Am I Showing Signs of Adult ADHD? What to Watch Out for
ADHD or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder affects both adults and children and tends to manifest in similar ways regardless of age. Symptoms of ADHD can interfere with a person’s ability to maintain relationships, function on the job or even run a household. Understanding how adult ADHD works and knowing what to look for can help in taking the necessary steps to get needed treatment help.
Adult ADHD Disorders
Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders can take different forms. According to the University of Maryland, three types of ADHD have been identified:
- Predominantly inattentive type, where symptoms of inattentiveness are strongest
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, where symptoms of hyperactivity and impulse control are strongest
- Combination type, where a person displays all three symptom types (hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness) on a consistent basis
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Signs to Watch Out for
For adult ADHD sufferers, inattention may cause a person to “zone out” in the midst of a conversation or while engaged in an activity. A tendency towards inattention also makes it easy to overlook important details, which increases the likelihood of making errors along the way. These behaviors can cause real problems in the workplace.
Distractibility interferes with a person’s ability to follow through on tasks. Simple things like background noises or nearby conversations make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Distractibility can also impede one’s listening abilities, making it hard to remember what was said.
Impulsivity has to do with a person’s sense of judgement and inability to control or monitor what he or she says and does. Signs of impulsivity may take the form of:
- Making rude or inappropriate comments without thinking
- Interrupting others during a conversation or talking over them
- Reckless behaviors
- Problems sitting still
- Lack of self-control
Hyperactivity in adult ADHD sufferers can appear the same as it does in children or be more subtle, affecting a person’s internal state more so than his or her behavior, according to the British Medical Bulletin. Symptoms may take the form of:
- Needing to move or be in motion all the time
- Feelings of ongoing restlessness
- Juggling several tasks or projects at the same time
- Thrill seeking behaviors
- Risk taking
- Racing thought processes
- Excessive talking
The overall chaos and confusion that characterizes the adult ADHD lifestyle inevitability affects a person’s ability to maintain close relationships, especially relationships with spouses or significant others. Communication breakdowns, disappointments and feeling neglected typify how ADHD symptoms can damage relationship bonds.
Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse
According to Mayo Clinic, the distress and frustration from trying to manage adult ADHD in one’s daily life can easily drive a person to seek relief through alcohol and drugs. As with any form of psychological disorder, this makes for a highly volatile combo as the effects of substance abuse will only make ADHD symptoms worse over time.
People who struggled with ADHD as children face a much high risk of developing adult ADHD with an estimated 80 to 90 percent of affected children showing signs of ADHD as adults, according to the American Psychological Association. In effect, symptoms of this condition do not fade with time, but actually grow increasingly worse when left untreated.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with adult ADHD symptoms and have questions about available treatment options, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at to speak with one of our phone counselors.