Thoughts Issues | Coping with grownup ADHD
I am a 23 year old CA student. I have struggled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) all my life, although I was only recently diagnosed. The symptoms date back to my earliest years and I can’t remember not having them. Since ADHD is not taken seriously in Nepal and its drugs are banned, I have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life. I’ve done counseling sessions, but I haven’t felt any better. Any help would be appreciated. -A hopeful neurodivergent student
Answer from Dr. Rishav Koirala, psychiatrist at Grande Hospital
This is a growing concern. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can include persistent problems such as difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It starts in childhood and a large percentage may have ADHD in adults later on.
Yes it is a new concept in Nepal. It is only recently that ADHD has been slowly approached in childhood. That is not enough. But adult ADHD is still not something many people are aware of. We don’t have a cultural expression of ADHD in adults other than seeing it as bad behavior, so we don’t notice and therefore don’t care if someone has ADHD, which makes things worse for them. On average, around four to five percent of the total population suffer from ADHD.
Since ADHD is not recognized here, there are almost no medications available for someone who needs it. The Department of Drug Administration has yet to approve drugs for the disease. There is also a shortage of specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults.
But just like you, more and more young people struggling with ADHD have recognized it and are realizing that they need help. Some have brought medicines with them from different countries, but this is not possible for all. (I wonder if that’s an option for you.)
Although psychotherapy can help with ADHD, pharmacological treatment is the gold standard. The best option right now would be to see a psychiatrist and tell him what you are struggling with and even if he has no previous experience with it you can get some kind of help. Since ADHD has been linked to anxiety and depression, a professional can help you here too.
But that’s also a bigger social issue. At the community level, there is a need for greater awareness of ADHD and its prevalence in children, which can often continue into adulthood. The mass awareness will also lead the authorities concerned to consider making ADHD treatments and medicines available in our own country.