For individuals who experience life with untreated Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the personal costs of living with the disorder can be enormous.
Like many mental health disorders, conditions such as ADHD often go untreated due to social stigma about seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, misunderstandings about mental health conditions, or simply self-blame for the symptoms of the disorder.
Here are just a few of the costs of untreated ADHD in adults, and why addressing the condition can significantly improve your quality of life.
Performance in Higher Education
ADHD can be particularly destructive for students completing their post-secondary education. Despite the fact that individuals with untreated ADHD are often just as capable of succeeding in their studies as their peers, problems with concentration can easily lead to poor test performances and lackluster grades. For adults with untreated ADHD, poor performance in school can often lead to limited career prospects or high drop-out rates. If you feel that you might be struggling with your studies due to untreated ADHD, try speaking to your school about whether mental health counseling is available to students.
In the working world, the forgetfulness and distraction that accompany untreated ADHD can be devastating to an individual's career prospects when not properly addressed. People with untreated ADHD often have a gift for solving large-scale problems, but they can easily stumble when it comes to completing minor tasks such as remembering to make an important phone call to a client or remembering to schedule time for a meeting. Indeed, untreated ADHD can often lead to job termination or a lack of promotion for otherwise fully qualified individuals. Feeling discouraged and hopeless, adults with untreated ADHD often lack the passion and hope for the future that their colleagues enjoy in their working lives.
Impact on Personal Relationships
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of living with untreated ADHD is the impact of the disorder on personal relationships. Partners in a relationship with individuals living with untreated ADHD may interpret the distractedness and forgetfulness of the individual as a sign that they simply do not care about the relationship, leading to communication issues that are often extremely difficult to overcome. If you've experienced difficulty in your relationships due to untreated ADHD, it is important to understand how a diagnosis and treatment by a qualified mental health professional can vastly improve your personal relationships and ability to communicate your feelings with a significant other.
Impact on Personal Life
Adults with untreated ADHD often find that their personal lives can suffer greatly due to problems with concentration: Problems can range from forgetting one's keys when leaving home to experiencing serious auto accidents as a result of concentration issues. Indeed, people with untreated ADHD experience 50% more automobile accidents than the general population, meaning that their health or even life is often at stake when they get behind the wheel. If you've experienced car accidents due to distracted driving, be sure to contact a good auto accident lawyer who understands the seriousness of ADHD and its impact on the lives of sufferers. Distracted driving is often impossible to avoid with untreated ADHD, and getting counseling for treatment options can actually help your case in court when faced with those charges.
For these reasons, living with untreated ADHD as an adult can have an enormously destructive effect on an individual's life, but the good news is that treatment can lead to better personal relationships, excellent post-secondary school performance, and a renewed sense of career satisfaction. While many are wary of treatment, often because of the stigma against many of the medications involved, there are ample treatment options beyond medication. In fact, medication is only a part a fully informed treatment that should also include counseling and habit-forming exercises.