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Ask the Specialist: Will I Outgrow ADHD?

Q: Will I ever get over ADHD? How long will I have to deal with these symptoms?

- Minnesota Teen

A: Over the years, we have had a lot of people ask us the same question. Unfortunately, the majority of people will not outgrow ADHD. We now understand that ADHD is a brain-based disorder that affects individuals across the lifespan.

Your symptoms, like those of some people, may become less as you grow older. A small group of people do see their symptoms decrease enough to no longer be clinically diagnosable. Other people can see their symptoms change and sometimes become more severe, especially through the young adult years of college or entering the workforce, career, and establishing personal relationships.

Many of the things you have done during your teen years can be adapted to adulthood. Some adults will have accommodations at work, and many will continue with behavioral management and medication as part of their treatment plans. Tools like calendars and day planners, working with coaches, exercise, and reminder systems continue to be helpful in working around symptoms and helping you to be successful.

What can you do? Understand how your symptoms affect you and your daily life. Seek out people and systems that support you. Work closely with your health care professional for a treatment plan that works for you. Remember many people affected by ADHD lead successful and happy lives, but each of them has had bumps along the way, too.

Want more information on what you can do about ADHD in your life? Visit our webpage Living with ADHD.

This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on March 03, 2016.

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