Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Post Highlights

    What does it look like to be an adult with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? And how should physicians approach adults with ADHD to provide the most helpful, compassionate and effective care?

    There are a few differences in terms of presentation.

    People who are adults with ADHD will likely not come in for a consultation and tell me that they have trouble reading. But if I ask, they may say that they don't read quickly, or don't like to read. That doesn't mean that they are dyslexic, but there could be a component of dyslexia that is worth exploring.

    Adults with ADHD may also present with extreme irritability, saying that they get easily or often flustered, irritated with co-workers or have issues with boundaries in marital relationships or friendships.

    And sometimes, adults with ADHD come in for a consultation stating that they are fine, but as we dig deeper, we uncover that they are excessively using alcohol or another substance that may be masking an underlying psychiatric disorder.

    In fact, many patients that come to see me for issues that are not related to ADHD come to understand that ADHD is in fact impacting everything else they do in their lives.

    ADHD is global in terms of its intrusiveness. And in terms of a diagnosis and also a treatment plan, getting to the bottom of it can be helpful because it in turn allows us to create some simple but effective strategies.

    For example: if a patient comes in with uncontrolled diabetes and has had trouble forgetting to take medications, they may be helped by putting a medication reminder application on their phone. When they do this, the problem gets fixed because all of a sudden, they're able to manage their blood sugars better.

    Adult patients with ADHD and other medical concerns are usually very motivated to find improvement, but they get flustered and frustrated.

    And in my opinion, that's no different than a child coming in that put in an A+ effort, but got a C- on the test.

    I founded ADHD2 because I believe that no matter where you are or what your experience has been, you can tap into and release your inner power.

    So if you are struggling or know someone who is, please remember: there is hope. And I'm here to help.

    Devang Patel

    I am a board certified family physician. I am married and have two beautiful girls. I have ADHD too (hence blog name I was diagnosed with ADHD during my residency training AFTER medical school. Now I want to help others lead more productive lives by giving practical examples and suggestions.

    DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog or on this website.

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    1. Jenny M on April 5, 2021 at 6:16 am

      I am so grateful to be working with Dr. Patel. I have been under his care for almost 3 months and my life has changed significantly. He has provided numerous resources that have educated and empowered me. I can tell that my depression is lifting and have noticed a reduction in the daily, paralyzing anxiety I previously thought was “normal.” I am gaining the confidence to go after my dreams. Thank you, Dr. Patel! You have helped change my life.

      • Devang Patel on April 5, 2021 at 9:14 am

        I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better!

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