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Do adults with ADHD have a higher risk of developing disorders, addictions or financial problems?

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

Complications of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been associated with issues at work, frequent accidents, relationship issues, or alcohol or drug abuse. Side effects from prescribed ADHD medications do not include alcohol or drug abuse but are more in line with possible weight loss, headaches, moodiness, sleep issues, eating disorders, increased blood pressure, stomach pain or nausea, or a faster pulse.

Dr. Mike Dow, PsyD
Addiction Medicine Specialist

Adults with ADHD are at a higher risk for drug or alcohol addiction for a couple of reasons, says addiction specialist Dr. Mike Dow. To learn why both untreated ADHD as well as certain ADHD medications can increase your risk for drug and alcohol abuse, watch this video.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Financial issues
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can have financial issues due to lack of planning and organization and spending restrictions. It is possible to stick to sound financial management by setting financial goals, organizing all financial documents, setting limits on spending, and restricting impulsive spending. Finances will improve with basic planning for long-term financial security through saving and limiting debt.

Anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders often coexist with ADHD in adults. Adults who have both ADHD and an anxiety disorder may experience excessive worrying or ruminating, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, nervousness, and even panic disorder with severe anxiety. Because ADHD can cause ongoing behavioral problems at home, school, or work, the anxiety disorder may worsen these problems, resulting in repeated frustrations, failures, and low self-esteem.

Personality disorders
Adults with ADHD have to face different frustrations and failures in many areas of life. Not only do they have problems with relationships and at work, they are at greater risk of having coexisting personality disorders. These personality disorders may include antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Getting a proper diagnosis and effective treatment for the ADHD and personality disorder is important.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.