6 Signs of ADHD in Adults

By Kevin P. Caputo, M.D.

When you think of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may picture a child struggling to pay attention in school who is hyperactive or impulsive. While some children with ADHD outgrow it, about 60 percent still have it as adults.

In fact, some adults have ADHD and don’t know it. Every adult who has ADHD had it as a child, but may not have been diagnosed as a child if the symptoms didn’t interfere with their schoolwork or were obvious enough to alert teachers and parents.

The symptoms of ADHD in adults tend to be more subtle than they are in children, which could further delay diagnosis and treatment. However subtle the symptoms may seem, they still have a big impact on your daily life.

Here are some signs that may indicate you have adult ADHD.

  1. Difficulty Getting Organized

For adults with ADHD, problems with organization tend to be more obvious and problematic than that in childhood – they’re emphasized by the responsibilities of adulthood like bills, jobs, and children.

Similarly, adults with ADHD may have issues prioritizing – they may mis-prioritize and fail to meet big deadlines or obligations due to spending more time on a less significant task.

  1. Extremely Distractible

Since ADHD is a problem with attention, the condition in adults can make it difficult to succeed in today’s fast-paced workforce. ADHD’s extreme distractibility can lead to career under-performance, especially in offices that are noisy or busy. At work, phone calls and emails can easily derail the attention of adults with ADHD and make it hard to complete tasks.

  1. Poor Listening Skills

Issues with paying attention result in poor listening skills for many adults with ADHD. Because of this, it leads to a lot of misunderstandings and missed appointments.

  1. Difficulty Relaxing

Many children with ADHD are hyperactive, but this symptom typically presents differently in adults. Instead of a child bouncing off the walls, adults with this condition tend to be restless and unable to relax.

  1. Lateness

This common sign of ADHD can be the result of a few different things. Adults with ADHD may get distracted on the way to an event. They may also underestimate how much time it takes to complete a task, such as a simple home repair or an assignment at work.

Just as children with ADHD may put off doing homework, adults with the disorder tend to procrastinate starting tasks that will require a lot of their attention.

  1. Angry Outbursts

Many adults with ADHD have difficulty controlling emotions and may be quick to explode over minor issues. Often, these angry outbursts fade as quickly as that flared up, leading the person with ADHD feeling like they have no control over their emotions.

About the Author

Kevin P. Caputo, M.D.

Dr. Caputo believes a trusting, open relationship is important to facilitate the healing process. He feels it is important for patients to be educated in order to create the best outcome.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Caputo, please call 610-874-5257.

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