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10 Common Adult ADHD Symptoms

Updated on August 2, 2014

To ensure you have good knowledge and start off correctly, what is ADHD? The initials mean Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a common condition that affects mostly children and adolescents. Children with ADHD often have trouble with staying concentrated or paying attention. It is also hard for them to follow directions and can get bored and frustrated very easily.

Many people always wonder if adults can have ADHD. The answer to this is yes. Experts have doubts on whether kids can outgrow ADHD or not, this means that it can be more common in adults than people thought. Adults who suffer from ADHD often have difficulty to manage time have trouble with organizational skills, setting personal goals, employment, relationships, self-esteem and even addictions.

Another important question is, what causes ADHD? It is not exactly known, but there are three factors that can contribute to the condition. These factors are:

Heredity: Research of specialized experts has discovered that ADHD tends to run in families. This fact suggests that children could inherit the tendency to develop ADHD because of their genes.

Chemical imbalance: Experts also believe that an imbalance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that transmit nerve impulses could be another one of the factors of developing ADHD.

Brain changes: The brain is divided in multiple areas. Certain areas that control attention are not very active in children with ADHD compared to children that don't suffer from ADHD.

Environmental issues: Being exposed to cigarettes or alcohol or other toxins while in the womb, can also be the one of the reasons of developing ADHD.

The symptoms of ADHD may vary, especially when we compare an adult with a kid with ADHD. In adults, there are ten main symptoms that most of people with ADHD have. These symptoms are based on the symptoms shows itself in children. Many experts believe that adult ADHD show themselves in a more subtle way. This makes is more difficult to recognize and diagnose ADHD in adults.

The ten main adult ADHD symptoms

1. Trouble with organizing

Adults that suffer ADHD, find responsibilities like jobs, bills, children and many others hard to do because they lack of organizational skills. This symptom is obviously more notorious and harder in adulthood than in childhood, since children don't have as much responsibilities as adults.

2. Driving and accidents

People with ADHD find it difficult to stay focused, so adults suffering this disorder will have more trouble behind the wheel. They tend to speed, have traffic accidents and lose their driverĀ“s license.

3. Trouble in marriage

People with ADHD often have marital problems, so a marriage in trouble definitely shouldn't be seen as a red flag for ADHD. But there are certain ADHD problems that most likely will affect marriages. The partners of the undiagnosed take poor listening skills and not committing or not honoring a commitment as a sign that their partner doesn't care about the relationship.

4. Very distractible

All adults that suffer ADHD have trouble with paying attention. So it is very hard for these adults to have a successful life and career in the present world. Many adults find that distractibility can lead to lack of accomplishments, especially in noisy and busy places like offices.

5. Poor listening skills

Like previously mentioned, having poor listening skills is extremely common in people with ADHD. Examples of this symptom would be zoning out during business meetings, missing an appointment and having many misunderstandings because the person heard but didn't actually listened what someone else was saying to them.

6. Relaxing problems

This symptom differs in children and in adults. Children tend to be more hyperactive and while they jump and run off the walls, adults can't relax and are always restless. People could think that a person with ADHD is very tense or edgy.

7. Starting tasks

Children with ADHD tend to avoid doing their homework, and just like them, adults with the condition also find it hard to start a task that requires a lot of focus and attention. This procrastination usually adds to other problems like marital ones, issues at work and with friends and family.

8. Being late

There are many reasons why adults with ADHD are often late. They always get distracted on the way to any event or appointment. They realize they need to wash their car and they do it or notice they are low on gas and need to full their tank again. It is also because they underestimate how much time they have to complete a task.

9. Outbursts of anger

Having ADHD can lead to struggle to control emotions. Adults that suffer ADHD can outburst very quickly over small issues or situations. They usually feel like they don't have control over their emotions. The anger often leaves them as quickly as it came too.

10. Prioritizing issues

It is very common that adults with ADHD don't choose their priorities well. This symptom also contributes to their low chance of a successful career. They can for example, decide to spend a lot of time trying to get a high score on a video game, instead of finishing some work that has a deadline.

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There have been many cases where neither people that suffer from ADHD nor their family and friends are aware of the condition because they believe they are common traits of the person. They may think he or she is forgetful because they didn't remember a certain event or appointment or always being tense and not relaxed because they have a strong temper. But we mustn't think the situation irrelevant if a person has multiple of the symptoms.

What you should do is go to a specialist. If you or someone close to you is actually diagnosed with ADHD, you'll have to come up with a treatment plan. ADHD in adults is usually treated with special medications. Unfortunately, there isn't a complete cure to ADHD, but there are ways to live with it. Remember to always support the person who suffers from it and be as positive as you can be.


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