Did you know that 2.8 percent of adults in the world have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Then again, remember that one kid with extreme restlessness always swinging on their chair in the classroom? If that sounds like you, then you’re in the right place!
But even if that doesn’t sound like you and you’ve never quite fitted in, you might still have ADHD. There are three types of ADHD currently classified (inattentive presentation, hyperactive presentation, or combined presentation). So it’s possible you have ADHD without that desire to bounce around the room aimlessly.
So here are 9 common symptoms that may indicate you have adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and aren’t so “weird” after all!
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Do you find yourself easily distracted by noise, movement, or other stimuli? Do you have difficulty focusing on tasks that require sustained attention if you’re not interested in them?
Adults with adult ADHD often have symptoms of inattention and lose track of tasks requiring sustained focus. They find it difficult to follow directions when working on a project for more than 5 minutes. In fact, many college students report having difficulty completing assignments because they cannot stay focused on them long enough.
Sustained attention is critical for success in school and work. Without this skill, your chances of getting into trouble, dropping out of high school, or even losing your job increase dramatically.
As we age, our brains naturally lose some mental abilities. This can include memory, language processing, reasoning, judgment, and problem-solving. It also includes cognitive processes such as paying close attention and following instructions.
Most importantly, it includes executive functions — like planning, organizing, prioritizing, focusing, and staying organized.
Do you forget names, dates, appointments and phone numbers? Do you make careless mistakes because you misplace items you were looking for? Or do you simply not understand why someone would want to talk to you after forgetting how to say hello?
These classic symptoms of inattention in adult ADHD may also include problems remembering conversations you had recently. These types of lapses in short-term memory could be due to poor organization skills.
Many adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder become overwhelmed and stressed when faced with too much information coming in all at once.
For example, they may get so excited about an idea that they end up talking non-stop without taking notes. When asked later to explain their thoughts, ideas, or plans, they may not recall any details. Instead, they’ll likely tell you something completely different.
Are you constantly fidgeting? Are you unable to sit still even though there is nothing else to do? People with adult ADHD move more than others. They may tap their feet, pace back and forth, click their fingers, drum their hands on desks or tables, or chew gum excessively. These behaviors can be distracting to others and make it difficult for them to concentrate.
People with adult ADHD often feel restless all day long. They may have difficulty sitting still for even short periods of time and may be constantly moving around, looking for something to do or some way to release their energy. This can make it difficult for them to focus on tasks that require sustained attention, such as reading or studying.
It can also make it hard for them to stay in one place for too long, such as in a classroom or at work. That’s because they’re trying to get Dopamine into their brains. Think of it like an itch that always needs scratching to relieve the pain.
When it comes to adult ADHD symptoms, one of the most common signs is difficulty with prioritizing tasks, setting goals, and following through on them. This can lead to procrastination and a feeling of being overwhelmed. It can be easy to mistake this for someone simply “being weird” or not taking their responsibilities seriously.
You may spend hours planning out everything you need to accomplish before leaving home. But then leave half-finished lists lying about the house until you realize you never did anything. Organizing tasks, projects, and activities can be difficult for adults with ADHD.
They may have difficulty prioritizing tasks, setting goals, and following through on them. This can lead to procrastination and a feeling of being overwhelmed. So when it comes time to work on something, you’ll likely become overwhelmed with too much information and end up doing little. As a result, you may not finish tasks or projects on time.
When given a project deadline, you may start working on it right away without thinking through every detail first. As soon as you finish writing, however, you may notice that you forgot some important points.
You may also find yourself procrastinating when it comes to completing tasks, even though you know that the deadline is looming. This can be especially true if the task is complex and requires a lot of focus. You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done and put off starting until it’s too late.
You may also find yourself setting unrealistic goals for yourself, such as trying to finish a project in one day when it would normally take a week. This can lead to frustration and feelings of failure when you don’t meet your own expectations.
Or maybe you spent so much time trying to complete a task that you didn’t actually achieve very much. Either way, missing deadlines or failing to meet goals is another indicator of adult ADHD.
When faced with choices, you usually ask yourself “What am I going to do?” rather than asking “Which option should I choose?”. This is because adults with ADHD often struggle to make decisions.
While it seems obvious which choice is best, you probably won’t decide based solely on logic. Instead, you’ll weigh options according to whether you prefer them over the others.
For example, if you’re deciding between two jobs, you may take into account factors like pay, benefits, location and commute time.
You may find yourself second-guessing every decision you make, or you may take too long to make a decision. This can lead to feelings of frustration and confusion, as well as difficulty in completing tasks on time.
Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have impulsive behaviours such as symptoms of hyperactivity that cause them to engage in risky behavior without realizing the potential negative outcomes. What’s more, they often don’t seem bothered by this type of behavior. In fact, many find it exciting as it stimulates the brain.
Impulsive behaviors in social interactions include interrupting conversations, blurting out inappropriate comments, or making rash decisions.These behaviors can be embarrassing and may even lead to social rejection.
However, impulsivity can also cause problems in relationships and at work and lead to more severe implications. Disruptive behavior, if not channeled and nurtured into creativity and innovation, can turn into antisocial behavior. Even worse, it could lead to a life of crime and substance abuse thanks to the inability to regulate Dopamine in the brain.
Do you find yourself getting angry or frustrated easily? Do you have difficulty controlling your emotions and reactions to situations? People with adult ADHD often struggle to regulate their emotions. They may become overwhelmed by negative feelings and react impulsively without thinking through the consequences of their actions.
This can lead to outbursts of anger, frustration, and even depression. Your emotions swing wildly throughout the day: happy one minute, sad the next, angry the next, depressed the next. If you have difficulty maintaining consistent feelings, it could mean you have adult ADHD. It’s normal to go through ups and downs in life, but if your mood changes often, you may have mood disorders or a mental health condition like anxiety.
Relationships can be difficult for anyone, but people with adult ADHD typically experience problems relating to other adults. Often, they struggle to maintain friendships because it requires a mental effort unachievable with the overwhelming demands of modern living.
If your relationship has recently ended, chances are good that you were having difficulty focusing on the person. And since your brain isn’t processing things clearly enough, you weren’t able to communicate effectively either.
It doesn’t matter how motivated you are, you simply cannot motivate yourself to begin certain types of tasks. It could be homework, daily activities around the house, exercise, hobbies or socializing with friends. What’s more, you may find yourself procrastinating on tasks that you know need to be done.
Whatever it is, you’ll put off starting until you absolutely must. Meanwhile, you’ll forget why you wanted to start in the first place.
In extreme cases, this can lead to development of social phobia and agoraphobia, where someone’s too scared to leave the house. For others, the challenge of wanting to do something but avoiding it at all costs may be a sign of Pathological Demand Avoidance. Thus, in most cases, a psychiatric evaluation and treatment for Adult ADHD and Autism is well worth considering.
The good news is that there is hope for managing adult ADHD symptoms. There are many effective treatments available today. Treatment options include medication and behavioral therapy.
Medication can help reduce levels of anxiety and depression, while also improving concentration and attention span. Behavioral therapies target specific problems such as impulse control issues, poor organizational skills and difficulties making decisions. Both types of treatment will improve your quality of life.
If any of these adult ADHD symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Adult ADHD is a real disorder and can be managed with proper treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labeled “weird” stop you from getting the help you need. After all, being “weird” is something to embrace!
Keep reading our awesome content on ADHD (but only if you’re hyperfocusing!).
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