” and blurt things out and regret them later?

These are often signs of adult ADHD which are related to impulsivity. These symptoms can cause serious damage to relationships, especially when adults don’t know that these behaviors are caused by ADHD. The people around them may see them as rude or socially inappropriate.

Treatment for Adult ADHD

When adults live with untreated or undiagnosed ADHD, life may seem more difficult to them than it is for other, neurotypical adults. The correct diagnosis and treatment may make a world of difference to adults who have lived with untreated ADHD since childhood.

You can live a successful, fulfilling, and happy life with ADHD. See if we can assist by taking our initial online ADHD assessment to start your ADHD treatment journey today.  Focus Partners provides telehealth-based online ADHD treatment for adults, and we’re here to listen to you and help unlock the full power of your potential. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

Adult ADHD: Help Family and Friends Understand

how adhd can affect your family, adult adhd family relationships, adult adhd treatment

Helping Family and Friends Understand ADHD

Relationships are often difficult when you live with ADHD. It may sometimes feel like your friends and family don’t really understand what it’s like to be you. It might feel like they blame you for your ADHD symptoms, and don’t understand how, exactly, ADHD affects you. 

ADHD is a difficult subject to talk about with loved ones. Here are 5 communication tips that can help you talk to your friends and family about what it’s like to live with ADHD.

Tell Them the Facts About ADHD

First, it’s important that you explain to your friends and family, to the best of your ability, the facts about ADHD. ADHD is still such a misunderstood condition, and adults with ADHD are often told, “But you don’t seem like you have ADHD.” If your friends and family are dubious of your ADHD diagnosis, this is a sign that they don’t truly understand what ADHD really is.

Explain to them that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes a deficit in executive function. You can lay out examples of how this affects you. If the science behind ADHD feels too complex for you to explain, guide your loved ones toward online resources like YouTube videos that accurately explain ADHD.

Explain in Small Info-Bytes

ADHD is a complex disorder with many different symptoms. While it’s important to explain the facts behind ADHD, trying to get your friends and family to understand everything about the disorder in one sitting is bound to lead to frustration for both sides.

Instead of trying to give a comprehensive lecture on everything there is to know about ADHD, you may find it more helpful to explain one facet of ADHD at a time. For example, maybe you can talk about hyperfocus one day, and impulsivity on another.

Invite Them to an Appointment

If you feel comfortable, invite your friend or family member to your next appointment with your psychiatrist, physician, or therapist. Often, medical professionals are able to explain things better than we can. And, for whatever reason, loved ones may be more willing to accept what your providers say as the truth.

Inviting your loved one to a medical appointment doesn’t mean that your provider will share everything you’ve ever talked about. You have a legal right to privacy. If you’re worried about this, talk to your provider. If there’s something specific that you don’t want them to share, let them know.

Point Out When ADHD Is Affecting You

Explaining the science of ADHD is one thing. But it may also be helpful for your loved ones to see how ADHD affects you in real-time. If ADHD starts affecting you while you’re with the person, point it out so that they’re able to witness an example.

For instance, you might lose your keys or your phone while you’re out with friends. Use this as an opportunity to explain how ADHD makes you forgetful. Remind them of the science of ADHD, like executive function deficit, and point out to them that this is what the science looks like in real life.

Don’t Blame Bad Behaviors on ADHD

If you consistently blame bad behaviors on your ADHD, then your friends and family may become less likely to try to understand and empathize with your condition. Instead of only talking about ADHD when something bad has happened, talk about it during a more neutral time.

Schedule a time to sit down with them and talk to your loved ones about ADHD. This shouldn’t be done as part of an apology, but simply to educate. When your loved ones aren’t feeling hurt by your actions, they may be more likely to listen.

Try to Be Patient

Understand that, for people who don’t live with ADHD, this disorder is very confusing and complex. For example, loved ones may not understand why you have such a hard time concentrating on certain tasks (like schoolwork) but not on others (like games). 

Try to be patient with them. This doesn’t mean that you need to excuse offensive things that they intentionally say or do about ADHD, but if they’re making an effort to learn and understand your condition, try to keep this in mind..

Get Trusted Online ADHD Treatment

At Focus Partners, we provide trustworthy and effective treatment services for adults living with ADHD. We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

ADHD in Relationships: How You can Make it Work

does adhd affect relationships, adhd in relationships, adhd and relationships

How Does ADHD Show Up in Relationships?

There’s no doubt about it: ADHD affects every area of your life, including your relationships. ADHD in relationships makes things difficult both for the people who live with ADHD and for the people who love them. 

But that doesn’t mean that your relationships are doomed to fail if you live with ADHD. There are ways to manage your symptoms, and communicate with your partner, to build a healthy and strong relationship that is long-lasting.

ADHD Symptoms that Affect Relationships

ADHD is a condition that causes symptoms like distractedness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. We often think about how these symptoms affect academic or work life. But the truth is that ADHD symptoms affect relationships just as much — and not always in a positive way. ADHD symptoms can cause frustration for both the person with ADHD and their partner.

Here’s how some specific ADHD symptoms can show up in relationships.

Distractedness and inattention

People with ADHD characteristically have a hard time paying attention and focusing. They are easily distracted, and their mind often wanders — especially during uninteresting tasks. This might cause their partner to feel like the person with ADHD is a bad listener or is never truly paying attention to them.

The partner might feel like the person with ADHD drifts off during conversations, even during conversations that are important to the relationship. It might seem like the person with ADHD prefers to look at their phone or watch whatever is on the TV than pay attention to their partner. This can leave the partner feeling unloved and neglected. In reality, it’s not that the person with ADHD doesn’t care — but their ADHD makes it very difficult for them to pay attention.

Impulsive outbursts

One symptom of ADHD, especially hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, is impulsivity. This symptom makes it difficult for people with ADHD to have self-control, especially if there are strong emotions involved.

Impulsivity could cause some people with ADHD to have angry or emotional outbursts. These outbursts could happen because the person with ADHD is frustrated or even just bored. People with ADHD can also sometimes talk without a filter, and blurt things out without thinking about how their words will affect their partner. These outbursts may be very hurtful to the partner, but the person with ADHD may not even remember what they were upset about 5 minutes later.


People with ADHD are usually forgetful. At work, this causes them to miss deadlines and forget about meetings. In relationships, this may lead them to forget special dates, like birthdays and anniversaries. It may also cause them to forget instructions — like what to pick up from the store — immediately after receiving them.

It’s no surprise that this is often very frustrating for the partners of people with ADHD. They may even feel like the person with ADHD simply chooses not to remember things because the relationship isn’t important to them. This isn’t the case, but it can be hard for the partner to understand how ADHD affects memory.


This isn’t always the case, but people with ADHD are often messy. They may use their car as a junk drawer, or leave spaces in their home completely disorganized. This can become a source of contention in a relationship, especially if the couple lives together. 

Partners of people with ADHD may feel like they’re always picking up after them. They may also feel the brunt of the responsibility for most household chores. This can cause resentment.

Lack of organization

ADHD makes it extremely difficult for people to organize, prioritize, and complete tasks. This may include household tasks like going grocery shopping and paying the bills on time.

This may leave the partner having to take responsibility for most of these tasks and make sure the household runs smoothly. Some partners may not mind this, but others might feel frustrated. Partners might feel like too much responsibility is on their shoulders, and that everything would fall apart if it wasn’t for their efforts.

This can also lead to a parent-child dynamic in the relationship that can make the partner with ADHD feel incompetent or infantilized. This may lead to the person with ADHD experiencing feelings of shame and guilt, and becoming resentful of their partner for being the one “in charge.”

Feeling misunderstood

On the other hand, from the ADHD partner’s side, it may feel like their partner (without ADHD) doesn’t have empathy for their disorder. For example, if their partner becomes upset with them after an ADHD outburst, they may feel like the partner isn’t trying hard enough to understand how ADHD affects them. This can lead to frustration and hurt feelings on both sides.

How to Build a Healthy Relationship with ADHD

Again, having ADHD doesn’t mean your relationships are doomed to fail. There are ways to build and sustain a healthy and happy relationship while living with ADHD. But usually, this takes effort on both sides.

Here are things that both partners can do to ensure a smooth and understanding relationship.

For the partner without ADHD

If you are the partner without ADHD, you can work on trying to understand, as much as possible, how ADHD affects your partner. Empathy is the ability to see the world through another person’s eyes. When you don’t live with ADHD, it’s hard to conceptualize what the world looks like through an ADHD lens. 

Studying and learning about ADHD and its symptoms may feel relieving to you, as it might explain many of the struggles that you have with your partner. Being familiar with the symptoms of ADHD can also help you to become more empathetic toward what your partner is going through and why they behave the way they do.

In addition, try to:

  • Stop being your partner’s “parent.” Encourage them to participate in household chores, and don’t take care of all of their tasks for them. This just builds resentment on both sides.
  • Don’t use personal attacks when it comes to ADHD symptoms (or anything else). For example, don’t label your partner with ADHD as “irresponsible” when what you mean to say is that their ADHD makes them forget their responsibilities.
  • Motivate your partner, and affirm their efforts. Understand that ADHD will make things difficult for them that may feel easy for you. Get rid of the mindset of, “That’s something that any ‘normal’ adult should be able to do.” 

For the partner with ADHD

If you are the partner with ADHD, the best thing you can do for your relationship is to get treatment. Having ADHD isn’t your fault, but you do have the responsibility to do something about it. ADHD is a chronic, but treatable, condition. Treatment won’t make it so that you no longer have ADHD, but it can make symptoms a lot easier to manage.

On top of getting treatment, also remember to:

  • Take responsibility for your actions, and apologize when ADHD has caused you to hurt your partner. Don’t divert attention away from the harm.
  • Learn about your own symptoms. When you notice how ADHD is affecting your relationship, you may feel more motivated to get help.
  • Don’t rely on your partner to take care of everything for you. While they can definitely help and support you, don’t turn them into your parent.

Online Adult ADHD Treatment with Focus Partners

Relationships for people with ADHD are harder than they need to be when the ADHD is untreated. Getting ADHD treatment is one of the best things you can do for both yourself and your relationship. There was nothing you could have done to prevent getting ADHD, but there are steps you can take, now, to make life easier.

Focus Partners provides online ADHD treatment services for adults, and we’re here to listen to you and help unlock the full power of your potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

Adult ADHD: 6 Productivity Hacks to Get Things Done

does adhd affect productivity, adhd productivity, adhd productivity tips

6 Productivity Hacks for Adults With ADHD

If you live with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), then it’s no secret to you that this condition can make it exceptionally hard to stay productive at school or work. 

If you’re having a hard time staying productive at school or at work because of ADHD, then try these tips.

Set Realistic Goals

First of all, it’s important to understand that no one is productive 100% of the time — with or without ADHD. Add ADHD or other neurodivergence into the mix, and 100% productivity becomes even more unrealistic.

Set realistic goals when it comes to productivity. For example, it might not be realistic to try to be completely productive for 2 hours straight. You know yourself best — when do you start to burn out? If you know your maximum is 20 minutes, then set the timer for 20 minutes, and try to be productive for that time.

Setting realistic goals is also something that happens more internally, too. No amount of “life hacks” will make it so you don’t have ADHD. Be kind to yourself, and stop bullying yourself to be just as productive as colleagues who don’t live with this condition.

Try the Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro method is a popular productivity method both for people with ADHD and without it. Basically, a Pomodoro cycle is made up of a 25-minute focused session and a 5-minute break. After 4 Pomodoro cycles, you take a longer, 20-minute break. Easy, right?

25 minutes may not seem like very much, but when you string 4 Pomodoro cycles together, you’ve got almost 2 hours of focused work time. 

Feel free to adjust this method for your unique needs. For example, if 25 minutes is too long, then set the timer for less.

Break Tasks Up

Part of why it is so hard to be productive with ADHD is because of an executive function deficit, which makes it hard to organize and prioritize tasks. Often, people with ADHD look at a project that’s in front of them and think: “Where do I even start?”

If this sounds familiar to you, then try breaking up the project into smaller tasks. Work on each task as an individual project, and don’t worry about the rest of it. Just focus on finishing each small task. If you struggle with splitting big projects up, then ask a friend or an ADHD coach to help you.

Tackle Fun Tasks First

Usually, adults with ADHD don’t have a hard time being productive on anything whatsoever — it’s typically uninteresting, tedious, or repetitive tasks that are difficult to get done. But tasks that are fun or engaging may not be a problem whatsoever.

You can try to gain momentum with productivity by tackling the fun, easy tasks first. But remember to use this momentum by allowing it to motivate you to tackle the other, more boring tasks. Don’t stop! Otherwise, you may be left with a laundry list of tedious tasks that you’re too tired to complete.

Be Mindful of Your Work Space

ADHD causes distractibility, which means that the environment you work in may be more important for you than it is for other people. If you live with ADHD, that means that you need to choose your work environment carefully to make sure that distractions are kept to a minimum.

For example, try not to work in a place where there are a lot of different sounds, or use noise-canceling headphones if that’s unavoidable. Try not to have too many visual distractions around you; for example, working in the living room while your roommate watches a movie may not be the best idea.

By setting your office up for ADHD, you can set yourself up for success. A good office for productivity is ergonomically comfortable, includes different stations for different tasks, and is uncluttered.

Get Treatment for Your ADHD

Lastly, living with untreated ADHD is bound to make it more difficult to be productive. One of the best ways to boost your productivity when living with ADHD is to treat your ADHD symptoms themselves.

Stimulant medications help up to 80% of people who live with ADHD. Being productive becomes a lot easier when symptoms like inattention and restlessness are managed. Medication can help your brain focus, and make it easier for you to shift between tasks — effects that can give your productivity a boost.

Focus Partners provides online treatment for adults with ADHD, including medication management. We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team currently provides online ADHD treatment to adults in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

Executive Function and ADHD: A Close Relationship

executive function and adhd, online adhd treatment adults, adult adhd treatment near me

Executive Function and ADHD

You’re staring at a blank document screen, watching the cursor blink. You have a paper due tomorrow, and you know you’d better start working on it. But somehow, it is impossible to actually start working.

Your brain feels stuck, as if there’s some kind of blockage preventing you from actually working. On top of that, it feels overwhelming to even know where to start. You become frustrated and slam your laptop shut.

Does this sound familiar? If you live with ADHD, these situations may happen because of an executive function deficit.

Executive functioning is an important set of brain functions that allows us to complete advanced tasks like working towards goals and sustaining attention. ADHD causes adults to have problems with executive functioning, which can make life difficult when the symptoms are left untreated.

So what is executive functioning, exactly, and what does ADHD have to do with it?

What Is Executive Functioning?

The term executive functioning refers to a set of cognitive processes and skills that allows us to make decisions, prioritize tasks, work toward goals, and more. These skills are a result of teamwork that happens between several different areas of the brain, but it’s the prefrontal cortex that’s primarily responsible for them. 

In some ways, executive functioning is like the CEO of the brain. Other parts of the brain help us do things like move our muscles in the way we want or to know when we’re in pain. But our executive functions are what allow us to plan, set goals, keep track of things, and see the big picture. Other brain functions can focus solely on what they are responsible for. Our “brain CEO” is able to oversee everything going on, prioritize, and make decisions accordingly.

Imagine a small child sitting in front of a piece of chocolate cake. The child is told, “Don’t eat this piece of cake. If this piece of cake is still here when I return in 5 minutes, you can have the cake and a popsicle.”

If the child hasn’t developed strong executive functions yet, they may eat the piece of cake that’s in front of them. Their “brain CEO” is absent, and they may react impulsively. Or they may not even remember what they were told — and simply eat the cake because it’s cake, and it’s in front of them.

Someone with strong executive function can see the big picture. They can have self-control and wait for the popsicle if they really want it. Or, they may think, “I don’t really like popsicles, and I’m starving now. It isn’t worth it to me to wait. I’ll just have the cake now.”

The point is that either way, their executive functioning allows them to remember the instructions, see the big picture, prioritize their needs, and make the best decision. 

Executive functioning skills can be divided into three main areas of brain function: 

  1. Working memory
  2. Flexible thinking
  3. Inhibitory control (or self-control).

Within those 3 broad areas, there are 6 essential executive functioning skills. These skills were identified by Dr. Thomas Brown, a researcher in the area of ADHD and executive functioning.

The 6 essential executive functioning skills that Dr. Brown identified include:

  1. Organizing, prioritizing, and activating for tasks
  2. Focusing, sustaining, and shifting attention to tasks
  3. Regulating alertness, sustaining effort, and processing speed
  4. Managing frustration and modulating emotions
  5. Utilizing working memory and accessing recall
  6. Monitoring and self-regulating action

There are certain conditions that cause some people to have impaired executive functioning. Some people, like people with ADHD or learning disabilities, are born with weak executive function. Others may develop a brain injury or disease that causes poor executive functioning later on in life.

Executive Function and ADHD are linked – what about other disorders?

ADHD is a common cause of poor executive functioning, but other disorders that affect these functions include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Dementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Neurocognitive diseases
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

People who have poor executive functioning, like people with ADHD, have a difficult time prioritizing tasks and seeing the big picture. They may struggle with planning and problem-solving, or become overwhelmed when having to make important decisions.

How does ADHD affect executive functioning?

Neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD, affect the brain’s executive functioning. In fact, many ADHD symptoms are simply a result of the way this disorder impairs executive functions. The relationship between ADHD and executive functioning is so closely related that we could have easily named ADHD executive function deficit disorder.

If you live with ADHD, you may have looked at the list of 6 executive functions above and recognized them right away. That’s because most people with ADHD struggle with all of these executive functioning skills. 

Working memory

Working memory is the executive function that allows you to recall both verbal and non-verbal information. One of the principal symptoms of adult ADHD is forgetfulness; if you live with ADHD, you already know this. Forgetfulness may lead you to misplace objects, miss deadlines, or forget about important dates and meetings. You might also forget instructions you are given almost immediately after hearing them.

This isn’t because you aren’t intelligent — it’s because of the way ADHD affects your executive functioning. Without access to working memory and recall, it can be extremely difficult for people with ADHD to remember things.

Organizing and prioritizing 

Organization is one of the main areas of struggle for people with ADHD. This can show up in both your mind and your physical space. Your home, office, or car might be messy and disorganized, and this might cause you to misplace things constantly.

But disorganization can also show up in tasks. Maybe you’ve had the experience that, when faced with a big project with multiple steps, you just can’t seem to figure out what to do first. 

This is an executive function deficit. You aren’t a “slob,” nor are you an unprofessional person.

Sustaining and shifting focus

Inattention and distractibility are key characteristics of ADHD. Typically, people with ADHD have a difficult time sustaining attention on one thing, especially if that thing is tedious or uninteresting.

But people with ADHD also experience hyperfocus, which is when their attention gets so locked onto one thing that you don’t notice anything else going on around you. This is because it’s also difficult for people with ADHD to regulate and shift their attention from one task to another.

Regulating effort and alertness

Many adults with ADHD experience daytime drowsiness. You might feel totally alert when you’re doing something that interests you, but be overwhelmed by sleepiness as soon as you need to complete a boring or tedious task. This may be related to an executive function deficit.

Even if you don’t experience drowsiness, you might find it challenging to sustain effort and keep working at something, especially if it bores you. For example, you might have a long-term goal of finishing a college paper. But you might have a hard time continuing to work on the paper, step by step, in order to reach that goal.

Regulating emotions

One symptom of adult ADHD that isn’t often talked about is impulsive emotional outbursts. Adults with ADHD tend to have a low tolerance for frustration and boredom. They also have a high level of impulsivity. This can cause them to have emotional outbursts when they’re angry or frustrated. Does this ever happen to you?

Having a hard time regulating emotions is caused by a deficit in executive function. You may not consider yourself to be a particularly emotional person, but still find it hard to contain your emotions when they come on. It might feel very difficult to use coping skills to calm yourself down.

Monitoring and self-regulating action

Being able to self-reflect, and motivate yourself to work toward your goals, is an essential executive functioning skill — one that many people with ADHD have a hard time with. You might know exactly what you want to achieve, and even have a clear understanding of what you need to do to get there — but somehow, you still can’t seem to force yourself to actually start working.

This might have caused other people in your life to label you as “lazy” or “wasting your potential.” In reality, that’s far from the case. But the executive function deficit that comes with ADHD makes it very hard to motivate yourself into action.

Trusted Online ADHD Treatment for Adults with Focus Partners

On top of the effects of the deficits themselves, having trouble with executive functioning often makes people with ADHD feel ashamed and embarrassed. They may feel like they’re not living up to their full potential, or that their peers are more accomplished than they are.

An executive function deficit does not make you stupid, lazy, or irresponsible. And with the right treatment, ADHD symptoms can become a lot easier to manage. Focus Partners can help with out telehealth-based online ADHD treatment for adults, and we’re here to listen to you and help unlock the full power of your potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.

Let’s Talk About Adult ADHD

adult adhd, adult adhd treatment near me, online adhd treatment for adults, what can trigger adhd in adults

Let’s talk about adult ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is often thought of as a children’s disorder. When most people think of ADHD, they imagine a hyperactive little boy running amuck in the classroom, unable to pay attention to his teacher.

But this is a very limited view of ADHD. Although some children do outgrow ADHD, many don’t — which means that children with ADHD will grow up to be adults with ADHD. 

Over 4% of U.S. adults are diagnosed with ADHD. That’s over 10 million people! And that’s not even considering the many adults with ADHD who are overlooked or misdiagnosed.

Adult ADHD is highly misunderstood because of the idea that ADHD is a disorder that only occurs in children. This has left so many adults with ADHD struggling unnecessarily with ADHD symptoms that can easily be treated. At Focus Partners, one of our goals is to spread awareness about what adult ADHD looks like so you can recognize its signs and get treatment.

What is adult ADHD?

First of all, what is ADHD, exactly?

ADHD is a behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorder that usually begins in childhood. Although some children grow out of ADHD (or learn to manage it well enough where it’s no longer disrupting their lives), it’s considered a chronic condition. That means that there is currently no cure for ADHD, and people live with it their entire lives.

Adult ADHD isn’t a separate condition from ADHD in children, but it’s often differentiated from childhood ADHD because it comes with its own stigma and challenges. ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, but we’re learning now that many children with ADHD, especially girls, are overlooked by both teachers and medical providers. It isn’t until they reach adulthood and seek help themselves that they’re finally given the correct diagnosis.

ADHD can be particularly difficult for people who were never appropriately diagnosed as children, because they never received the treatment that could have helped them manage their symptoms. If this describes you, you may have gotten to adulthood without any treatment or support for your ADHD symptoms.

Since you didn’t know that ADHD is interfering with your functioning, you may have blamed yourself for the ways ADHD got in the way of your life. For example, if school was difficult for you, you may have labeled yourself as “not smart enough.”

Once you’re correctly diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you can start to understand how the things you’ve struggled with your whole life may have been caused by ADHD. It isn’t your fault, and there are ways to manage your symptoms so you can live well with this condition.

What does ADHD look like in adults?

For both children and adults, ADHD has three different presentations: the predominantly inattentive type, the predominantly hyperactive/impulsive type, and the combined type. ADHD can look very differently depending on where you fall on this continuum.

Predominantly inattentive type adult ADHD

Adults who live with the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD struggle to regulate or maintain their focus. They may find their attention wandering off during long or boring meetings. They may be very forgetful, or constantly misplace things. These are the people who miss important meetings (even though they’re highly professional and responsible), or often appear to be in a daze.

You may have predominantly inattentive type adult ADHD if you:

  • Are constantly misplacing your keys or phone
  • Have a hard time paying attention during long meetings or lectures
  • Forget important meetings
  • Miss deadlines
  • Need to make lists to stay organized with their tasks
  • Lose your train of thought in the middle of a sentence
  • Need to ask people to repeat themselves often because your mind has wandered off
  • Have difficulty remembering to pay your bills on time
  • Avoid any task that you know is going to require prolonged attention and effort
  • Frequently make careless mistakes that aren’t a reflection of your true abilities
  • Are able to pay attention when something captures your attention — but may lose interest in those same things very quickly
  • Have trouble starting or finishing projects

Predominantly inattentive ADHD tends to be more common in women — which contributes to women with ADHD being overlooked as children.

Hyperactive-impulsive type of adult ADHD

Other adults with ADHD have the hyperactive-impulsive type. This is the type of ADHD that’s usually associated with hyperactive little boys. Hyperactivity may look differently in adults. Instead of running around, adults with this type of ADHD may feel restless or have trouble winding down, even when they’re tired.

You may have hyperactive-impulsive adult ADHD if you:

  • Find it nearly torturous to wait in line
  • Interrupt people frequently while they’re talking
  • Have a hard time waiting your turn in a conversation
  • Feel like you need to get up and walk around in the middle of meetings, or not being able to sit still for long periods of time
  • Have been told that you talk “too much”
  • Have intense emotions, or have frequent angry outbursts that subside quickly
  • Have “no filter” or blurt things out often without thinking about how they’ll come across
  • Are always fidgeting

Combined type of adult ADHD

Adults may be diagnosed with the combined presentation of ADHD if they have both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive symptoms. This is the most common type of ADHD.

It’s important to note that only a licensed provider can diagnose you with ADHD. Diagnosis is a lot more complex than reading a list of adult ADHD symptoms. If you haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD, you can schedule an assessment with us.

What can trigger ADHD in adults?

More and more people are first getting diagnosed with ADHD as adults, including many of our members. Does this mean that ADHD can start developing in adulthood?

The answer to this question is complex. There is increasing evidence that supports the existence of “late-onset ADHD.” Although ADHD is primarily a condition that starts in childhood, some people may not start developing symptoms until young adulthood. A new study has found that late-onset ADHD may be a distinct disorder from childhood-onset ADHD, and around 70% of their young adult participants didn’t have ADHD symptoms in childhood.

In these cases, it’s important to understand that ADHD that comes on in adulthood may be more complex than being simply a continuation of childhood ADHD, as adult ADHD used to be understood.

But often, adults did have ADHD symptoms in childhood — they were just misdiagnosed or overlooked. This happens often with girls and women, who commonly have the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD. Since ADHD is still misunderstood by teachers and other professionals as primarily being a disorder of hyperactivity, girls (and other children) with the predominantly inattentive presentation of ADHD may not be identified. Girls with inattention may also work harder to mask their symptoms.

On top of that, inattentiveness doesn’t usually cause problems in the classroom the way hyperactivity does. If you had the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD as a child, you may have sat in the back of the classroom zoning out while the kids with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD talked out of turn and got out of their seat. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease — and your teachers may not have noticed you if you weren’t causing any trouble for them.

Get Online ADHD Treatment for Adults with Focus Partners

Whether you’ve known you have ADHD since you were a child or you’re newly diagnosed, you deserve treatment. Although ADHD is a chronic condition, it doesn’t need to stop you from living a successful, happy, and fulfilling life.

Focus Partners provides telehealth-based online ADHD treatment for adults, and we’re here to listen to you and help unlock the full power of your potential. Our team currently provides ADHD treatment services online in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment to start your ADHD treatment journey today.