College Student ADHD

Not so long ago, it was believed that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affected individuals only in childhood and would outgrow the disorder during puberty or adolescence. On the contrary, the number of college students struggling with ADHD has increased substantially in the last two decades. Research also proves that college students with ADHD face more challenges academically compared to their peers. 

Enhance Health Group in Orange County, California offers ADHD treatment for college students who are struggling. Treatment for this condition can include therapy and medication management when needed. A customized treatment plan can be created to best fit individual needs and diagnoses.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is one of the most common neurological disorders developed during childhood. While not nearly all cases of ADHD are officially diagnosed, estimates show that one in nine college students today has some form of ADHD. 

College students with ADHD face significant difficulties in their everyday campus and academic life. The disorder leaves them struggling to focus and pay attention and more introverted due to the many new experiences and sensations hitting them at once. 

These struggles are increased by the decreased parental support available, especially to first-time college students coming from involved home life, leaving students with ADHD less ready for college, social impairments, and a higher risk of dropping out before graduation. 

Symptoms of ADHD

Most mental health professionals use the DSM-5 criteria to evaluate the potential ADHD symptoms in children and young adults. DSM-5 criteria fall into two overarching categories:

  • Inattention. For college students, five of these symptoms should be present for at least six months for an official ADHD diagnosis:
  • Hyperactivity-Impulsivity. College students should show five of these symptoms for at least six months to be diagnosed with ADHD:

More informally, college students with ADHD may have trouble getting along with others. The influx of new experiences, especially when new on a college campus, can cause them to retreat into a ‘shell’ and become introverted.

Types of ADHD

Diagnosing a specific type of ADHD depends on the symptoms presented. If more symptoms of inattention are present, a diagnosis of inattention type is likely. If more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, a diagnosis of the hyperactive-impulsive type is likely. A combined type diagnosis is likely when symptoms do not exclusively fall within a specific type.

Causes of ADHD in College Students

Researchers have not determined the exact causes of ADHD. However, it is believed that it may be caused by various factors. Genetics, environmental factors, and gender may cause a college student to be more vulnerable to developing ADHD.

Treatment for College ADHD

When left alone, ADHD can cause significant mental harm to college students trying to navigate this critical phase in their life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage this disorder and help to ensure that the student is still thriving.

The first step is simple mindfulness. Once students know they have ADHD, they can build a support system around them, focusing on smaller class sizes or fewer class credits per semester. The college counseling and disability offices can also be an excellent resource for more straightforward steps, like ensuring that professors know about the diagnosis and can accommodate the student accordingly. Tutoring services with more one-to-one instruction can also be hugely beneficial.

More significant cases of ADHD in college students may need more professional help, ranging from therapy to medication and even inpatient treatments. In that case, working with the right professionals is crucial to taking the best possible steps to improve your mental health.

Inpatient Treatment for College ADHD

Eden by Enhance provides residential or inpatient treatment for college students struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Inpatient treatment for ADHD can include psychotherapy and medication management when needed. Treatment plans can be customized based on individual needs and diagnoses. Inpatient treatment includes 24/7 care while staying on-site. 

Outpatient Treatment for College ADHD

Outpatient treatment for college student ADHD can take place in person or virtually. Treatment can include group and individual therapy during the day while staying off-site overnight. 

College Student ADHD Treatment in Orange County

College student attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can be a challenging mental health disorder that can cause difficulties with daily functioning. Depending on the symptoms presented, inattention type, hyperactive-impulsive type, or combined type can be diagnosed. With treatment, ADHD symptoms can be reduced, and long-term recovery can be achieved. 

At Enhance Health Group, we can schedule an initial confidential assessment, then build a treatment path that makes the most sense for your unique situation. Contact us today to learn more about our expertise and how we can help college students in and around Orange County, CA, better manage their ADHD.