Navigating adult ADD/ADHD
ADHD and Risky Behavior in Adults By Camille Noe Pagán
If someone you care about has ADHD, you might have noticed him/her acting in certain ways that upset you, other people, or even herself. Her actions could be linked to ADHD. Not every adult with ADHD has risky behavior, but many do.
Why? Research shows that people with ADHD often have lower levels of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and dopamine is one of those.
“Risky behaviors can increase dopamine levels, which may be part of the reason some individuals with ADHD are drawn to them,” says Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, a mental health counselor and author of Adult ADD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed . Taking risks can give them a little rush of that dopamine that they are missing.
People with ADHD may also have certain genetic traits that make them prone to risky or impulsive actions.
For some people with ADHD, problems may be as minor as showing up late to meetings. Others may do things that are dangerous, like driving at unsafe speeds or abusing alcohol. Understanding the connection between ADHD and risky behavior can help you and your loved one with ADHD.
Some of the difficult or risky behaviors related to ADHD include:
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