“The diagnosis changes my view of my life,” said comedian and author Felix Lobrecht recently in a Stern interview. Since the ADHD diagnosis, he now understands better why some things were difficult for him. “Then this urge to move, often these problems with adjustment and authority, sometimes difficulty concentrating – especially on things that I didn’t like,” he explains.
In fact, these are typical symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD for short. In adulthood, the clinical picture is still little known and underestimated, explains Astrid Neuy-Lobkowicz, specialist in psychotherapy and psychosomatics, in an article for the self-help association ”
According to Neuy-Lobkowicz, an estimated two million people are affected in Germany – without having the slightest idea. We clarify the most important backgrounds such as cause, frequency and symptoms.
ADHD in adulthood – these are the symptoms
The signs can be broken down into
three core symptoms
- attention deficit,
- hyperactivity and
They are particularly pronounced in children and adolescents. In adulthood, according to the federally funded
a slight shift. While children with ADHD are often the classic “fidgety fidgets”, the
in adulthood rather by a
Feeling of inner restlessness and being driven
superseded. However, they often find it difficult to wait and sit still, tap their feet or drum their fingers. A strong urge to talk or frequent interruptions can also be signs.
can persist in adults with ADHD and is expressed, for example, in the fact that those affected sometimes have severe symptoms
have, make hasty decisions and often overreact. Outbursts of anger, spending sprees and disregard for rules and laws can also be signs.
However, most adults with ADHD find this to be the greatest burden
Attention deficit and related concentration problems
. Those affected are quickly distracted, forgetful, erratic and scattered, which can lead to considerable difficulties at work, but also in private life. Despite their high level of intelligence, many of those affected remain far below their potential. Exception: If you are extremely interested in something, you can concentrate very well and perform at your best (see point: positive symptoms).
According to the LMU-Klinikum Munich, about a third of ADHD patients have additional ones
Comorbidities such as depression, anxiety or addiction disorders
ADHD can limit everyday life for those affected
The above signs already indicate that ADHD can have a massive impact on the everyday life of those affected. For example, the risk of accidents due to inattentiveness and impulsive, risky driving is considered to be increased. Impulsive reactions such as outbursts of anger, but also mood swings and not keeping to agreements can lead to conflicts – both in professional and private life. One consequence can therefore be frequently changing jobs or even unemployment. Increased inattention, even in intimate situations, is often interpreted as a lack of interest, which can also strain relationships.
Laut Expertin Neuy-Lobkowicz treten
Problems in the following eight areas
- time management
- financial management
- relationship design
- work organization
- raising children
- road traffic
Positive symptoms of ADHD
But there are also positive features. “Those affected are original, creative people, often uncomfortable, courageous pioneers because they don’t stick to the rules and can question everything,” explains Neuy-Lobkowicz. “When these people have found the right professional niche for themselves, they are often ingenious and unbeatable in their sparkling zeal and tireless actionism.”
ADHD is often “a phenomenon that moves between genius and madness.”
cause and frequency
The exact cause of ADHD is not yet fully understood. It is clear, however, that various factors play a role in the development of the disease, including:
- genetic causes, because ADHD can be inherited,
- external influences such as premature birth or birth complications,
- Disturbance in the neurotransmitter range (messenger substances in the brain), especially of dopamine and noradrenaline
Five to nine percent of children and adolescents between the ages of three and 17 are affected by ADHD. Some of them, estimated at five to 15 percent, continue to meet the ADHD criteria in adulthood. Isolated symptoms also occur in about 70 percent.
Because ADHD manifests itself in so many different ways, it is sometimes not diagnosed at all or only diagnosed at a late stage. There are several self-tests on the Internet, including one from the World Health Organization (WHO). Nevertheless, you should always clarify the results with an expert. These include ADHD-experienced psychotherapists or specialists in neurology, psychiatry or psychosomatic medicine.
With the support of discussions, questionnaires, tests and, if necessary, physical examinations to rule out other diseases, a clear diagnosis is made here.
ADHD self-test by the WHO
(Warning: does not replace a discussion with an expert!)
ADHD is considered to be easily treatable, although not curable. For adults with ADHD, the benefits of medication and psychotherapy have been scientifically proven. A combination of both forms of treatment is often useful. This should also be clarified with a specialist doctor. It is also helpful if those affected are comprehensively informed and advised about the clinical picture. Because the better you know about ADHD, the easier it becomes to deal with it in everyday life.
There are also simple strategies that can help in everyday life:
- Routines for better organization and structure
- Always keep important items (keys, mobile phone, etc.) in the same place
- To-do lists so that important appointments and tasks are not forgotten
- Educating family and friends helps and creates understanding
- Mindfulness and relaxation exercises help with impulse control, sport helps to reduce excess energy
Lobrecht is extremely successful, but now wants to withdraw from the public eye
People with ADHD can lead very successful lives. Lobrecht himself is the best example. He became known throughout Germany as a comedian, his podcast “Gemischtes Hack” with Tommi Schmitt is one of the most listened to in the country and his debut novel “Sonne und Beton” was filmed and has been in cinemas since March 2nd.
Surprisingly, Lobrecht announced on Thursday that he would withdraw from the public for a while. He would have “worked himself to death,” he said. Whether and to what extent this is also related to his restlessness due to ADHD is not known. But it shows that extreme focus is very difficult to sustain over time.