Editor's note: This is part one in a series on health & millennials. Check out part two: The Lowdown on Millennials and High Blood Pressure.
While they say they’re healthy, millennials might not be faring as well as they believe, according to a report from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). This report revealed a spike in several chronic health issues for millennials when compared to other generations at the same age.
Millennials are experiencing double-digit increases in prevalence for eight of the top 10 health conditions, including type II diabetes, high blood pressure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Symptoms of ADHD, including inattention, disorganization and maturity delay, can wreak havoc for young people hoping to embark on a healthy, fulfilling path into adulthood.
A Closer Look at ADHD
If you think you (or someone you love) may have ADHD, the first step to better managing your condition is learning all you can about it, so let’s get started.
What is ADHD?
Caused by differences in brain anatomy and “wiring,” ADHD is a common mental health disorder that often runs in families. Affecting focus, self-control and other skills, the condition is categorized into three main types.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
While they can vary, the main symptoms of ADHD are trouble with focus, impulsivity and hyperactivity. As a person ages, symptoms of ADHD frequently change.
Does ADHD only affect children?
More than 6 million American kids between 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD; however, this disorder impacts people across their lifespan. About 4 percent of adults in the U.S. cope with ADHD on a daily basis. The good news is, the challenges of ADHD are beatable with education, dedication and the right support.
What should you do if you feel you may have ADHD?
Living with ADHD is far from easy—everything from paying bills on time to keeping up with work, family and social demands can feel overwhelming. How can you cope?
- First and foremost, seek professional support. Your primary care physician is your first point of contact for obtaining a referral and accurate diagnosis. ADHD isn’t just “all in your head”; it’s a real condition that can be successfully managed with appropriate treatment strategies.
- Practice good self-care, such as eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. Establishing good sleep hygiene is especially critical for those living with ADHD. This includes things like creating an ideal sleep environment, exercising regularly, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
- Write down your thoughts, ideas and to-dos in a notebook. Keep your notebook in one place and refer to it often.
- Use a planner. Record your appointments in a planner or a phone/computer app.
- Don’t fear organization. Start small by tackling your desk or one room at a time.
- Set phone or computer alarms (or reminders) to better manage your time.
- Practice saying no. Don’t feel you have to please everyone or take on everything.
No matter the generation you were born into, if you have ADHD, there is hope for a healthier, higher quality of life. Talk with your doctor.
Need a primary care physician? Visit hollandhospital.org/findadoctor or call (616) 399-0902. Focused on your health and wellness, Holland Hospital Pediatrics & Internal Medicine delivers comprehensive, compassionate care for infants, children and adults.