ADD/ADHD in Adults: Signs, Symptoms and Causes.

Adult ADHD can wreak havoc on ones life. It can hurt your marriage, career, and relationships with others as well as yourself.

Here we have compiled a list of signs and symptoms. If you have exhibited 12 of the following behaviors and if these symptoms are not connected to any other medical or psychiatric condition, you might want to consider an evaluation by a mental health professional that specializes in Adult ADHD:

What Causes Attention Problems?

There are many possible causes of attention problems. Some common causes are :

– Environmental stress (like conflict at work, school, or home)
– Problems with mood (like depression or mania)
– Problems with sleep (sleeping too much or too little, interrupted sleep)
– Medications (including over-the-counter medications)
– Stimulants (including caffeine, energy drinks, etc)
– Medical problems (like brain trauma, liver problems, kidney problems, thyroid problems)
– Attention-Deficit Disorder
– A substance abuse problem

What to Expect When Working with Adult ADHD/ADD Health Professionals:

Whether you work with one of our doctors from Cognitive Psychiatry or another professional that specializes in Adult ADHD/ADD, this is what you can expect:

The doctor will work with you to uncover the cause(s) of their attention problem. Often this involves an assessment of behavior patterns, relationships, medications, and lab work (drawing blood). In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you get an imaging study of your brain and see a neurologist as part of your workup. This workup is thorough and may take more than one appointment. It may seem long, however, as experts in this field we strongly believe that gathering all this information ultimately results in better treatment and faster recovery.


Not everyone needs to see a psychiatrist for their attention problems. If someone has physical complaints in addition to their attention problem, they should consider seeing their primary care doctor first. If the attention problem is very mild and does not significantly interfere with functioning, there are many self-help websites and books available. Sometimes a simple evaluation of your sleep, eating, drinking, and exercise habits may be revealing.

Who Benefit the Most From the Assistance of a Psychiatrist?

– Have significant problems functioning at work, school, or home
– Have already seen their primary care doctor but continue to have attention problems
– Have had another mental health problem in the past
– Are taking psychiatric medications (including sleep aides)
– Have not benefited from self-help approaches
– Are drinking alcohol or using other substances on a regular basis

If you would like to find out more information about attention problems or arrange an appointment with a doctor at our practice, please feel free to contact us at 919-636-5240 or email

Here is the appropriate link on our website to learn more:

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

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