Routine is key for those with adult ADHD

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Are you easily distracted? Impatient? Do you always interrupt conversations? A well-known condition diagnosed in children may not be as easy to spot in adults? You could be suffering from ADHD and not even realize it.

It was a feeling Marie Edwards couldn't put her finger on.

"I felt like I was different from other people," Edwards said. "I kind of put myself down, you know, I looked at other people and said well they're so perfect and I'm not."

That imperfection Edwards, 51, felt is actually adult ADHD.

"I have had feelings of depression and just like not right, overwhelmed. I definitely felt overwhelmed a lot," Edwards said.

She's not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than four percent of all adults suffer from it too.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Kate Roberts says warning signs of adult ADHD include lack of focus, difficulty completing tasks, organizing and planning as well as a low frustration tolerance level and often they find themselves interrupting others in conversations.

"Difficulty with what we call self-monitoring, so what that is, is basically reacting without thinking, often times people will regret actions because they do it so quickly," Roberts said.

She says routine is key for those with ADHD and suggests making a schedule to aid in time management, planning ahead, eating healthy and a consistent work out will help people stay focused.

"I think that low self-esteem is paramount for people with ADHD," Roberts said, especially in adults who have gone undiagnosed.

"Once I got the diagnosis, I stopped blaming myself for my shortcomings," Edwards said.

It was a diagnosis that meant a world of difference for Edwards.

Studies show adults with ADHD tend to change employers more often and have less job satisfaction. The same stimulant medication prescribed to children is also prescribed to adults. Occupational therapists may also help adult patients focus on organization skills.

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