Everything ADHD: Frequently asked questions & sample diagnostic test
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that causes hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. However, a wide range of related symptoms are associated with ADHD, such as difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and being easily distracted.
Since ADHD is relatively common and has such a wide range of behavioral symptoms, you may have some questions about the disorder. This post will answer some frequently asked questions about ADHD.
Does ADHD get worse with age?
If your ADHD is left undiagnosed and untreated, then the symptoms will continue into adulthood. However, the symptoms are unlikely to get worse or more severe than when they first developed. Your ADHD will probably not worsen with age, especially if you receive treatment for your symptoms after a diagnosis. Once you start receiving treatment (a combination of medication and therapy), your symptoms will most likely begin to improve.
Can you develop ADHD as an adult?
No, adults don’t just suddenly develop ADHD. To be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, your symptoms should have been present during childhood. Generally, ADHD develops in children under the age of 12. So, if you experienced several ADHD symptoms during childhood but were left undiagnosed, then you may be suffering from the disorder as an adult.
Does caffeine help ADHD?
Yes, caffeine could help to boost concentration in people who have ADHD. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that provides similar effects to some stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD. However, amphetamine medications are much stronger than caffeine which means that drinking a cup of coffee can help but is less effective than taking your medication.
Is ADHD an intellectual disability?
ADHD is not considered an intellectual or learning disability. Instead, it is categorized as a developmental disability. Developmental disabilities are a result of impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. Therefore, children with intellectual or learning disabilities are more at risk of developing ADHD.
Does ADHD affect memory?
Yes, but only short-term memory. ADHD can sometimes impair your short-term or working memory, though it will not affect your long-term memory. For example, you may have trouble remembering assignment deadlines or struggle to finish tasks that require you to focus for long periods. However, the proper treatment can help prevent your ADHD from affecting your short-term or working memory.
How does ADHD affect the brain?
Because ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, it affects brain growth, development, and function. Neural pathways may connect and mature at a slower rate, which accounts for the difficulties with concentration and focus. ADHD can also impair executive position in the brain, which affects organizational tasks. Finally, ADHD seems to impact brain chemistry too, which affects thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
How to get treatment for ADHD?
If you’ve received a diagnosis, you can speak to your GP or psychiatrist about your treatment options, including medication. However, if you suspect you have ADHD but haven’t yet been diagnosed, make an appointment with a psychiatrist who will be able to assist you with a diagnosis and treatment options such as Adderall.
Curious to see how your attention compares with the rest of the population?
Try our fun 90-second sample test!
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)