Adult ADHD Now Combined with Stress

Reader’s Question

I have a question. I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and was put on Ritalin until I was about 14. I am now 30 and was wondering is it possible that I still suffer from ADD? I still feel anxious, irritable, have some panic attacks with palps, feel keyed up, can’t focus, have to have something around me all the time such as TV, radio, computer, etc. I took a self quiz online and I scored above 70 which said it was probable I have it. Is it possible that I never had any relief and I learned to mask it or control it? And can ADD symptoms get worse as I get older?

Psychologist’s Reply

When we first started treating ADHD/ADD, there was a feeling that it was outgrown with the onset of puberty. Most of this opinion was based on the fact that the physical hyperactivity seemed to diminish during the teen years. On closer observation however, ADHD symptoms don’t go away and continue into adulthood. Older teens and adults have more “mental” hyperactivity than physical hyperactivity. If you search the Internet on “Adult ADHD” you’ll find thousands of websites that discuss living with Adult ADHD. There is treatment available for Adult ADHD. You can contact your physician or a psychiatrist. Some ADHD adults are treated with traditional stimulant medications while others are prescribed nonstimulant medications such as Wellbutrin and Strattera.

You may also have combined some stress and anxiety with your ADHD. Whatever symptoms or characteristics we have in our personality — they are amplified and exaggerated by stress. A psychiatrist would be the best person to separate and treatment the combination of stress/anxiety and ADHD symptoms.

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