Most people think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as something that only affects kids and teens, but that’s not correct. In fact, ADHD affects about 10 million adults in the United States. And just as childhood symptoms of ADHD can have a marked effect on a child’s self-esteem and quality of life, adult ADHD can take a major toll on an adult’s life as well.
But even though they’re similar, childhood ADHD and adult ADHD often involve different symptoms or differing severities of symptoms. Knowing what the most common symptoms are is important for helping people get treatment as soon as possible.
As a leading psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California, Bowman Medical Group understands the challenges of dealing with ADHD as an adult, including the first step: getting a proper diagnosis. Our team works closely with each patient to help them get the care they need to manage their adult ADHD and improve their overall quality of life.
If you think you might have adult ADHD, here are four symptoms you should know about.
1. Problems focusing
For many adults with ADHD, staying on task is one of the most challenging symptoms. If you have adult ADHD, you may find that you’re easily distracted from activities, especially activities, tasks, or chores that you find dull, uninteresting, repetitive, unnecessary, or just plain boring. You also may find that you lose interest rapidly, especially in a topic or activity that doesn’t “grab” your interest.
On the other hand, when something does interest you, you might become intensely focused on the topic, sometimes even obsessing over the tiniest details. You might find yourself thinking more about subjects that interest you when you’re supposed to be focused on something else.
2. Difficulty with organization
Time management is particularly challenging for adults with ADHD. It’s not that you don’t know how to keep a calendar — you just … don’t. Managing time and organizing tasks takes focus, which may be why organization is a problem for adults (and kids) with ADHD.
Related to organizational problems, procrastination is another common symptom of adult ADHD. Many people with the disorder put off tasks until the very last moment, and often, they wind up completing projects after their due date. Habitually running late for meetings, appointments, or even dates is another way adult ADHD can interfere with your life.
3. Forgetfulness or other memory issues
Adults with ADHD may feel like their thoughts are muddled. They can often misplace things, like their keys or glasses. Or they may forget to keep appointments.
Often, it's the little details that are easiest to forget. For instance, you may spend months working on a project, only to forget to turn it in or forget to submit a timesheet for the extra hours you’ve worked.
4. Feelings of restlessness
Restlessness and fidgeting are often the “H” (hyperactivity) component of adult ADHD. Adults with ADHD can have trouble sitting still, especially for long periods, such as during a work meeting or when going to a movie with friends.
Sometimes, restlessness manifests itself as impatience with the “slowness” of others. Interrupting others or cutting other people short during particularly long conversations is another way restlessness can show up in adult ADHD.
Treating adult ADHD
Researchers don’t know what causes ADHD. They believe it’s a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and possibly prenatal exposure to certain substances. What we do know, though, is that adult ADHD can be successfully managed.
Most people with ADHD benefit from a combination of medication and therapy. These treatments can help patients learn positive behaviors and thought patterns, which, in turn, can help improve their self-esteem and self-confidence.
If you think you may have adult ADHD, we can help. Call 310-982-7003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.