ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a brain disorder characterized by above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behavior. It affects both children and adults, and any person diagnosed with ADHD finds it hard to focus their attention on a single task or sit still for an extended period.
Harsh fact: sixty percent of children diagnosed with ADHD still show symptoms upon adulthood. Despite others claiming that the ADHD symptoms decreased as the years went by, it is still a fact that ADHD can largely affect many aspects of life, impacting it negatively. It may be as simple as forgetting mundane tasks as complicated as losing one’s career because of negative behavior; people with ADHD are constantly faced with challenges to overcome.
Research links ADHD with the neurotransmitter dopamine. A reduction in dopamine is believed to be contributory to ADHD. Dopamine is responsible for us to have feelings of pleasure and reward.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
ADHD affects approximately 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults, with a possibility that the numbers might be higher as many are left undiagnosed.
Untreated ADHD persisting into adulthood can be a reason for interfering with obstacles later in life. It is essential to recognize ADHD to get proper treatment. Symptoms in adults include:
Unable to focus.
This is the most indicative symptom of ADHD. Individuals with ADHD are easily distracted and find it difficult to listen to others during conversations effectively. They also tend to overlook details and have unfinished tasks or projects.
Overconcentrating or “hyperfocused.”
This is the opposite of inability to focus – people with ADHD may also become so engrossed in what they are doing that they become oblivious of their surroundings. This action is often the cause of many relationship problems.
Disorganized or unable to manage time efficiently.
Disorganization and clutter can be a part of daily life, but organization skills are more challenged in ADHD. They have difficulty keeping everything in the right place, keeping track of tasks, and logically prioritizing them. They also have significant problems with time management, often procrastinating on functions, and notably, show up late for events. They also ignore assignments they think are boring.
Forgetful and impulsive.
Forgetfulness tends to occur more often in people with ADHD and is often misinterpreted as lacking intelligence and carelessness. Impulsiveness in ADHD can be evident through interrupting others in the middle of conversations, quickly doing something without much thought about the consequences, or being socially inappropriate. A study in 2015 even suggests impulse buying as a symptom of adult ADHD.
Constant mood shifting.
Moods in adult ADHD can come in the form of becoming easily bored with stuff and having the tendency to look for exciting activities suddenly. Small frustrations that are unresolved can bring on depression and may complicate relationships.
Having a negative self-image and lacking motivation.
People with ADHD tend to be too critical of themselves, resulting in a negative self-image. Lack of motivation is often seen in children with ADHD, but this can also be observed in adults. This, along with procrastination and poor organization skills, make it hard for someone with ADHD to finish a task.
Restless and anxious
Adults with ADHD will always feel like they need to do something all the time. The inability to accomplish things can lead to frustration, restlessness, and anxiety. This is often seen as fidgeting in children, and fidgeting can also present in adults coupled with moving around, tapping the hands or feet, shifting in seats, difficulty sitting still.
Fatigued, having poor self-care.
While adults with ADHD are often restless, sleep issues come in, resulting in fatigue which worsens difficulty in focus and attention. Poor self-care in adults with ADHD can come in the form of impulsively eating an imbalanced diet, avoiding exercise, and poor compliance with medications.
Inattentiveness, becoming easily bored, and the tendency to do all the talking in conversations can result in problematic relationships, whether personal, romantic, or professional. This is why adults with ADHD will be most often tagged as insensitive, uncaring, or irresponsible.
With all the traits discussed above, it would not be a surprise if adults with ADHD find themselves doing substance misuse. Although initially, it might be an attempt to address focus, sleep, and anxiety issues, adults with ADHD tend to overdo it.
One can also suspect ADHD in adults who are noted to change employers often, having only a few personal or work achievements, and those with recurrent relationship concerns or problems.
People with mild ADHD often benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy or through sessions with a professional organizer. These people can assist them by getting organized, sticking with plans, and finishing activities once they are started.
Some medications can be used to managed ADHD. Ask your healthcare provider for help.
Everything begins with the ability to confront yourself and be honest about your problem. If you want to talk more about it and suspect yourself to be struggling with ADHD, drop me a message, and I’ll be happy to help.