Home Gesundheit Der Zusammenhang zwischen ADHS bei Erwachsenen und riskantem Verhalten

Der Zusammenhang zwischen ADHS bei Erwachsenen und riskantem Verhalten

von NFI Redaktion

If someone you care about has ADHD, you may have noticed that they behave in a certain way that may be frustrating for you, other people, or even themselves. Their actions may be related to ADHD. Not every adult with ADHD exhibits risky behavior, but many do.

Why? Research shows that people with ADHD often have lower levels of certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Dopamine is one of them.

„Risky behaviors can increase dopamine levels, which may be one of the reasons why some people with ADHD are drawn to them,“ says Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, mental health consultant and author of ADHD in Adults: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Taking risks can give them a small boost of dopamine that they lack.

People with ADHD may also have certain genetic traits that make them prone to risky or impulsive actions.

For some people with ADHD, the issues may be as minor as being late to meetings. Others may engage in dangerous activities, such as driving at unsafe speeds or abusing alcohol. Understanding the connection between ADHD and risky behavior can help you and your loved ones with ADHD.

Difficult or risky behaviors associated with ADHD include:

  • Difficulty getting motivated or completing tasks (either at work or at home)
  • Being late or not fulfilling commitments, appointments, or responsibilities
  • Impulsive spending or overspending
  • Starting arguments or fighting
  • Difficulty maintaining friendships and romantic relationships
  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Substance abuse (ADHD increases the likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol by up to six times)
  • Risky sexual behavior, such as unprotected sex

Other factors can also play a role in whether someone with ADHD engages in risky or dangerous behavior. Family environment, the friends one spends time with, and health issues like depression or a head injury can make a difference.

If someone you know has ADHD and their behavior is concerning you, there are things you can do to help.

Avoid placing blame. „Most importantly, ADHD is a biological, neurological, and genetic disorder. It is real and can have real consequences for those affected by it,“ says Sarkis.

Being kind and understanding (rather than angry or critical) increases the likelihood that your loved one will trust you and come to you when they have problems.

Be a partner in planning. „ADHD affects the frontal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for organization and forward planning,“ says Sarkis.

Work with them to establish a routine and stick to it. For example, you could create a calendar and schedule certain activities at the same time every day or week day.

This can reduce the likelihood of them being late and help them fulfill their responsibilities.

Be active together. Current research shows that exercise seems to alleviate some symptoms of ADHD. One reason: even brief physical activity can increase levels of brain chemicals like dopamine. Increasing these levels in a healthy way, such as through exercise, can reduce the likelihood of someone with ADHD engaging in risky behaviors like alcohol abuse or speeding.

Encourage them to seek treatment and stick with it. ADHD medications help some people. A study found that men with ADHD who took their ADHD medications reduced their risk of traffic accidents by more than 50%. Consulting with a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD treatment can help your loved one decide if medication is the right treatment.

New research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy reduces ADHD symptoms. This type of therapy focuses on changing negative thoughts to change behavior.

„Medications and counseling work better together than alone. So if your loved one is not seeing a psychologist or therapist, you may want to recommend it to them,“ says Sarkis. „There is no cure for ADHD, but treatment can make a big difference by improving the quality of life for people with this disorder.“

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