ADHD in Adults

“I have felt really different from other people. Why couldn’t I seem to accomplish the things I needed to get done? Why did I always feel like I was never caught up? I was always waiting for my boss to realize how many things I was behind on. I kept it a secret that much of my life was in chaos. Now that I understand I have ADHD, I realize it wasn’t just a matter of trying harder.”
– An adult diagnosed with ADHD.


“I have talked with many spouses who, after years of frustration, suspect their mate may have ADHD. They have come to the conclusion that while they love many things about their husband or wife, something is not working in how their mate manages their life. They need the relationship to change and the chaos to end.”
– Dr. Douglas Neal

If you think you may have ADHD, here are three steps to take.

1. Know the signs of ADHD in Adults

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Disorganization
  • Fails to plan ahead
  • Difficulty initiating and completing projects
  • Misjudges available time
  • Forgetful, loses things
  • Makes impulsive decisions
  • Difficulties at work
  • Problems with social interactions

There is a common misconception that all kids outgrow ADHD. Recent studies are indicating that 60 to 80 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD have symptoms into adulthood. Symptoms are subtler in adults, but can create significant challenges in daily life.

There are many adults with ADHD are successful adults. They are teachers, doctors, and business owners. It may never have occurred to them that they may have ADHD, since they successfully completed degrees and have jobs. But they struggle to keep up with the daily tasks, or their personal life is in chaos due to feeling overwhelmed with all the responsibilities.

ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects the way an individual functions in different settings. A person with ADHD may face lifelong challenges in school, work and personal relationships. Adults often develop strategies to cope with their ADHD. Each day of an adult’s life brings new responsibilities, duties, and challenges, which may eventually overwhelm these coping strategies.

Identifying the disorder and finding the best treatment is very important. With proper treatment and ADHD coaching, many people with ADHD can and do lead successful lives.

In addition to noting the above symptoms, you can download the AMEN ADHD checklist screening here.

2. Know how ADHD is diagnosed and treated at NPS

What is ADHD? The medical field has spent decades attempting to answer that very question. Doctors and researchers will tell you that there is no single marker or ADHD test that can assess for ADHD signs in adults. The closest thing we have to a marker is the 15 to 20 minute computer test that Dr. Neal uses, the Quotient ADHD test.

Dr. Neal has invested over thirty years in answering the question “What is ADHD?” as well as investigating how to measure the signs of ADHD in adults, teens, and children. Many adults are surprised to learn that they have ADHD, since they were never hyperactive as children, or because they were able to attain college degrees. Others are relieved to have a real answer as to why they experience some of the above symptoms. For the first time, they hear that the answer is not to simply “try harder.”

Dr. Neal developed an ADHD intake assessment that includes a comprehensive intake and rating scale, which takes one to two hours to fill out prior to your first session. It takes one to three sessions to adequately review this intake. You will also be emailed a separate, shorter intake for the person who knows you well enough to answer the questions. Dr. Neal prefers to not diagnose without feedback from other people who know you well, because so much rich information can be gathered from those around us who know us well. Sometimes family and friends can bring this information to the surface that the ADHD sufferer does not see or notice.

During this time, Dr. Neal will interview you and, with your permission, your family member or friend for an extensive history, including your childhood, home life, prior schooling, workplace, and relationships. Depending on the results of the interviews, you may return to take the Quotient ADHD computer test and possible additional testing. After testing is complete, there will be a follow up session to review all the results and determine if you have ADHD. This usually includes significant family members, if you want them as part of this feedback session.

It can feel fragmenting receiving services with different professionals at different locations, Dr. Neal will coordinate and communicate with other health care professions to make sure there is good communication, no duplication of services, and that everyone is on the same page working toward the same goals.

If ADHD is diagnosed, then the next step is to discuss the various options for treatment of ADHD. While medication can be a valuable tool for managing the core symptoms of ADHD, it is not the only treatment option available. Diet, sleep habits, exercise, and lifestyle changes can sometimes make a significant difference in decreasing the symptoms of ADHD.We also know professionals in the Chicagoland area that tap into technology to train the brain to be more focused and less impulsive. Here is a list of some of the alternative treatments being utilized in the field of ADHD:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Altering protein and “good carb” intake
  • Supplements of key vitamins and minerals
  • Exercise
  • Neurofeedback therapy
  • Brain-Training programs
  • Green Time

The challenge is not in finding information about what may help your ADHD. The challenge is navigating the many treatments available and making an informed decision. For many, the best treatment plan includes several approaches. There is no way to predict in advance if any particular approach, including medication, will be beneficial. But Dr. Neal will help you take the next informed step.

3. Make an appointment with a qualified professional

Having some of the symptoms of ADHD does not necessarily mean you have ADHD. It is important to see a qualified health care professional such as a clinical psychologist, who can properly assess you for ADHD.

If you desire to talk in more depth about our assessment process for ADHD, please call our office at (815) 477-4727, or contact us to schedule an appointment.

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