What are the Symptoms of Adult ADHD?

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  • Written By: T. Alaine
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly referred to by the abbreviation ADHD, is often mistakenly identified as a condition that only affects children. Often, adults experiencing ADHD symptoms try to ignore them or attribute them to stress and do not consider that they might suffer from a disorder. Truthfully, many adults suffer from ADHD, especially if they also experienced symptoms in their youth. The symptoms of adult ADHD are similar to those used to diagnose children, and include lack of concentration, difficulty focusing, and impulsiveness. Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may also be identified by disorganization, forgetfulness, and difficulty managing time and projects.

Attention deficiency is perhaps the most easily recognized of the symptoms of adult ADHD, probably because it is written right into the name of the condition. An adult suffering from ADHD is easily distracted, and may have difficulty committing their focus to a single task long enough to complete it. In adults, difficulty concentrating is likely to manifest at work, where individuals might struggle to work continuously without disruption or distraction. At home, those afflicted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be unable to sit through movies or television shows without interruption, or grow bored easily with daily activities.


Impulsive decisions are also counted among the symptoms of adult ADHD. Individuals who lack the concentration to focus exclusively and carefully for the duration of a task are more inclined to make a rash or snap decision. Logically, the inability to concentrate can become frustrating, and a person might become anxious and make a quick decision in the hopes of not dealing with it anymore. Such impulsiveness can be detrimental or disruptive to adult life, especially if a person is unable to make sound decisions concerning family or financial situations.

Children with ADHD might not be considered disorganized or forgetful, because it is harder to pinpoint these traits in a child who is still developing cognitive ability. In fully developed people, however, lack of organizational skills and forgetfulness can be considered symptoms of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Essentially, a scattered persona relates back to the key symptom of adult ADHD: attention deficiency. People who are unable to focus on a task are likely to end up scrambling to finish it. Similarly, if an adult with ADHD is distracted while learning new information, such as the name of a new acquaintance, it is far less likely that he or she will retain that knowledge.


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Post 2

@chrisinbama- That is a bad predicament for your sister. I think that the problem is that so many people try to get ADHD medications because they are amphetamines. Sadly, some adults with ADHD symptoms are faking just to get the prescription they need to achieve their "high".

I would suggest that she talk to her doctor again and stress to him or her that she is legitimately suffering from ADHD. If that still doesn't work, find a new doctor.

Post 1

My sister has been diagnosed with ADHD. She is 28 years old. She chose not to take medication at the time that she was diagnosed, which was 2 years ago. Now, she has decided that she actually needs the medication because she is having a very hard time focusing on her job. The doctor that she used to see has retired so she had to see a new doctor. This new doctor will not write her the medication (Adderall) because he says it is too addictive. What is she to do?

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