According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 61.5 million adult Americans battle a mental illness in any given year, and ADHD accounts for a large chunk of the diagnosed. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America accounts for about eight million US adults having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

ADHD is a learning disability that falls into three categories among varying patients: hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, and combined type. ADHD is somewhat different in adults than youths. For the most part, these diagnoses are rendered during the formative childhood years, but for some, the labeling of the symptoms they’ve struggled with all their lives comes much later.

While the general behavioral and cognitive implications are the same in both kids and adults, the way that symptoms are exemplified in an adult patient isn’t the same as they are in a child, because their environments are different. For instance, a child with hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD might find it hard to sit still in the classroom, and while an adult has the same hinderances at work, they’re more likely to exhibit their impulsivity in grownup ways, like overspending or driving recklessly. ADHD is still thought to stem from a cocktail of biological and environmental factors.

When you throw substance abuse into the fold, a common feature in the lives of the mentally ill, treatment is a bit more complicated. As many as 45 percent of adults with ADHD have reported lifetime alcohol dependency issues, along with one-third reporting illicit drug abuse or addiction at some point, per Child and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Most often, cannabis, alcohol, cocaine and tobacco are the drugs of choice among ADHD sufferers.

Hyperactive-Impulsive

Patients presenting with at least six of the following symptoms, per BehaveNet, and fewer than six inattentive symptoms are diagnosed as having the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD:

  • Fidgeting with extremities
  • Frequently getting out of their seat when not appropriate
  • Restless feelings
  • Trouble relaxing or engaging in laid-back activities
  • Frequently appears to be on the go
  • Talkativeness

Inattentive

Having at least six of the inattentive symptoms listed below and fewer than six of the hyperactive-impulsive symptoms listed above means you have the inattentive type of ADHD:

  • Lacking attention to detail
  • Careless mistakes in work
  • Trouble maintaining focus on tasks
  • Appearing to not be listening when spoken to quite often
  • Frequently failing to complete instructed tasks
  • Trouble organizing tasks or activities
  • Veering away from or disliking tasks requiring significant mental effort
  • Frequently losing things needed to complete certain tasks
  • Often forgetful
  • Easily distracted

When a patient presents with six or more symptoms of both categories of ADHD, they are diagnosed as having the combined type of the disorder. Recently, changes in the diagnostic criteria for the disorder increased the age limit to 12 years old, meaning symptoms must be present by that time in a person’s life, even if they’re beyond that age now, per Science Daily.

Treatment

At Black Bear Lodge, you’ll be greeted with compassion. The complexity of treating your ADHD and substance abuse problems simultaneously can be easily handled by the skilled team of professionals you’ll have at your disposal here.

If appropriate, we can manage your disorder with medications that counteract the symptoms that have driven you to substance abuse. A 65 to 75 percent improvement in symptoms was reported by adults treated with stimulants in one study, per a review published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and Treatment.

The road ahead of you is going to be far easier to navigate with a clear mind and our experienced staff by your side. Fewer than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or gotten the help they need for it, per the ADAA. Join the minority and call us today; you won’t regret it.