Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects thousands of people worldwide. While it is often diagnosed in childhood, it can persist into adulthood and impact a person's life in numerous ways. ADHD can lead to a wide range of consequences and long-term effects, some of which can be quite severe if left untreated. Let’s dig into understanding the impact ADHD can have on us!
Consequences of ADHD
Some of the most common consequences of ADHD are:
Difficulty with attention and focus - Individuals with ADHD may struggle to concentrate on tasks or may find themselves easily distracted by their environment.
Challenging to complete work or stay on task – People with ADHD might find it difficult to focus and complete their daily tasks which can negatively impact academic or professional performance. It can also lead to feelings of shame, frustration, and anxiety.
Another common consequence of ADHD is impulsivity. Individuals with ADHD may act before thinking or struggle to control their impulses. This can lead to impulsive behaviours such as interrupting others, taking risks, or engaging in reckless activities. These behaviours can put individuals at risk for accidents, injuries, or legal trouble.
Hyperactivity is another hallmark symptom of ADHD. Individuals with ADHD may be constantly on the move, fidgeting or squirming, or talking excessively. This can make it difficult to sit still or engage in quiet activities, which can impact social relationships or academic performance.
ADHD can be an economic burden and is associated with increased healthcare costs for people of all ages with the disorder, possibly reflecting the use of social care, education resources, treatment, and medications. Adults with ADHD may also experience a range of financial difficulties and have compulsive spending habits.
Some adults with ADHD have been found to have workplace difficulties that may affect their satisfaction and productivity at work and their reputation as a worker, with high job turnover and unemployment frequently observed.
Long-term effects of ADHD
While many of the consequences of ADHD can be challenging in the short term, the long-term effects can also be significant.
For example, individuals with ADHD may struggle with academic or professional failure if they are unable to focus or complete tasks. This can impact career opportunities and earning potential in the long run.
Additionally, ADHD can impact social relationships. Individuals with ADHD may struggle to maintain friendships or romantic relationships due to their difficulty with attention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. This can lead to feelings of isolation or loneliness, which can negatively impact mental health over time.
Untreated ADHD can also lead to mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Individuals with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem or feelings of shame due to their symptoms, which can contribute to mental health issues. In some cases, untreated ADHD can also lead to substance abuse or addiction as individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms.
It’s all not negative!
A systematic review found potential links between ADHD and creativity that required further investigation. For example, adults with ADHD symptoms were found to have a higher rate of creative achievements in daily life than adults without ADHD.
A qualitative study of eight individuals diagnosed with ADHD (aged 21–50 years) reported improved functional abilities in areas including interpersonal skills, motivation, organization, and concentration span as a result of their ADHD.
Some other ADHD Benefits include :
Hyperfocusing is when an individual with ADHD can focus on a task for hours on end, essentially closing out everything around them. It often happens if the individual is doing a job that they enjoy and finds appealing.
Individuals with ADHD may experience disappointments and adversity, which they try to overcome to build up their resilience because they have practiced fighting setbacks more often than other individuals.
Those with ADHD are often highly creative, often when given a goal-oriented task. Living with ADHD also demands people to approach tasks in a different manner, which may enhance them to be good problem solvers.
Spontaneity and courage
Many people like to plan at the end moment and live life spontaneously. The impulsive nature of ADHD people results in them living life in the moment and they often plan spontaneous activities that often leave everlasting memories.
The five gifts of ADHD include creativity, emotional sensitivity, exuberance, interpersonal empathy, and being nature-smart (The Gift of Adult ADD, 2008).
ADHD can impact a person's sense of self. Individuals with ADHD may feel ashamed or stigmatized due to their symptoms, which can impact their self-esteem and overall mental health. This can make it challenging to seek help or support, which can exacerbate the negative outcomes of untreated ADHD.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available for individuals with ADHD. Medications such as stimulants or non-stimulants can help improve focus and reduce impulsivity, along with therapeutic interventions. At Rocket Health, we provide online psychotherapy which is judgement-free and highly effective. Schedule a session with our mental health experts today to devise treatment plans which are individualized and highly effective.
Retrieved from https://www.iadhd.org/blog/impact-of-adhd-on-employment
Boot N, Nevicka B, Baas M. Creativity in ADHD: Goal-Directed Motivation and Domain Specificity. J Atten Disord. 2020 Nov;24(13):1857-1866. doi: 10.1177/1087054717727352. Epub 2017 Aug 28. PMID: 28845720; PMCID: PMC7543022.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543022/