The Long-Term Effects of Untreated ADHD in Adults

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder affects between 139.84 million and 366.33 million adults globally, based on data from 2020 that also shows the figures rising. More importantly, several sources agree that fewer than 20% of adults with ADHD receive the right diagnosis and treatment. 

The Crescent City Psychiatric team is one of many that wants to spread awareness of the long-term effects of untreated ADHD in adults. The hope is that more people can seek the support they need, so read on to learn more. 

If you need a psychiatrist in Mandeville, LA, to evaluate ADHD symptoms or similar issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

What Can Untreated ADHD Cause?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that frequently affects children but may also develop in adulthood. If nobody picks it up in childhood, it may remain undiagnosed throughout a person’s adult years.

The ADHD symptoms typically manifest as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, which can make day-to-day tasks far more difficult. For example, paying attention during an important work meeting, making it to your date on time, or remembering a friend’s birthday can feel impossible. 

Adults with ADHD are at a high risk of developing long-term complications, including the following:

Mental Health Complications

ADHD can create many complications in life that ultimately lower your self-esteem. For instance, because you’re unable to complete certain tasks the way others around you can, you may feel frustrated, irritable, and self-critical. As a result, adults with ADHD are at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. 

Notably, anxiety and depression are severe mental health issues that you shouldn’t overlook. If you think you may have ADHD or mental health complications relating to ADHD symptoms, speak with a professional psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Substance Use Disorders

Since ADHD symptoms severely impact mental health, it’s more common to see people with this disorder turning to substances as a coping mechanism to regain control or to self-medicate. ADHD increases your risk of substance use disorders, but taking the prescribed ADHD medications can help mitigate the symptoms.

Issues Within Relationships

Of all the long-term effects of untreated ADHD in adults, people overlook relationship issues most often. Individuals with untreated or undiagnosed ADHD often struggle to maintain social interactions because the people in their lives do not understand the symptoms or support how they operate in life. For example, individuals with ADHD may impulsively break up with a partner, forget significant dates, arrive late to important events, or not pay attention during conversations. 

It’s important to address the diagnosis because difficulties in maintaining healthy relationships can lead to isolation and exacerbate mental health complications.

Poor Job Performance and Financial Burdens

At work, symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Acting without thinking
  • Being unable to pay attention
  • Interrupting conversations
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Forgetfulness

All of these qualities can severely affect your ability to hold down a job, which is why individuals with untreated ADHD often face financial burdens throughout their lives. 

If this sounds like you, don’t worry; stimulant medications for ADHD can minimize symptoms and keep you on track at work. If you struggle with job performance or similar ADHD symptoms, why not schedule an appointment with a team like Crescent City Psychiatric?

Higher Mortality Rates

One 2015 clinical research study reports that individuals with ADHD face higher mortality rates, particularly those diagnosed with ADHD during adulthood rather than in the childhood years. Numerous factors may be to blame here, though some of the most likely causes include the high risks of mental health disorders and substance use disorders. 

So, don’t wait to seek treatment and support for your ADHD symptoms. The right support can help you reduce your risks and live a longer, happier, better-functioning life! 

Continue Learning About ADHD

Would you like to understand the long-term effects of untreated ADHD in adults in more depth or seek support? Read our guide on common ADHD misconceptions or schedule a psychiatric evaluation with Crescent City Psychiatric at (985) 249-1322 today!