Can You Outgrow ADHD?

Seriously, we all here ADHD being a kid problem… one looking out of the window daydreaming, having problems following information, not listening to teachers and never finishes work on time, but what about adults?

I mean we are all told  “they’ll outgrow it” and  “they won’t struggle with this later in life,” but lets be real, ADHD does effect ADULTS! Adult symptoms can be the same, but a lot are different.

 

Adult ADHD

Studies have shown about 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have ADHD. This is a general range because very few adults get diagnosed with ADHD. The common denominator is that EVERY adult struggling with ADHD had it during their childhood. So, kids struggling with ADHD can be a lifelong battle of cooperation, dedication and proper diagnosis.

 

Symptoms in Children vs. Adults

According to WebMD, children struggle with following directions at school, can’t remember important information, cannot concentrate, unable to organize tasks, and have a hard time finishing work on time. I mean, school is already stressful, but this puts the icing on the cake. It’s harder for children to make friends, handle stressful situations and cause more anxiety, but ADHD can sometimes follow them into adulthood.

Adult ADHD has very similar symptoms, but there are some add-ons… I mean MANY add-ons! According to WebMD, symptoms include anxiety, chronic boredom, chronic lateness/forgetfulness, depression, trouble concentrating when reading, trouble controlling anger, problems at work, impulsiveness, low tolerance for frustration, low self-esteem, mood swings, poor organizational skills, procrastination, relationship problems, substance abuse or addiction AND low motivation. Just typing all of these symptoms got me exhausted.

 

Outgrowing ADHD

Ok, ok, the real question needs to get answered… can you OUTGROW??  According to WebMD, only about 40 % of kids will outgrow ADHD. That leaves a good 60% of ADHD going to adulthood. That means there are a lot more adults than 4% that are struggling with ADHD. This means that a lot of people struggle with everyday tasks and could also struggle with mental health.

 

Can Successful People Have ADHD?

YES, you can still be successful. Adults struggling with ADHD start to adapt from it and some take advantage of their everyday struggle. Some adults will dedicate to a specific subject and excel because of their ADHD.  Many famous people including Michael Phelps talks about how ADHD helped him win his awards in swimming. Like himself, he looked at ADHD as an advantage instead of a weakness and worked with it. He is now one of the most  decorated Olympic swimmers.

 

ADHD as a Strength

People often look at ADHD as having a negative connotation, but there are a lot of powerful things behind ADHD. ADHD can be a strength of adaptability, focus and on speed. This hyper focus can help create something extremely successful… but you do need some structure. Michael Phelps didn’t win all of the medals because he swam sporadically. Michael Phelps set goals, stuck with a structure and built a system of support. He had a schedule for swimming, his family was extremely supportive and had big goals….and HE ACCOMPLISHED.

 

Just because some adults carry a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t mean you can’t grow with it and accomplish a lot. Living with ADHD can be powerful, adaptable, and plentiful.

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Always,

 

Dr. Alexa