It is estimated that 6.1 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point. While ADHD is often discussed concerning children, for some people, the disorder continues through adolescence and into adulthood. We will answer the question, does ADHD worsen with age?
So does ADHD get worse with age? For some people, the symptoms of ADHD go away as they move into adulthood. However, for others, the increased expectations and responsibilities of getting older can make it appear that the condition is getting worse over time.
Several other factors can influence a person’s ADHD symptoms, including other mental health conditions, substance abuse disorders, and lifestyle. For this reason, treating ADHD can help to reduce the extent to which other things exacerbate it.
Let’s jump in and explore the question of “does ADHD worsen with age?”
Does ADHD Get Worse With Age?
If a person is aware of their ADHD symptoms and how to manage them best, this disorder doesn’t usually worsen with age. However, untreated ADHD can put an individual at higher risk for developing several different mental health conditions. It can also mean that they have issues succeeding in education, careers, and forming and maintaining relationships.
Some individuals might not learn that they have ADHD until they are adults. This can happen if parents, doctors, and caregivers didn’t notice or recognize their ADHD symptoms when they were under their care.
A person who frequently acts on impulse or has a hard time concentrating might have ADHD. Some of the behaviors and experiences associated with adult ADHD include:
- Finding it difficult to remain in the same job
- Finding it challenging to stay organized
- Frequently restless
- Frequently late to work because of a struggle with timekeeping
- Feeling compelled to multitask but failing to finish tasks
It can be hard for people with ADHD to consider the long-term consequences of their behaviors. They also might struggle to manage and plan their time effectively. It might mean that a person has issues with executive function when they cannot prioritize their actions or thoughts.
People who have ADHD as adults sometimes struggle with substance abuse and/or depression. This can put them at risk for struggling to achieve their full potential in their career and education.
Attention Deficit Disorder and How It Affects People as They Age
ADHD can be a condition that lasts a lifetime in some cases. It is estimated that somewhere between 20 and 30% of people don’t grow out of attention deficit disorder. A reduction in symptoms is seen in about half of adults, however.
At this point, researchers aren’t sure why some people seem to grow out of their ADHD symptoms while other individuals don’t. However, it is known that better outcomes usually result when ADHD is treated sooner rather than later.
Managing Adult ADHD: Lifestyle Changes That Can Help
Common treatment options for ADHD include medication and therapy. There are also ADHD programs that can help you receive the treatment you need.
On top of those two options, though, you can also make lifestyle changes that could help improve your symptoms.
Prioritize Getting Enough, High-Quality Sleep
Both your body and your brain benefit greatly when you get enough high-quality sleep. One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for maintaining attention and regulating mood throughout the day is restful, restorative sleep.
It can be difficult to correct bad sleep habits when they are established. It’s important to get on a good routine and set yourself up to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep every night.
Get Regular Exercise
When you exercise, the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine are increased in the brain. These are important parts of regulating the attention span, meaning that exercise can help temper ADHD symptoms. People who exercise regularly can raise the baseline levels of these neurotransmitters through the growth of new receptors.
Eat a Healthy Diet
There is also evidence that shows that food can have major epigenetic effects on an individual’s brain. It seems that some people show vast improvements to their symptoms with changes to their diet, while others don’t seem to respond at all. However, either way, eating a healthy diet can help to improve your overall wellbeing and health.
Learn Stress Management Techniques
While stress is a natural response of the body, too much stress can lead to a long list of different diseases. It can also exacerbate mental health conditions, including ADHD. Learning stress management techniques can help you manage your symptoms and come along with many other benefits.
Some common stress management techniques include:
- Listening to music
- Breathing exercises
- Tai chi
One of the great things about learning how to manage your stress when you have ADHD is that it can help you learn how to slow down. Sometimes you need to permit yourself to slow down. When you do this, it can help you realize other aspects of your lifestyle that aren’t healthy and allow you the space to make changes in the ways you think are necessary.
Does ADHD Worsen with Age? Get ADHD Treatment with SoCal Sunrise
As you can see, the answer to “does ADHD get worse with age?” is quite complicated. The most important thing is not to leave ADHD untreated, as this can lead symptoms to worsen over time. Is it time for you or someone you love to seek ADHD treatment? If so, contact us today!