In spite of scientific studies of the condition, many people unfortunately still regard Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a simple behavioral problem that can be fixed with rigorous discipline. However, it is a real neurodevelopmental condition which affects the functionality of the brain and nervous system in children and adults. ADHD causes inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity, which can be seriously detrimental to a child or adult’s ability to participate in school, work, relationships and at home. ADHD requires medical treatment, and when parents or individuals don’t treat ADHD, the choice can have serious consequences.
This Is What Happens When You Ignore ADHD Symptoms in Children and Adults
Children with Untreated ADHD
Each day, children build the foundations on which they will live their entire lives. They learn discipline, how to interact socially, how to make choices and they learn the basic math and reading skills on which their continuing educations depend. With ADHD, children often experience difficulties at home and school. They often fall behind and earn poor grades because they do not learn or remember everything they are taught. They have trouble controlling their emotions, which can lead to socially unacceptable outbursts, making it difficult for them to keep friends. Children with ADHD are also more likely to suffer from depression and poor self-esteem, which makes it difficult for them to cope with these challenges.
As teenagers, the issues compound. School work demands increase and consequences of social choices (regarding dating, drinking, drug use and even driving) become more severe. Forty-eight percent of teens with ADHD cause or have an unwanted pregnancy, compared to 4% of teens without ADHD. Children and teenagers with ADHD also experience more injuries, with more visits to the emergency room than children without ADHD.
Adults with Untreated ADHD
Adults who don’t treat ADHD also face serious consequences. Having trouble with punctuality, meeting deadlines, staying organized, interacting with co-workers and gracefully accepting criticism, adults with ADHD often find it difficult to keep a job. They can be overly emotional and have a difficult time listening, leading them to have problems with relationships and higher divorce rates. They are also more likely to have issues with addiction and substance abuse, car accidents and legal trouble.
Effective ADHD Treatment in Adults and Children
Most adults and children diagnosed with ADHD receive a variety of treatments and therapies to combat the symptoms of ADHD and to help them learn how to interact well with others, meet expectations at work or in school and to better communicate with their friends and family members to foster healthier personal relationships.
ADHD treatment usually includes stimulant or non-stimulant medications (which should be taken exactly as directed by the patient’s doctor), counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, stress and anxiety management techniques and life coaching to help individuals with ADHD overcome organizational challenges which can hinder their ability to set life goals and successfully navigate each day.
With thorough, consistent treatment and counseling, individuals with ADHD can live very successful and fulfilling lives. Whether diagnosed in childhood and carried into adulthood or first diagnosed as an adult, individuals with ADHD can manage their symptoms and learn the skills necessary to vastly improve their daily lives and relationships, while achieving their personal goals.
- Bhandari, S., MD. (2018, July 12). Risks of Untreated ADHD. Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/risks-of-untreated-adhd#1
- Kessler, E. (n.d.). Untreated ADHD: Lifelong Risks. Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.smartkidswithld.org/getting-help/adhd/untreated-adhd-lifelong-risks/