Adult ADHD Symptoms

Whether child or adult, ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has similar and often noticeable effects on the person affected. Though the symptoms may come across as more subdued in adults, adult ADHD still impacts a person’s organizational abilities, impulse control and ability to focus.

As with any disorder, different people are affected in different ways by adult ADHD so symptoms can vary from person to person. Understanding how adult ADHD affects a person’s life can go a long way towards taking the necessary steps to get help.

Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD Symptoms

Your adult ADHD can affect you differently that other people.

According to the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine, ADHD symptoms fall into three distinct categories –

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity

The overall effect of these symptoms leaves a person unable to work within reasonable time limits due to problems with organization, attention and focus. Not surprisingly, children who don’t receive treatment for ADHD while young grow into adult ADHD sufferers.

When left unchecked, adult ADHD symptoms can impair a person’s work performance, ability to maintain relationships and ultimately lead to feelings of depression, low self-esteem and even anxiety. Like most people affected by disorders, ADHD adults develop unhealthy coping strategies to accommodate their symptoms.


For adults affected by ADHD, hyperactivity can appear in different forms, with some adults being highly energetic and always on the go while others may tend to internalize excess amounts of energy. In general, the older the adult the more internalized these hyperactivity symptoms become.

Some of the more common signs of hyperactivity include:

  • A constant need for excitement
  • Easily bored
  • Ongoing feelings of agitation and restlessness
  • Excessive talking
  • Extreme multi-tasking
  • Problems staying still for prolonged periods
  • Risk taking
  • Racing thoughts


The categories of symptoms that make up adult ADHD tend to feed into one another as one symptom enhances or worsens the effects of another symptom. For example, someone who’s hyperactive tends to get bored easily. This in turn affects a person’s ability to focus and stay attentive, which feeds into a whole other category of symptoms, namely inattention.

Unlike hyperactivity, this category of symptoms tends to be less noticeable at face value, but nonetheless affect a person’s overall quality of life. Signs of inattention in the adult ADHD sufferer include:

  • Easily distracted
  • Problems completing tasks, whether easy or hard
  • Losing a train of thought when speaking
  • Problems listening
  • Problems following directions
  • Difficulty focusing when reading
  • Likely to overlook details


The combined symptom effects of hyperactivity and inattention inevitably bring out impulsive tendencies in the adult ADHD sufferer. Not being able to think before talking or think before embarking on a task can place a person in difficult situations on a regular basis.

The most common signs of impulsivity include:

  • Interrupting others while their talking
  • Talking over others during a conservation
  • Difficulty behaving in socially appropriate ways, such as remaining still during a work meeting
  • Acting recklessly without considering the consequences
  • Addictive tendencies

If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms on a regular basis, you may want to look into available treatment options for adult ADHD. Getting the right treatment help can make all the difference in the world.


University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine

800-598-5053 Who Answers?

Caring specialists are available right now to help you find a treatment solution that’s right for you. Don’t wait... CALL NOW!


Who Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by ARK Behavioral Health, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.