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Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Diagnosis & Treatment in the North Shore, Massachusetts

Do you find it hard to stay focused or organize your thoughts? These could be a sign of ADHD.

We diagnose ADHD and can support you with both medical and non-pharmacological treatments.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Can Adults Have It

ADHD is not just for kids. Adults can have it, often finding out by accident. It can be tough to deal with without a proper diagnosis.

Adults with ADHD suffer from restlessness, difficulty focusing, trouble staying organized, and multitasking. It affects everything, from your career, to relationships, to personal achievements.

Because ADHD shares traits with anxiety and bipolar disorder, it must be diagnosed by a mental health professional before treatment can begin.

Types of ADHD in Adults

ADHD is classified into three types:

Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. Symptoms include hyperactivity and impulsivity. You have trouble sitting still and you often act before you think, too.

Inattentive ADHD. Formerly known as attention deficit disorder (ADD), this condition is characterized by significant inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity. Focusing is hard – long meetings or documents can feel insurmountable. Organizing and remembering can also be hard.

Combined ADHD. Mix of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. You might be in this group if you feel like you fit both descriptions above.

Children are diagnosed with the same types. However, symptoms can change from childhood to adulthood. If you had one type of ADHD in childhood, some symptoms can smooth out and the type can change.

Diagnosis, whether for a child or an adult, involves tracing the symptoms back to childhood to ensure you did not just develop them as an adult.

How Do Adults Experience ADHD? Symptoms and Signs of ADHD in Adults

The signs of ADHD in adults vary a lot, so a mental health professional must conduct a comprehensive evaluation to avoid misdiagnosis.

One or more of the ADHD symptoms below do not spell out ADHD, but they can help you consider ADHD as a possibility.

Inattention and forgetfulness. Difficulty following lengthy conversations, watching lengthy videos, or completing tasks. You might be prone to careless mistakes, forgetting daily tasks, or forgetting items like keys. People struggling with these problems might avoid doing things like reading contracts or watching hours-long movies with their families.

Impulsivity. You might not bounce around at the doctor's office like a kid would, but you might feel restless, fidgety, have trouble staying patient, interrupt others, or make snap decisions without considering the consequences. You may also engage in risky behaviors like substance abuse or reckless driving.

Emotional instability. You might experience intense emotions or mood swings more than most and may have trouble dealing with strong emotions like anger. A third of adults with ADHD have depression, and one in eight have anxiety.

Executive function challenges. Organizing, managing your time, and meeting deadlines may be difficult for you, which may affect your job stability and personal responsibilities. You might switch jobs a lot or have trouble keeping one. Procrastination can also be a problem.

What Causes ADHD

The exact cause of ADHD is unclear, but research suggests a combination of factors:

Genetics. A history of ADHD in the family increases risk. Some of the genes associated with ADHD cause imbalances in certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Yet genes do not guarantee the condition.

Brain Structure. Neuroimaging shows that people with ADHD have differences in brain areas responsible for attention, impulse control, and executive function.

Environmental factors. Some studies point to pregnancy complications, delivery issues, and exposure to certain toxins as possible triggers.

How to Cope With ADHD in Adults? ADHD Treatments for Adults

Medications cannot cure ADHD, but they can help manage its symptoms. Most treatments involve a combination of these:

Therapy and Psychoeducation

Therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation help you adjust and cope with symptoms.

Medication Management

Stimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamine, along with some antidepressants, can improve neurotransmitter levels to reduce inattention. Taking certain vitamins and amino acids too can help with ADHD symptoms.

Non-Pharmacological Methods

Health and life coaching can help you make changes to your diet, sleep, and stress management that all can affect how pronounced symptoms are.

ADHD Testing for Adults

ADHD testing for adults is similar to testing for kids, but it takes into account adult-specific symptoms.

An assessment by a mental health professional involves questionnaires, personal history, family history, work-related inquiries, a medical history review, a physical exam, and a cognitive test to rule out other conditions.

How We Can Support You

Our psychiatric nurse practitioners and life coaches offer people with ADHD personalized plans, including medication management, psychoeducation, and evidence-based non-pharmacological treatments.

At Alta MH, we see you as a whole person, not just your symptoms. Our goal is to help you improve your mental health in a meaningful way – guiding and supporting you in changing your thoughts, feelings, and actions for lasting improvements and a happier, brighter future.

Alta Team. Five women sitting on a couch, all wearing purple t-shirts, and looking at the viewer

How You Can Pay

Accepted Insurances

Self-Pay Rates

  • Medicare 

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield 

  • United Healthcare 

  • Always / Mass General Brigham Health Plan 

  • Harvard Pilgrim 

  • Cigna 

  • Aetna 

No-show or late cancellation (under 24 hours) fee: $50.

Medication Clinic:

  • Initial intake – $250

  • Follow-up – $175

Outpatient Therapy: ​

  • Family – $225

  • Parenting coaching – $150 (individual)

  • Parenting coaching – $200 (couple)

  • Group Therapy – $100 per person

Individual Therapy:

  • 30 Minute – $70

  • 45 Minute – $100

  • 60 Minute – $130

Key Questions on ADHD

How is ADHD diagnosed?

It can be diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health provider. This includes a review of the person's medical history, a physical examination, and a mental or cognitive evaluation.

How old do I have to be to be diagnosed with ADHD?

Usually ADHD is diagnosed in childhood, but it can be found at any age.

Is ADHD overdiagnosed and overtreated?

There are similarities between ADHD symptoms and other disorders. ADHD can also be misdiagnosed because of wrong assessments or misinterpretations.

Who does ADHD affect?

ADHD is not limited to any particular demographic, but it is more common in boys than girls, and in certain ethnic groups.

Can ADHD be cured?

ADHD cannot be cured, but you can manage symptoms effectively and live a productive life.

Can ADHD be treated without medication?

Yes, non-pharmacological treatments like therapy and lifestyle changes can help with ADHD.

Am I lazy or do I have ADHD? 

Telling the difference between ADHD symptoms and lack of discipline is hard without a professional evaluation. ADHD affects motivation, energy levels, and daily functioning. A mental health expert can help you determine if you might be experiencing ADHD or feeling unmotivated for other reasons. Contact us for an evaluation.

Are depression and ADHD connected?

ADHD and depression are separate conditions, but they can coexist and share some symptoms. See a mental health professional if you experience symptoms of either or both.

Do I have ADHD or bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder and ADHD share some symptoms like impulsivity, mood instability, and difficulty concentrating. However, they have some big differences too. It all starts with a proper diagnosis. Consult a professional to figure out what to do.

Request Your First Consultation Today

Start here for better mental health. Book a consultation today and take steps to a happier, healthier you.

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