There are some common thoughts and behaviors people who are diagnosed with ADHD report. Doing the behaviors listed below does not mean you have ADHD but that you might want to get a formal assessment to determine if a diagnosis of ADHD fits for you. To know will help you identify ways to cope better, improve the way you feel about yourself and how you impact close relationships.
You may have ADHD if:
Why this happens...
In the brain of someone with ADHD, you’re dealing with a frontal lobe that is under-responsive to dopamine and norepinephrine – neurotransmitters crucial for problem solving, organized decision making, maintaining the motivation to carry out a task, and for blocking out distractions from the environment. In individuals who do not have ADHD, their brains are better able to pump the brakes on making rash decisions, making easier for them to resist the many distractions around them and to think more mindfully. The ADHD brain is functioning as if the brakes have been cut and less able to slow down the urges to act on each thought that comes to mind.
What are some things you can do that might help pump the breaks:
General Thoughts on Medication...
Strongly consider seeking a consultation with a psychiatrist to try a medication for ADHD if you are finding it difficult to function in various areas of your life despite attempts to alter your behaviors on your own or with guidance from a therapist or coach. ADHD medications can restore dopamine and norepinephrine to normal levels in the brain, with stimulant medications (e.g. Adderall) being the first-line treatment option to quickly and effectively treat ADHD.
This article was co-authored by Andre Burey, MD and Amanda Craig, PhD LMFT
Dr. Burey is a psychiatrist double board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in Adult Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He is staff psychiatrist at Silver Hill Hospital in New Caanan and has a private practice in Darien, CT.
Dr. Craig is a American Associate of Marriage and FamilyTherapy (AAMFT) board approved supervisor and licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) with a doctorate in family psychology. She works primarily with issues that impact couples and parenting tweens. She has a group practice in NYC and a private practice in Darien, CT.