ADHD is not just a condition that affects children. Approximately 4% of the adult population suffers from attention deficit disorder and its wide variety of symptoms, and this rate could be even higher, since a large portion of adults who suffer from the condition are never properly diagnosed.
Attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are disorders that cause a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is one of the most common childhood brain disorders.
If you have been struggling at work, in your relationships, or with your ability to stay focused or organized, it may be more than just stress or absentmindedness. You could possibly be experiencing signs of ADHD. This just means you might want to look at behavioral strategies or therapy to help bring your focus back in to lead a happier and more productive life. Here are some of the signs to be aware of:
You may have been labeled a “dreamer” or accused of not paying attention to the things and people around you.
- Inability to pay close attention to details
- Constantly making careless mistakes at work or school
- Doesn’t seem to listen or follow through when told to do something
- “Zoning out,” even in the middle of a conversation
- Easily distracted
Are you a forgetful person? Or is there more behind your inability to prioritize and keep track of important tasks and responsibilities?
- Unable to manage time
- Cluttered, disorganized home, work, or personal spaces
- Tendency to procrastinate
- Unable to finish projects
- Chronic lateness
- Forgetting appointments and commitments
- Missing deadlines
- Constantly losing important items
3. Impulsive Behavior
You may have a “wild streak” and trouble inhibiting your behavior, words, and responses to others.
- Constantly acting without thinking
- Rushing through tasks
- Poor self control
- Interrupting and talking over other people
- Lack of patience
- Blurting out thoughts even if inappropriate or rude
- Addictive behavior or substance abuse
The hyperactivity in adult ADHD doesn’t always reveal itself in the same manner as with children. Instead, you may call it a feeling of “restlessness.”
- Feeling agitated
- Getting bored easily
- Racing thoughts
- Speaking excessively
- Fidgeting and trouble sitting still
- Doing too many things at once
On the other end of the spectrum, some adults with ADHD experience a hyperfocus instead of an inability to focus.
- Becoming absorbed in rewarding tasks
- Losing track of time while engaged in an activity
- Neglecting responsibilities while completing a task
- Oblivious to surroundings
6. Emotional Difficulties
Adult ADHD can make it harder to manage feelings, and can lead to anger and frustration.
- Low self-esteem and insecurity
- Explosive temper
- Inability to deal with frustration
- Mood swings and irritability
- Hypersensitive to criticism
- Sense of underachievement
- Trouble staying motivated
The causes of ADHD are still unclear, although researchers are exploring how genetics, possible environmental factors, brain injuries, social environments, and nutrition can contribute to this complicated and widespread disorder.
Left untreated, ADD and ADHD can lead to physical health problems, relationship difficulties, and problems at work. ADHD can also lead to other mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. There are many treatment options available for adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD, ranging from self-help options such as exercise, eating a healthy diet, creating a supportive work environment, and practicing better time management; to medical treatments such as coaching, therapy, and medication.
If the signs and symptoms of ADHD sound familiar to you, and your life feels out of control, then talking to a medical professional can get you the diagnosis, and help, that you need.