Signs of Adult ADHD

by on July 11th, 2011 at 7:00 am

Would you describe yourself as an impulsive, restless, chronic procrastinator with a short temper? If so, it’s possible that you have adult ADHD. According to a recent World Health Organization study, about 4 percent of adults have adult ADHD. However, it is highly likely that many more have not been diagnosed, as it is estimated that about half of kids with ADHD still have it in adulthood.

Information from the Psychiatric Times suggests that many adults are often not properly diagnosed because symptoms often resemble other disorders such as depression and anxiety (which may also be concurrent with adult ADHD).

Common symptoms of adult ADHD

Adult ADHD symptoms are not distinct, clear physical signs that can show up on a lab test, but instead are often identifiable characteristic behaviors, which can vary from person to person, further complicating and often delaying the diagnosis process. For example, hyperactivity is less common in adulthood, but adults with ADHD often describe feeling restless or ‘edgy’.

The following symptoms may be present in adulthood:

  • Forgetfulness in daily activities
  • Difficulty in relationships due to inattentive, distracted behavior
  • Smoking addiction (stats show that about 40% of adults with ADHD smoke)
  • May get bored easily, becoming restless after a few minutes of inactivity
  • Often labeled as ‘short fuse’ or quick-tempered
  • Inability to get organized
  • Difficulty following conversations
  • Fidgeting, especially with the hands and feet
  • Trouble completing tasks, often starting a project but failing to finish
  • Difficulty with following a timed schedule
  • May have a great desire for thrill-seeking, risky or fast-paced activities
  • Talking too much
  • Difficulty paying attention to and responding to details

If you suspect you have adult ADHD, review your childhood medical history. Were the following symptoms present as a child, including difficultly sitting still, paying attention and focusing on work? Often this can help confirm an adult diagnosis.

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