Not everyone who has ADHD experiences it in the same way, and to compound the
challenge, the symptoms of ADHD are often inconsistent and fluctuate on a daily basis.
Stress, a sudden change in plans, poor sleep, certain foods and additives, overstimulation
and technology can make the symptoms of ADHD worse; making it more difficult to focus
and control impulsivity.
The inconsistencies of ADHD symptoms mean that there can be both good and bad days.
On a good day ADHD may seem to fade into the background and on a bad day nothing will
seem to go according to plan. If the day starts with waking up late or forgetting a friend’s
birthday, it is probable that the day will continue to spiral out of control. The situation
becomes self-perpetuating; the more a person’s anxiety peaks, the more challenging tasks
appear, and the more anxiety and frustration is felt.
The symptoms of ADHD are likely to persist into adulthood, but there will be changes along
the way. Some adults may find it easier to self-regulate and to act more deliberately in order
to achieve their long-term goals. The hyperactive symptoms associated with youth can
become more of a restlessness in adulthood, while the consequences of impulsivity may
become more serious in adolescence because of an increased risk of motor vehicle
accidents or substance abuse.
ADHD is, however, consistent and will not simply disappear. Very few people outgrow ADHD
completely. Many people learn to compensate, over time, for the consistent inconsistencies
of their ADHD symptoms and the impact those symptoms have on their environment.
One of the keys to success with ADHD is to create and keep good habits that supports the
ability to meet daily expectations and goals in life. These strategies and scaffolds will allow
for consistency in the inconsistency of ADHD and must be kept in place to facilitate
continued progress, setting the person with ADHD up for success.