ADHD & adults
To get started, consider watching this quick, 2-minute video about ADHD.
If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you are not alone—with the right information and treatment that’s right for the individual, adults with ADHD can reach their true potential!

Understanding ADHD

Symptoms and causes
No one knows the exact causes of ADHD.
Many studies indicate that neurological factors may play a role.
Genetic factors are also involved. ADHD is known to "run in families."
Environmental factors may also contribute.
How the brain is working changes in people with mental health conditions.

ADHD affects the communication of information in the brain. Certain chemicals in the brain—that help with these communications—are reduced in people with ADHD.

This part of the brain is involved with what is known as "executive functioning skills." E.g.:
  • Organizing
  • Time management
  • Social skills
  • Planning
Explore more about ADHD here.
There are three core symptoms of ADHD:
  1. Inattention
  2. Hyperactivity
  3. Impulsivity
Inattention may increase towards, and into, adulthood, and may include:
  • Trouble starting and finishing projects
  • Difficulty managing project timelines
  • Difficulty with focus in meetings
  • Feeling underachievement
  • Making careless mistakes

Adults often describe ADHD as having an internal feeling of restlessness, as if their minds are always switching channels. Impulsivity is a symptom that is important to treat as it can be linked to not meeting deadlines at work or making unnecessary expensive purchases. Learn how to control your impulses.

Learn more about the core symptoms of ADHD here.
Do these symptoms seem familiar to you? If you think you might have ADHD, take the self-assessment here.
ADHD symptoms may differ in females compared to males!

Boys are more likely to express aggressive or antisocial behaviour.

Learn more about ADHD symptoms in men.

Girls are more likely to have the inattentive subtype of ADHD and be socially withdrawn and may suffer more by internalizing the emotional impact of the disorder.

Learn more about ADHD symptoms in women.

Did you know?

85% of adults with ADHD meet criteria for having a comorbid condition.

Mental health comorbidities also differ between males and females.

More commonly diagnosed in males:
  • schizophrenia
  • substance use disorder
More commonly diagnosed in females:
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • personality disorder

Diagnosis

For most of the past century, ADHD was thought to strictly affect children. However, many times, adults only find out they have ADHD after one of their children have been diagnosed.

Did you know?
Boys are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
Girls are 5 to 9 times less likely to be referred to a specialist for treatment. They will also often go undiagnosed until later in adolescence or adulthood.
Try this self-test for women to help recognize the unique symptoms of ADHD in women.
Did you know?
Diagnosing ADHD can take longer than expected because your doctor may want to rule out or diagnose other mental health conditions.
Medical professionals may use assessment forms to help diagnose ADHD.
ADHD diagnosis and treatment may involve a team of professionals.
If you think you might have ADHD, take the self-assessment here.
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Managing ADHD

ADHD can affect all aspects of life, including home, school or workplace and relationships. That’s why getting the condition diagnosed and treated is so important.
Overcoming challenges: Tips and tricks
Sports

Studies have shown that exercise and sports can help relieve stress and can improve your concentration throughout the day. Learn more.

Relationships with partner/spouse

Adults with ADHD often report conflict with their spouse or partner. Information on navigating relationships for you and your partner/spouse.

Parenting

Studies have shown that ADHD can cause stress for an entire family. Adults with ADHD may experience parenting problems. Disorganization or impulsive behaviours can make family life chaotic. If your child also has ADHD, this can make matters more challenging. Learn more.

Post-secondary school

If you are still in school, you know that it can be hard to focus. Additional challenges exist in the virtual learning world. Download a brochure on navigating learning from home with ADHD.

Managing money

Procrastination, disorganization and impulsivity symptoms can also lead to challenges when it comes to managing your finances. Learn to create a plan.

Friends or other social interactions

People with ADHD often have difficulties in social situations. Here are some ideas that may help with your relationships:

  • Pay attention!
  • Repeat back.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Slow down.
  • Mind your manners.

Additional information on social skills.

Information more specific to women.

Driving

Adults with ADHD, especially those with symptoms of impulsivity, are more likely to take risks. If you are going to drive, make sure to follow the rules and always follow safe driving habits. Learn more.

Work

ADHD can affect your work as well. For insights into organizing a home or office space.

Additional tips at the workplace.

ADHD coaches can be helpful in many areas of life, such as helping you improve your listening and negotiation skills. Find a coach near you.
Did you know?

Challenges and management can differ between men and women. Access additional information on the challenges and management specific to women, as well as additional ADHD management approaches.

Sports

Studies have shown that exercise and sports can help relieve stress and can improve your concentration throughout the day. Learn more.

Friends or other social interactions

People with ADHD often have difficulties in social situations. Here are some ideas that may help with your relationships...

Treatment options
Finding the right treatment may take time, but this is normal.
Treatment and support for ADHD can involve a number of healthcare professionals. In Canada, many of these services are covered by provincial health plans. Private health insurance plans may cover additional services. Ask your doctor or health insurance manager to find out more.
Support groups and counselling services (e.g., career, marriage, or family counselling) may also be part of your management plan. Consider tailored courses for specific difficulties (e.g., parenting skills course).

Learn about ADHD treatment in general.

There are several types of ADHD medications available in Canada. Learn more here and herein the “ADHD Treatment” sections.

Get more involved with treatment decisions and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • Make a list to get ready for your visit and put the most important points at the top.
  • Say what? To make sure your doctor has explained clearly, try repeating back what was said and write things down.
  • Bring a friend. Having someone else there to take notes, ask questions or just be supportive can really help.
  • My Rx. If your doctor has prescribed medication, make sure you take it as directed. During follow-up visits, your doctor may check:

    – If the medication is still effective and needed
    – If the dose is right for you
    – If you are experiencing any side effects
    Health measures (e.g., height, weight, blood pressure, etc.)
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Treatment and support for ADHD can involve a number of healthcare professionals. In Canada, many of these services are covered by provincial health plans. Private health insurance plans may cover additional services. Ask your doctor or health insurance manager to find out more.
Finding the right treatment may take time, but this is normal.

Resources

You are not alone on your ADHD journey!

Remember to bookmark this page so that you have access to helpful resources for future use!

Created and developed by Annick Vincent, physician-psychiatrist, Clinique FOCUS and collaborators, this site is dedicated to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This site contains advice and information for better understanding this disorder and the options available for better "dealing with ADHD," including pharmacological treatment options.
Resources for parents from CADDRA, a Canadian non-profit association. CADDRA is a coalition of health professionals who support patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and their families.
The PANDA Association helps promote, inform, raise awareness, equip and develop specific and innovative services for people with ADHD, their families and their networks as well as stakeholders in order to demystify the problem, reduce prejudices and promote academic and social success.
A national, not-for-profit organization providing leadership and support in awareness, education and advocacy for ADHD organizations and individuals across Canada.
A website and magazine on living with ADHD and learning disorders.
CH.A.D.D. Canada is a charitable organization that aims to help support, educate, and ultimately better the lives of individuals with ADHD, and those who care for them.

CH.A.D.D. has chapters in communities across Canada, where support meetings are held regularly. CH.A.D.D. also sponsors various workshops, presentations and conferences, distributing the latest breakthroughs and techniques in dealing with or managing ADHD.
Your rights & government assistance

The Canadian Government allows a Disability Tax Credit for those who have a mental or physical disability that causes significant restrictions all or almost all of the time. These restrictions must occur despite having therapy and the use of appropriate devices and medications.

You can find Form T2201 here.

The government has also recognized that individuals with learning disabilities may have a need for supplementary educational service.

Interested in finding out more about:

  • Tuition costs?
  • Scholarships?
  • Financial aid?

Learn more here.

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Created and developed by Annick Vincent, physician-psychiatrist, Clinique FOCUS and collaborators, this site is dedicated to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This site contains advice and information for better understanding this disorder and the options available for better "dealing with ADHD", including pharmacological treatment options.
A national, not-for-profit organization providing leadership and support in awareness, education and advocacy for ADHD organizations and individuals across Canada.
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