Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by persistent patterns of impulsivity and inattention. Though it is most commonly discussed in the context of adolescents, ADHD also affects adults, whose lives can be significantly disrupted by this disorder. Individuals who have ADHD may have problems focusing, remaining on task, paying attention to details, and following through on instructions, which can have a devastating effect on their performance in school or at work. Impulsivity problems such as talking excessively, interrupting others, intruding upon conversations, a being able to sit still in a class or meeting can not only make it more difficult for an individual to make academic or occupational progress, but can be misinterpreted by professors, classmates, and colleagues as immaturity or lack of interest. With an increased risk for both substance abuse and depression, adults who have ADHD but do not receive effective treatment are in jeopardy of having a significantly diminished quality of life.
Thankfully, ADHD is a treatable condition. At Southcoast Behavioral Health, we have specific experience helping adults who are dealing with ADHD and several related conditions, and we have developed programming that is designed to identify and address all of the issues that have been preventing these individuals from living successful and satisfying lives.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone you care about is dealing with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, you may feel powerless to provide a meaningful solution. But by taking a few simple yet essential steps, you can make a truly life-changing difference. Please consider the following:
- The first step in solving a problem is understanding the challenge. In this case, a good starting point is educating yourself about ADHD. Your local library, community-based mental health organizations, and the Internet are excellent resources for learning what life is like for people who have ADHD.
- As you are learning about this disorder, you can also begin to research the types of treatment that have been effective with people whose situations are similar to what your loved one is experiencing.
- When you have a firm understanding of the disorder and are familiar with the best types of treatment, start to identify programs that appear to be best suited to meeting your loved one’s specific needs.
- Talk to your loved one. Let him or her know that you care and that you want to be a source of both support and solutions. Share the information you have found. Most importantly, listen. This should be a discussion, not a lecture. Ask your loved one how you can help.
- Make appointments. Provide transportation. Arrange for childcare. Accompany your loved one to visit centers. And do whatever else is needed to remove obstacles and distractions that are preventing your loved one from focusing on his or her health.
Finally, realize that neither getting into treatment nor overcoming ADHD are likely to occur quickly. Your loved one may resist getting help, and may even resent your efforts. Prepare for pushback, and do not let this distract you from your worthy goal. When your loved one is in treatment, take advantage of any family programs that the center offers. When your loved one has completed treatment, be an active positive part of his or her support network.
Why Consider Treatment at Southcoast Behavioral Health
Untreated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can have a serious negative impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. Problems with focus, concentration, and impulse control can sabotage the individual’s academic and occupational progress, which can lead to financial hardship, low self-worth, and diminished overall quality of life. Untreated ADHD puts adults at risk for developing antisocial personality disorder, which, in turn, increases their risk of substance abuse disorders and incarceration. Family and peer relationships may be strained or irrevocably damaged. The likelihood of being in an auto accident is higher among individuals with ADHD. In short, what many incorrectly view as a childhood problem with paying attention can, in the continued absence of effective professional intervention, inflict severe long-term damage on virtually all aspects of a person’s life.