One usually thinks of attention deficit disorder as a childhood disease, but it can occur in adults, and it can also occur in childhood and continue into adulthood. Symptomatically it is characterized by:
- Poor focus
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty staying on task
- Problems with persistence and pace (meaning there is a tendency to give up before a task is completed or taking a lot longer to complete a task than it should ordinarily take)
In attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, generalized hyperactivity and restlessness characterize the disorder as well. Both disorders can be quite chaotic and quite demanding for caregivers, and the patient experiences great emotional distress at not being able to stay focused.
In addition, comorbid disorders include bipolar disorder, bipolar II disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.
The patient can be treated with medication and therapy. Medications include:
It is generally best that a psychiatrist administer these drugs as they are difficult to manage, and patients need to be followed closely. It is also useful to have therapy with the patient and in addition have family therapy until the matter is stabilized.