Many adults who have ADHD go undiagnosed

LOS ANGELES Melody Bakeeff was at her breaking point. She was unable to focus, organize, or get through her daily to-do list.

"It just came to a point where it was like 'This should not be this hard,'" said Bakeeff.

Once she reached out for help she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Studies show more than 4 percent of U.S. adults have ADHD but less than 25 percent are aware of their condition.

Untreated adults have a 300 percent higher rate of substance abuse. They also have difficulty staying employed, and maintaining relationships.

"The earlier you diagnose ADHD the better," said mental health counselor James L. West.

While 1 in every 10 kids is diagnosed with ADHD, more often than not, adults go undiagnosed. Some signs of adult ADHD are being disorganized, "zoning out" without realizing it, forgetting appointments, and having a hard time remembering details and conversations.

Bakeeff found relief through medication, and stripping sugars from her diet. Now she can focus on the important things in life.

There are some things you can do on your own to help manage symptoms of ADHD. They include exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and making good use of a system that works for you. And getting outside help from a therapist can be very helpful in dealing with some of the more emotional effects of ADHD.

Do you want the Eyewitness News team to call you? Get a FREE Morning Wake-up Call and personalized weather report at

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.