If you picture a room of unruly kids bouncing off the walls when you hear the term \u201cattention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)\u201d\u2014you\u2019re not alone. ADHD has three main symptoms, including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, and it\u2019s not something only children ( over 6 million in the United States) deal with. An estimated 11 million adults in the U.S. struggle with ADHD , too. As kids with ADHD grow up, often their disorder continues and evolves with them. (It does not suddenly develop in adulthood .) But rather than being disruptive in the classroom, adults with this disorder might often forget to return calls, have trouble sitting still, or space out when a loved one is speaking to them. Courtney S.*, a 30-year-old woman from Wisconsin who has been living with ADHD her whole life, recalls the evolution of her symptoms in a recent interview with Marie Claire . Growing up with ADHD As a kid, her teachers grew frustrated with her behavior in the classroom and told her parents, \u201cCourtney is really disruptive in class and can\u2019t focus.\u201d Sadly, these sentiments aren\u2019t uncommon within the education community, where there can be a lack of understanding of how to accommodate students with ADHD, and what causes the disorder. In a recent report , 1 in 4 public school teachers believe ADHD is a result of bad parenting. Courtney\u2019s parents had her evaluated for ADHD, and her family doctor officially diagnosed her at the age of 8. But even after her doctor started Courtney on a treatment plan, she still struggled with her ADHD symptoms. For example, as Courtney got older, she struggled in social situations. This is something ADHD patients tend to have trouble with because they struggle with things like inattention or interrupting during a conversation. Makes sense when you think about it. Not being able to pay attention, or cutting friends off mid-conversation, can make them feel unheard. Transitioning to adulthood with ADHD When Courtney started at Bradley University to study broadcast journalism in 2008, she continued to struggle with ADHD symptoms. Her new schedule, as she transitioned to college and adjusted to a new routine, started to overwhelm her because she couldn\u2019t use the same coping mechanisms. As adolescents age into adulthood, certain symptoms, like hyperactivity, may become less noticeable or present in other ways. \u201cGirls with ADHD are often overlooked because they don\u2019t exhibit the typical hyperactive symptoms that are most commonly associated with this condition,\u201d notes Dr. Theresa Cerulli**, a psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center based in Boston. \u201cTherefore, many women internalize their core ADHD symptoms as a personality trait or flaw, which can lead to a delayed diagnosis or even a mis-diagnosis, preventing women from getting the support they need.\u201d After graduating in 2012, Courtney began working at a TV station in Peoria, Illinois. At work, her symptoms seemed to be more under control, although she later realized her ADHD symptoms were still affecting her at home and in social settings. \u201cA lot of things would slip my mind. Things like forgetting to make appointments with my doctor, or not responding to family and friends, which left them concerned or worried. I would often lose my keys or cell phone, making me late to work,\u201d she remembers. By 2015, she was missing bill payments or forgetting to buy food for her cat, Penny Lane. Talking to a doctor and discussing a treatment plan \u201cThings got to the point that I knew I had to do something,\u201d she says. So she met with her psychiatrist who reevaluated her and confirmed her previous diagnosis of ADHD. She discussed her disorder with the doctor who recommended a treatment plan that included Vyvanse \u00ae (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) , a prescription medicine used for the treatment of ADHD in patients six years and older. \u201cMy psychiatrist explained that Vyvanse may make me feel jittery and she recommended I take it in the morning to decrease the possibility that I would have trouble falling asleep at night. She worked with me to make sure I felt comfortable in the decision to try Vyvanse. It\u2019s important for doctors to go over all the potential risks and benefits, and explain that Vyvanse is not for weight loss and it is not known if it is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity.\u201d Doctors will ask if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medicines since Vyvanse is a federally controlled stimulant medicine that can be abused or lead to dependence. Doctors also want to know about any history and family history of heart conditions, and suggest regular blood pressure and heart rate checkups. Patients taking Vyvanse should tell their doctor right away if they have chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Vyvanse. Scroll below for additional Important Safety Information, including Boxed WARNING for Abuse and Dependence. Click here for Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor. Since she\u2019s been on this treatment plan, Courtney feels like her ADHD symptoms are more manageable. Along with finding the right medication, she also made lifestyle adjustments that help her, including: Utilizing technology (like her phone calendar) which seems to help her stay organized so tasks don\u2019t slip her mind. She says this strategy has been especially helpful while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Leaning into her support system, which consists of her brother, friends, boyfriend, and especially her parents who always encourage her to take a breath when she is stressed. Seeing her psychiatrist regularly (even virtually, if necessary) to discuss her treatment plan and any concerns about her disorder. ADHD in today\u2019s world Especially now, in the wake of the pandemic, Courtney recognizes the importance of prioritizing her health and wellness by keeping in close contact with her doctor. She stresses that for her, it\u2019s been important to be open to extra support. Courtney hopes that her story will inspire other ADHD patients to seek help and open up about their own journeys with the disorder. She also wants others struggling to know it\u2019s vital to be their own health advocate and work with their doctor to find the right treatment plan for them, which for Courtney took nearly 15 years. Dr. Cerulli echoes Courtney\u2019s sentiments. \u201cAdults often internalize their ADHD symptoms rather than seek professional help.\u201d \u201cI would encourage anyone who may be silently suffering to reach out to their doctor or other healthcare provider. If you \u2019 ve been diagnosed with ADHD, it \u2019 s important to remember that it is a real medical condition and it \u2019 s treatable,\u201d says Dr. Cerulli. \u201cIt\u2019s easy to feel like you\u2019re alone, and that you\u2019re different because of your ADHD,\u201d Courtney adds. \u201cMy hope is to help encourage others to not give up and have an open and honest conversation with their doctor about ADHD.\u201d * Name withheld to protect subject\u2019s privacy ** Dr. Cerulli is a paid spokesperson for Takeda For additional safety information, click here for Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch , or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Takeda is committed to helping ensure the proper use of stimulant medication. Please see the Proper Use of Prescription Stimulant Medication Brochure for additional information. To learn more about Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), go to vyvanse.com . Want to learn more about ADHD? The Attention Deficit Disorder Association , The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) are all great resources.