Signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults: What to look out for

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is a chronic disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While most people think of ADHD as a childhood disorder, it is estimated that up to 60% of children with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms as adults.

ADHD symptoms in adults can be challenging to diagnose because they often overlap with other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Adults with ADHD may also develop coping mechanisms that mask their symptoms. However, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

1. Inattention

Inattention is a major symptom of ADHD in adults. Adults with ADHD have trouble staying focused and may easily become distracted by their surroundings. They may also have difficulty completing tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as studying or working on a project. They may frequently lose things, forget appointments, and struggle to manage their time.

2. Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity is another common symptom of ADHD in children and adults. While most people think of hyperactivity as physical restlessness, it can manifest in adults as racing thoughts, fidgeting, and a constant need to move or talk. Adults with ADHD may also struggle with sitting still, being easily bored, and engaging in risk-taking behaviors.

3. Impulsivity

Impulsiveness is a third major symptom of ADHD in adults. Adults with ADHD may struggle with delaying gratification, seeking out immediate rewards, and engaging in impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse and reckless driving. They may also interrupt others and struggle with social cues, leading to social difficulties.

4. Emotional Dysregulation

Emotional dysregulation is also common in adults with ADHD. They may experience intense emotions such as anger, frustration or excitement which can be difficult to control. They may also struggle with regulating their reactions to stress, trauma or anxiety.

5. Disorganization

Disorganization is also a key feature of ADHD in adults. They may struggle with prioritizing tasks, planning, and scheduling. They tend to miss deadlines, forget appointments or misplace things.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment for ADHD in adults may include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. With the right support and guidance, adults with ADHD can achieve better self-regulation, concentration and improved quality of life.