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Hyperactivity in Adults

Updated on October 24, 2011

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ADHD In Adults

ADHD is a very well know condition, but most of those who have contact with somebody who has this, will say that they are kids. Children are diagnosed with ADHD more often than adults, mostly because their parents, and their teachers cannot get them to slow down and pay attention to what is being taught.

Any parent with a ADHD child will tell you the horror stories of uncontrollable behaviors, lack of any sort of attention for any length of time.

Let me ask you all this question---do you know an adult with any of the typical symptoms you hear about the children exhibiting?

Probably not, for several reasons. By the time an adult gets older, they will know that something is not right, but possibly not know what it is. Therefore it is covered up with excuses and many other tricks, and most of the time will not even be recognized.

Caught sitting--a rare thing
Caught sitting--a rare thing

Signs and Symptoms

My brother in law has the worst case of ADHD that I have ever seen in a person. Unbelievably though, he was not diagnosed with it as a child, and was thought to be an incorrigible. He was also told that he was dumb, and that nobody wanted him around because of the way he "chose" to act.

Today, he is almost 49 yrs. old and I was the one who recognized the symptoms, only because I had a son with the same problem. It is much easier to recognize and deal with in kids.

Here are some of the symptoms he is having;

  1. He is unable to maintain a thought on a single subject for more than about a minute.
  2. He cannot sit and talk with the other adults in the family, and is constantly getting up to use the restroom, get a drink of water, wash his hands, and a lot of other nervous habits he has developed to hide the symptom.
  3. Is very easily frustrated doing simple tasks, or even during a conversation.
  4. Described to me a thought pattern that was like someone turning the channel on the TV before he could see what the program (thought) was about.
  5. Sometimes when he becomes agitated, he does not hear the end of a sentence when somebody is talking to him, and will say what did you say as if he didn't hear you.
  6. He will ask a question, and before I can answer it is talking about something else, not even related, or will interrupt the answer with another unrelated question.
  7. Has no memory when asked what was said or what he was doing minutes earlier.

He has such bad symptoms that most of the family assumed he was doing drugs, probably speed, for his life is a jumble of unrelated hurrying, without accomplishing anything.

Much, Much more

Above and beyond the obvious problems I have just pointed out, here are some of the long term effects this has had in his life. He has no problem getting jobs. As a matter of fact, the rest of the men in the family have gotten jealous of him from time to time because it seems to be so easy for him to get really good jobs. His problem is that he cannot keep them because of the obvious problems, but also because he becomes bored and therefore wanders from them in a very short time.

He has in the past self medicated, for his older brother was diagnosed and received meds, which I guess the younger one tried, and liked the effect. The closest thing to the prescriptions are the street drugs like meth. He hasn't gotten very involved in this as a lifestyle but occasionally will get some for it allows him to focus.

When he has approached a medical doctor about this problem, he has been unable to find one that was willing to prescribe him anything for it, for they said that when they give it to children it is on a short term basis, and they wean them off of the meds in their teen years. Therefore the doctors he talked to were unwilling to give him meds as an answer.

It is sad, but I do not know what the answer for him is, except possibly to go to a mental health facility instead of a physical health clinic regarding this matter. They may look at this problem slightly differently, for it has taken over his life in such a way that there is really no hope for him to live normally like this.

It seems to be a problem that has been overlooked by many, but hopefully we will find the answers we need to help this guy. He certainly does deserve a chance to live a more normal life, like everyone else.


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  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

    Your hub is a different angle to the subject of ADHD. (I think my son in law suffers from this,but refuses to check it out).

    I wrote my ADHD hub from another angle also. It's called GIRLS WITH ADHD. Thanks for the interesting hub.

  • ddsurfsca profile image

    ddsurfsca 7 years ago from ventura., california

    Which I believe comes full circle because by the time someone decides they need help, they are already thinking about who is making what for dinner?

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

    Good hub. I can relate--I have a second cousin with the symptoms you describe. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, which I think is the same thing as ADHD. The social services recommended therapy, but he denied anything was wrong with him.

    In addition to the symptoms you describe, the restlessness, the inability to hold down a job, the inability to follow a conversation; my second cousin also sort of tells a lot of lies to cover up. He lies to himself, too, in this self-aggrandizing way. It isn't healthy but since he's an adult, we relatives cannot insist on therapy for him.

    He has to come to the conclusion himself that his life needs to change.