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10 Signs of Adult ADHD

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Adult woman with ADHD struggling to concentrate on her work.
Published: August 20, 2022
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For many adults, the term “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD) conjures up images of children who can’t sit still in class or finish their homework. However, ADHD is a complex condition that can also have a significant impact on adults. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults have ADHD. That’s nearly 15 million people who may be struggling with symptoms like difficulty concentrating, impulsivity, and restlessness. ADHD can make it hard to succeed at work, maintain healthy relationships, and manage day-to-day tasks. If you suspect you or someone you know may have ADHD, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. Symptoms include difficulty sustaining attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. ADHD can also lead to problems with organization, time management, and working memory.

While symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person, there are some common signs that may indicate you or a loved one has the disorder.

1. Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty concentrating is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD, and it can be a frustrating problem for adults. The mind of someone with ADHD is constantly racing, making it hard to focus on any single task. This can lead to problems at work, school, or home, as everyday tasks become more difficult to complete. In addition, people with ADHD often have trouble following conversations or remembering instructions.

2. Easily distracted

Adults with ADHD are easily distracted by their thoughts or outside stimuli. This can make it difficult to stay on task, regardless of how important the task may be. For example, you may start cleaning your house but get sidetracked and never finish. Or you may sit down to work on a project but find yourself constantly checking your email or scrolling through social media.

3. Impulsiveness

For many people, impulsiveness is simply a personality trait. However, for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsiveness is much more than that. This means that they have difficulty thinking before they act, and they may often act on impulse without considering the consequences. This can lead to problems at work, in relationships, and in other areas of life. For example, an impulsive person may blurt out inappropriate comments, interrupt conversations, or speak without thinking. They may also have difficulty waiting their turn or taking turns in activities. Additionally, they may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as gambling or driving recklessly. While impulsiveness is not always a sign of ADHD, it can be one of the most impairing symptoms for adults with the condition.

4. Restlessness

While restlessness may seem like nothing more than an annoyance, it can actually be a sign of underlying ADHD. For adults with ADHD, restlessness is often caused by an inability to regulate one’s emotions or impulses. They may have trouble sitting still for long periods of time, which can make work or school difficult. Some people with ADHD may pace back and forth or tap their feet when they’re feeling restless. This can be frustrating for others, as well as disruptive.

5. Difficulty completing tasks

Adults with ADHD often have trouble completing tasks, even simple ones. This can be due to problems with concentration or procrastination. For example, you may start a project but never finish it, or you may put off doing your taxes until the last minute. Not only can this lead to further mental anguish, but it can also create problems in your personal and professional life.

6. Disorganization

Many adults with ADHD find that they are highly disorganized. This may manifest itself in a variety of ways, from a messy desk to an overflowing inbox. While some degree of disorganization is normal, for adults with ADHD it can be a sign of underlying impulsivity and hyperactivity. Inattention can also play a role, as adults with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on one task long enough to complete it. As a result, simple tasks can quickly become overwhelming, leading to a feeling of being constantly bogged down.

7. Unable to relax

It’s normal to feel stressed out from time to time. But if you find that you’re constantly on edge, it could be a sign of ADHD. Adults with ADHD often have difficulty relaxing and may feel like they’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight. This can be due to the constant chatter of their thoughts or feeling like they need to be doing something all the time. This can lead to problems sleeping, as well as increased stress and anxiety, which can worsen symptoms of ADHD.

8. Forgetfulness

Forgetfulness is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD in adults and can manifest itself in many different ways, from forgetting important appointments to leaving your keys in the car. The reason forgetfulness is such a common symptom is that adults with ADHD often have difficulty prioritizing and keeping track of information. People with ADHD often have an unusually high level of activity in their brain, which makes it difficult to remember even simple tasks. As a result, forgetfulness is often one of the first signs that an adult might be dealing with ADHD. This forgetfulness can be frustrating for both you and your loved ones.

9. Poor time management skills

Many adults struggle with managing their time effectively, but for those with ADHD, poor time management skills can be a major source of problems. Adults with ADHD often have difficulty estimating how long tasks will take, which can lead to routinely underestimating the amount of time available for activities. This can result in frequent deadlines being missed, projects being unfinished, and general feelings of disorganization and frustration. In addition, adults with ADHD may have trouble staying focused on a task for an extended period of time, which can further hamper their ability to manage their time.

10. Low frustration tolerance

Many adults with ADHD have a low tolerance for frustration. This can lead to problems in both personal and professional relationships. For example, you may find yourself getting angry over small things or lashing out at those you love. You may also have trouble dealing with setbacks or disappointment, which can make achieving your goals more difficult.

BestMind Behavioral Health Can Help

If you think you or a loved one may have ADHD, the first step is to seek professional help. At BestMind Behavioral Health, we specialize in helping adults with ADHD manage their symptoms and live productive, fulfilling lives. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you or your loved one.