Men's health is in focus this month, and experts are revealing how disorders once perceived as "childhood diseases" such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can have longer lasting effects throughout a man's life if untreated.
Lost in diagnosis
The misunderstanding of ADHD in adults may have led to many adult men with undiagnosed ADHD never quite achieving their full potential in both professional and personal settings.
Studies have shown ADHD corresponds with higher rates of divorce, more frequent employment issues, car accidents and substance abuse. This negative cycle can in turn lead to self-esteem issues in men with ADHD.
However, the once-misdiagnosed ADHD man now has access to a world of possibilities, as ADHD treatments (methylphenidate-based treatments in particular) show substantial improvement in focus at work and relationship stability at home.
A fresh start
The emergence of new careers for men and removal of gendered stigmas in various industries creates opportunities for men with managed and treated ADHD to flourish.
Creative roles – design and writing in media and advertising – for example, require lateral thought and easily incorporate unconventional ways of working, which are the ideal auxiliary tools to channel ADHD-related energy and creativity.
Software development and coding – fields which once didn’t exist at all – are rapidly growing and require much-coveted skills, combined with hyper-focus. This makes these roles ideal for men with ADHD.
Another benefit is new and modern working environments no longer follow rigid office hours, and men with ADHD who also struggle to maintain a routine can work this to their advantage. Working in the evenings and early mornings when focus might be heightened, for example.
Men who once struggled with low self-esteem as a result of ADHD might find renewed hope, even when diagnosed later in life, as they now have access to multiple fields of work that support their unique characteristics.
If treated and managed with a holistic treatment plan, men with ADHD can indeed thrive – both at home and in the workplace – to reach their full potential and, as a result, boost their self-esteem for happier and more fulfilled life.