7 Signs of ADHD in Adults

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental condition that is commonly diagnosed during childhood. However, the symptoms of ADHD often continue into adulthood. In fact, 4.4%  of the adult population in the United States has ADHD, but less than 20% get treated.  

In this blog, we will discuss some common ADHD signs and symptoms  and what treatment options are available. If you recognize more than a few of these symptoms in yourself, consider scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist for adult ADHD testing. 

1. Trouble Focusing

Trouble focusing is probably one of the most recognized symptoms of ADHD in adults. Those with ADHD can be easily distracted, overlook details, and have trouble completing tasks and projects. They may also have trouble listening and having conversations.  

Instead of causing a lack of focus, ADHD may also cause people to have hyperfocus. People who have ADHD might get so engrossed in what they are doing that they become unaware of their surroundings, lose track of time, and ignore the people around them.  

Lack of focus and hyperfocus can cause adults with ADHD to have difficulty in their jobs and relationships.  

2. Disorganization

Another symptom of ADHD in adults is difficulty staying organized. This doesn’t mean that people with ADHD are messy but that they have trouble keeping track of things like tasks and projects. This can cause adults with ADHD to have trouble prioritizing tasks and projects and managing their time, which may lead to things like procrastinating, showing up late, and even ignoring things entirely.

3. Forgetfulness

Because ADHD can cause difficulties focusing and staying organized, people with ADHD are often very forgetful. Anyone can occasionally forget where they put something, but adults with ADHD will regularly misplace things or forget important dates and information.  

Forgetfulness is another symptom of adult ADHD that can lead to difficulty in jobs and relationships because forgetfulness can be mistaken for carelessness or lack of intelligence. However, it is important for people with ADHD to understand that they are neither of those things and they can learn how to cope with their symptoms and even use them in a productive way.  

4. Impulsiveness

Adults who have ADHD also struggle with impulsiveness, which comes in many forms. Impulsiveness could be anything from interrupting others when they are talking to acting before considering the consequences of your actions. Other forms of impulsivity include rushing through things and a disregard for social norms.  

A common sign of impulsivity in adults is impulse shopping, especially making large purchases that they can’t afford.  

5. Lack of Motivation

Another symptom of ADHD in adults is a lack of motivation. This symptom is common in children with ADHD but can also be found in adults. If you struggle to find the motivation to complete tasks and projects at home, work, or school, and you have other symptoms of ADHD, you may want to speak to a psychiatrist about an adult ADHD diagnosis. 

6. Anxiety

Anxiety is a very common symptom of Adult ADHD. In fact, studies show that 50%  of adults who have ADHD have a co-occurring anxiety disorder. Restlessness, another symptom of ADHD, often goes hand in hand with anxiety.  

Because people with ADHD can feel restless and fidgety, they may begin to feel anxious when they are in a situation that requires them to sit still. Adults with ADHD may also begin to feel anxiety when they don’t complete things quickly enough. Of course, because those with ADHD tend to procrastinate and have trouble organizing themselves, they can also feel anxiety when tasks begin to pile up.  

7. Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom of adult ADHD, probably because ADHD is associated with sleep issues like insomnia. Another reason that people with ADHD could be fatigued is that they use so much more of their energy to focus.  

Treatment Options for ADHD in Adults

Adults with ADHD have many treatment options, including medication and therapy. Medications like stimulants are helpful for ADHD symptoms because they can ease some of the feelings of restlessness and hyperactivity.  

Therapy can also be a great treatment option for ADHD because counselors can help you develop coping skills that help you deal with your symptoms. You will be able to develop new habits and take back control of your life.  

Here at Serenity Mental Health Centers, we offer ADHD testing  as well as medication management for ADHD. If you are an adult who identifies with these symptoms of ADHD, contact us to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist who can evaluate your symptoms and give you an accurate diagnosis.

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