ADHD in Adults

Mar 12, 2021

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Affects Not Only Children 

Adult ADHD has wide-ranging symptoms that can affect everything from an individual’s relationships to their career. Adult ADHD is often unrecognized during childhood. As a young person, the individual is often called a  poor student, daydreamer, class clown, slacker, or troublemaker. You may also have compensated for ADHD symptoms when you were younger, only to run into difficulties once your responsibilities grew as an adult.

Despite the overwhelming challenges, there’s good news. Counseling, education, and support can help you manage symptoms better and turn some weaknesses into strengths.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

Often, adults with attention deficit disorder exhibit quite different symptoms than children. Each person experiences these symptoms uniquely.

Trouble concentrating and staying focused

The term “attention deficit” can be misleading. Adults with ADHD can focus on engaging or stimulating tasks but find it hard to pay attention to mundane ones.


Hyperfocus is a tendency to become absorbed in stimulating and rewarding tasks. Hyperfocus is paradoxical as it acts as a coping mechanism to shut out distractions, but it can make you lose track of what is going on around you. When channeled into productive activities, hyperfocus can be an asset, but it may lead to work and relationship problems if left unchecked.

Forgetfulness and Disorganization

When you have adult ADHD, life often seems out of control and chaotic. It can be challenging to stay organized, prioritize your workload, keep track of tasks and responsibilities, and manage your time. The following symptoms often accompany disorganization and forgetfulness:

  • Poor organization skills – home, office, desk, and car are overly cluttered and messy
  • Procrastination
  • Inability to start or finish projects
  • Chronic tardiness
  • Frequently forgetting deadlines, appointments, and commitments
  • Always misplacing or losing things (keys, wallet, phone, bills)
  • Poor time management


Adults with ADHD can find it difficult to restrain their actions, comments, and responses. They may act before they think or react without considering the consequences. Interrupting others, blurting out words, or rushing through tasks without reading instructions are all signs of impulsivity. For adults with ADHD who experience impulsivity, remaining patient in certain situations is challenging.

Difficulty with Emotions

Many adults with ADHD cannot manage their emotions, particularly when they feel angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. Some emotional symptoms of adult ADHD include:

  • Being easily irritated and stressed out
  • Agitation or a short, often explosive, temper
  • Feeling insecure and a sense of low self-esteem
  • Having difficulty staying motivated
  • Hypersensitivity when it comes to criticism

Restlessness or Hyperactivity

Adults with ADHD are far less likely than their younger counterparts to demonstrate hyperactivity. Only a small portion of adults with ADHD experience hyperactivity.

Hyperactivity in adults with ADHD is typically characterized by high energy levels and a continual feeling of being “on the go.” However, for many people with ADHD, the symptoms of hyperactivity may become less pronounced with age. Hyperactivity in adults is characterized by:

  • Easily bored, wanting excitement, prone to taking risks
  • Talking excessively, doing too many things at once
  • Constant fidgeting, unable to sit still
  • Racing thoughts, agitation, and feelings of inner restlessness

ADHD Symptoms Can Lead to Many Health Problems

These health problems may include compulsive eating, substance use disorders, anxiety, chronic stress and tension, and low self-esteem. ADHD symptoms can affect your work, your love life, and your family relationships. The difficulties one faces from an attention deficit disorder are not a character flaw or a personal weakness.

If ADHD still interferes with your life, despite your efforts to manage it, it may be time to seek outside support. Adults with ADHD may benefit from several treatments, including behavioral coaching, individual therapy, self-help groups, occupational counseling, and educational assistance, as well as medication. Professionals trained in ADHD can help you control impulsive behavior, manage time and money, get and stay organized, boost productivity, manage stress and anger, and communicate clearly.

This information is not to diagnose or treat any symptoms. Talk with your doctor or a mental health provider and seek help if you notice one or more of the signs or symptoms listed above.

Origins Counseling in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-671-4124.

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