Mention ADHD, and people tend to think of hyperactive children who are impulsive and have trouble paying attention. For the most part, that description is accurate, as those are the condition’s primary symptoms. What most of us do not realize is that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects adults, too.
According to health authorities, 4-5 percent of American adults live with ADHD. Yet, few sufferers receive treatment for the disorder. Many men and women don’t even know that they have it, as the symptoms can be subtle, and many people aren’t diagnosed when they are young. Do you or somebody you know have ADHD?
Look out for these 13 common ADHD symptoms in adults…
A lack of focus/concentration is a core symptom and sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in both adults and children. Still, difficulty focusing generally goes beyond just struggling to pay attention.
People who have trouble focusing can get distracted easily, overlook important details, and not complete projects and tasks, which can have implications at work and in their personal lives.
In some adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is not a lack of focus but extreme focus that causes problems in their personal and professional lives. This is known as hyperfocus.
Hyperfocus is a strong form of mental concentration on a subject or task. At times, the focus can be so intense in adults with ADHD that they become completely oblivious to everything around them.
Everybody forgets things from time to time, but for many people living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, forgetfulness is something they experience frequently and consistently.
The forgetfulness associated with ADHD can include not remembering where you leave everyday items or forgetting important dates and tasks, which can negatively impact home and work.
Life can be hectic for men and women living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. More so than for the average person because being forgetful and inattentive often results in being disorganized.
When you have ADHD, you may have trouble keeping track of items, activities, and tasks. One may also struggle to prioritize tasks logically. This can be very damaging, especially professionally.
Bad Time Management
Disorganization goes hand in hand with poor time management, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often fail to use their time effectively in work and home environments.
Poor time management may result from being easily distracted, procrastination, and ignoring tedious or boring tasks. People with ADHD tend to focus on the present rather than the future.
Many ADHD adults are impulsive. Impulsivity can be evident in several ways. The person may be impatient, rush through tasks, behave inappropriately, and act without considering consequences.
How one shops is generally a good indicator of the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Researchers have found that people prone to impulse buying commonly have ADHD.
Living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be an emotional rollercoaster. Sufferers can be moody, switching between feeling happy, sad, excited, and irritable daily or even momentarily.
For people with ADHD, minor problems can seem like major issues. These issues can cause intense anger and frustration. In some cases, it can lead to depression and other complications.
Men and women with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are inclined to be highly critical of themselves, the result of which is normally a negative self-image and low self-esteem.
Individuals with the disorder typically experience problems at home and at work due to ADHD symptoms. These difficulties are often seen as personal failures, causing sufferers to view themselves negatively.
Low Motivation Levels
When you are disorganized, have a negative self-image, and struggle to concentrate due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it can be hard to summon the motivation to get things done.
Low motivation levels can make it difficult to complete professional projects and assignments or even run everyday personal errands. Naturally, this can have unfavorable consequences.
The restlessness typical of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes it difficult to stop moving and shut off from life. This can cause frustration and other symptoms that lead to anxiety.
Anxiety is an incredibly common symptom of ADHD in adults – one that can trigger illness and other unpleasant or bothersome symptoms. It often accompanies fidgeting and the inability to sit still.
Fatigue, which can occur for various reasons with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and exacerbate attention difficulties, is an ongoing problem for a large percentage of adults with ADHD.
The tiredness may stem from hyperactivity, insomnia, or the continuous effort required by men and women with mental disorders to focus. It can also be one of the side effects of ADHD medications.
Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to experience substance abuse problems than people who don’t have ADHD. This may involve the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.
Why adults with ADHD are more likely to abuse substances isn’t clear, but researchers believe that men and women with the disorder misuse substances to relieve troubling ADHD symptoms.
Relationship issues are common with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That is, men and women with ADHD often have trouble maintaining romantic, platonic, and professional relationships.
Traits that tend to strain relationships in adulthood with ADHD include inattentiveness and talking over others during conversations. These features can make a person come across as uncaring and insensitive.