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ADHD in Adults

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  • Category: Adhd

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If you have exhibited at least twelve of the following behaviors since childhood and if these symptoms are not associated with any other medical or psychiatric condition, consider an evaluation by a team of ADHD professionals: • A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished). • Difficulty getting organized.

• Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
• Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through. • A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark. • A frequent search for high stimulation.

• An intolerance of boredom.
• Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times. • Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent

• Trouble in going through established channels and following “proper” procedure. • Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
• Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money. • Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like; hot-tempered. • A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers. • A sense of insecurity.

• Mood swings, especially when disengaged from a person or a project.
• Physical or cognitive restlessness.
• A tendency toward addictive behavior.
• Chronic problems with self-esteem.
• Inaccurate self-observation.
• Family history of AD/HD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.

Types of ADHD

There are three variations of ADHD, depending on which symptoms are strongest in an individual. These descriptions are taken from the CDC: Predominantly Inattentive Type: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type:The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others. Combined Type: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.

Common Behaviors and Problems of Adult ADHD

The following behaviors and problems may stem directly from ADHD or may be the result of related adjustment difficulties:
• Chronic lateness and forgetfulness.
• Anxiety.
• Low self-esteem.
• Employment problems.
• Difficulty controlling anger.
• Impulsiveness.
• Substance abuse or addiction.
• Poor organization skills.
• Procrastination.
• Low frustration tolerance.
• Chronic boredom.
• Difficulty concentrating when reading.
• Mood swings.
• Depression.
• Relationship problems.

List of Symptoms Commonly Associated with Adult ADHD

• Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli or irrelevant thoughts, difficulty remaining focused • Tends to make careless mistakes, fails to give close attention to details • Procrastinates excessively, avoids or has trouble getting started on tasks • Once started on tasks has problems with follow-through, quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked, trouble sticking with and completing tasks • Difficulty getting things in order when has to do a task that requires organization • Disorganized in daily life, difficulty keeping belongings in order, messy • Often loses or misplaces things

• Poor time management skills, frequently late, fails to meet deadlines • Fails to follow through on promises or commitments made to others, is frequently forgetful in daily activities • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly, mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction, daydreamy • Says or does things without thinking, makes decisions impulsively • Difficulty engaging in leisure activities or doing fun things quietly, more likely to drive a car much faster than others, excessive speeding • Feels a sense of internal restlessness or discomfort, fidgety, needs to move around • Excessively talkative, interrupts or intrudes on others, butts into conversations • Uncomfortable doing things slowly and systematically, often rushes through activities or tasks • Impatient, difficulty awaiting turn

Common Symptoms of ADHD and ADD in Adults

Difficulty Focusing, Concentrating or Staying On Task
• Adults with ADHD and ADD often begin many projects, but do not follow through with them to the end. They become bored, feel overwhelmed by the small details, or become distracted by a new project. • Even simple projects like the laundry may sit uncompleted. It is not that the ADD adult did not mean to get it done, they moved on and forgot they were doing it. • At work the ADHD adult may miss deadlines, zone out during important meetings and miss valuable pieces of information needed to do their job. They may make sloppy errors in the work they are doing, or become distracted by computer games or social networking sites while on the computer. • An ADD/ADHD adult may not be able to repeat important pieces of information from a conversation. A wife might tell her husband about a plan she has made for the two of them and when the time comes to follow through with the plan he will insist she did not tell him about it. • Adults with ADHD may become distracted easily and find their minds wandering excessively while reading, and even while driving. Women with ADD sometimes complain of the inability to enjoy sex as they are thinking of so many other things and feel unable to focus or relax.

• Adults with ADHD/ADD are known to impulsively spend money they do not have. This impulse spending can cause problems in the ADD adults’ marriages and with creditors. • If a person seems very immature and unaware of the consequences of their actions may be suffering from ADD/ADHD. These are the risk takers who may steal from their employer despite the consequences, race their vehicles on whim, engage in an affair without thinking things through. They may also impulsively book vacations or suddenly quit their job. • ADD adults have addictive personalities. They become easily hooked on cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances and behaviours. They may become addicted to gambling for the risk it entails. They tend to have poor self -control in most areas of their life. • Blurting out thoughts, interrupting others and coming across as rude or inappropriate are common behaviors in adult with impulse control problems. They do not plan what to say and impulsively speak the first thing that comes to mind without thinking of the consequences. This frequently leads to problems in the person’s social life as others find irritating and rude.

Emotional Stress
• Low self esteem along with a sense of under achievement usually along with a lack of motivation plague the adult with ADHD. • Adults with ADD and ADHD have a difficult time dealing with frustration and are very sensitive to criticism. This symptom is often followed by a an explosive temper that is triggered by feelings of overwhelm and frustration. • Irritability and mood swings are common amongst those with ADHD along with feelings of hyperactivity and restlessness. • Risk taking behaviour and cravings for excitement create danger in the lives of adult ADHD sufferers and occasionally for those close to them. • Racing thoughts and excessive speech somewhat like manic behaviour can sometimes be mistaken for bi-polar disorder in the adult with symptoms of ADHD, especially if accompanied by extreme risk-taking and impulsivity. Disorganisation and Forgetfulness

• Adult ADD/ADHD suffers are forgetful. They misplace keys, lose phone numbers, and miss appointments. • They often have messy homes and desks that are cluttered as they push things to the side to be dealt with later. • There is a tendency for those with adult ADD/ADHD to procrastinate as they find it difficult to motivate themselves. • They are also plagued by chronic lateness, as they tend to underestimate the time it will take them to complete a task, or become hyperfocussed on a more interesting task.

Hyperfocus is an unexpected and often ignored symptom in adults with ADHD. It is the tendency to focus on one thing so deeply that other things are ignored or neglected. It is a coping mechanism used by ADD/ADHD adults to tune out stressful surroundings. Some focus on the television, others on the internet or craft projects. If you have ever become lost in a project to the extent you did not notice what else was going on around you, then you have experienced hyperfocus.

Symptoms of Adult ADHD: Introduction

A diagnosis of adult ADHD is based partly on symptoms, which typically change somewhat as childhood ADHD develops into adult ADHD. Often the symptoms of hyperactivity become less prominent while problems with concentration and organization increase. Symptoms of adult ADHD are categorized into those of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Symptoms of inattentiveness include the inability to stay focused on tasks and unintentionally tuning out or not paying attention. Adults with ADHD may also frequently lose important items. Symptoms of hyperactivity include excessive talking, restlessness, nervous energy, and an inability to sit still and relax even during short periods. Symptoms of impulsivity include mood swings, frequent interruptions of others, and blurting out inappropriately.

Related Adult ADHD Info

Related Pages

1. Adult ADHD: Introduction
2. Symptoms Overview
3. List of Symptoms of Adult ADHD
4. Tests to Confirm Diagnosis
5. Home Diagnostic Testing
6. Alternative Diagnoses
7. Misdiagnosis information
8. More about Symptoms
9. Medical articles

Adults with ADHD may seem to be challenged to “get their life together”, and adult ADHD can create a major barrier to living a normal life. Adult ADHD can disrupt careers, social and family relationships, and finances. Complications can also include low self-esteem and depression. At the same time, it is not unusual for adults with ADHD to excel in certain areas or have above-normal abilities in such areas as creativity and the ability to think outside the box. They may also be very enthusiastic people and can adapt well and react in a crisis. They can be very intelligent and learn new information quickly, as long as it’s interesting to them, and their high energy levels can make then very driven people….more about Adult ADHD » Adult ADHD symptoms: A diagnosis of ADHD is based partly on symptoms, which typically change somewhat as a child grows into adulthood. Often the symptoms of hyperactivity become less prominent while problems with concentration and organization increase. Symptoms are categorized into those of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Symptoms of inattentiveness include:

• Inability to stay focused on tasks
• Unintentionally tuning out or not paying attention
• Frequently losing important items
• Symptoms of hyperactivity include:
• Excessive talking
• Inability to sit still and relax even during short periods
• Exhibiting restlessness, nervous energy
Symptoms of impulsivity include:
• Mood swings
• Frequently interrupts others or blurts out inappropriately …more about Adult ADHD »

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Adult ADHD includes the 27 symptoms listed below:
• Hyperactivity in adults
o Inability to relax
o Restlessness, nervous energy
o Talking excessively
• Impulsiveness in adults
o Volatile moods
o Blurting out rude or insulting remarks
o Interrupting others
• Inattentiveness in adults
o Tuning out. unintentionally
o Inability to focus on mundane tasks
o Constantly losing and forgetting things

• Hyperactivity – and similar hyperactive-like type symptoms
• Poor concentration
• Distractedness
• Inattention
• Difficulty paying attention
• Boredom
• Adulthood symptoms of ADHD may include:

o Frustration
o Impatience
o Disorganization at work
o Difficulty concentrating at work
o Getting bored easily in meetings
o Difficulty managing time
o Having many thoughts in the head at once

• See also the full list of symptoms of ADHD
• more information…»

Symptoms of ADHD

There are three different categories of ADHD symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity. Inattention may not become apparent until a child enters the challenging environment of school. In adults, symptoms of inattention may manifest in work or in social situations. A person with ADHD may have some or all of the following symptoms: • difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities; producing work that is often messy and careless • easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others • inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities • difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration • frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another • procrastination

• disorganized work habits
• forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch) • failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores • frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one’s mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations Hyperactivity symptoms may be apparent in very young preschoolers and are nearly always present before the age of seven. Symptoms include: • fidgeting, squirming when seated

• getting up frequently to walk or run around
• running or climbing excessively when it’s inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness) • having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities • being always on the go

• often talking excessively
Hyperactivity may vary with age and developmental stage.
Impulsivity symptoms include:
• impatience
• difficulty delaying responses
• blurting out answers before questions have been completed • difficulty awaiting one’s turn
• frequently interrupting or intruding on others to the point of causing problems in social or work settings
• initiating conversations at inappropriate times

Impulsivity may lead to accidents such as knocking over objects or banging into people. Children with ADHD may also engage in potentially dangerous activities without considering the consequences. For instance, they may climb to precarious positions. Many of these symptoms occur from time to time in normal youngsters. However, in children with ADHD they occur frequently — at home and at school or when visiting with friends. They also interfere with the child’s ability to function normally. ADHD is diagnosed after children consistently display some or all of the above behaviors in at least two settings, such as at home and in school, for at least six months.

Long-Term Prognosis With ADHD

Some children with ADHD — approximately 20% to 30% — develop learning problems that may not improve with ADHD treatment. Hyperactive behavior can be associated with the development of other disruptive disorders, particularly conduct and oppositional-defiant disorder. Why this association exists is not known. A great many children with ADHD ultimately adjust. Some, though, especially those with an associated conduct or oppositional-defiant disorder, are more likely to drop out of school. These individuals fare more poorly in their later careers than individuals who did not have ADHD do. Inattention tends to persist through childhood and adolescence and on into adulthood. The symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to diminish with age. As they grow older, some teens that have had severe ADHD since middle childhood experience periods of anxiety or depression. There are several warning signs for ADHD that seem to get worse when demands at school or home increase. They include:

• difficulties following instructions
• being unable to get organized, either at home or at school
• fidgeting, especially with the hands and feet
• talking too much
• failing to finish projects, including chores and homework
• not paying attention to and responding to details
• getting poor grades in school
being isolated from peers due to poor grades and secondary depression

Individuals with ADHD have deficiencies with self-regulation and self-motivation, that cause problems with distractibility, procrastination, organization, and prioritization.

Adults with ADHD are often perceived by others as chaotic and disorganized, with a tendency to need high stimulation to be less distracted and function effectively

many adults suffer from associated or “co-morbid” psychiatric conditions such as depression or anxiety

exhibited by individuals with ADHD are due to problems with the brain known as executive functioning (see below, neurobiology). These result in problems with sustaining attention, planning, organizing, prioritizing, and impulsive thinking/decision making.

Inability to effectively structure their lives, plan daily tasks, or think of consequences results in various difficulties: poor performance in school and work leading to underachievement in these areas

As problems accumulate, a negativistic self-view becomes established and a vicious circle of failure is set up.

The difficulty is often due to the ADHD person’s observed behaviour (e.g. the impulsive types, who may insult their boss for instance, resulting in dismissal), despite genuinely trying to avoid these and knowing that it can get them in trouble. Often, the ADHD person will miss things that an adult of similar age and experience should catch onto or know. These lapses can lead others to label the individuals with ADHD as “lazy” or “stupid” or “inconsiderate”.

|Inattentive-type (ADHD-I) |Hyperactive/Impulsive-type (ADHD-H) | |In children: |In children: | |Forgetful during daily activities |Squirms and fidgets (with hands and/or feet) | |Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli |Cannot sit still | |Losing important items (e.g. pencils, homework, toys, etc.) |Cannot play quietly or engage in leisurely activities | |Not listening and not responding to name being called out |Talks excessively | |Unable to focus on tasks at hand, cannot sustain attention in |Runs and climbs excessively | |activities |Always on the go, as if “driven by a motor” | |Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort |Cannot wait for their turn | |Makes careless mistakes by failing to pay attention to details |Blurts out answers | |

Difficulty organizing tasks and activities |Intrudes on others and interrupts conversations | |Always asking for attention | | |Fails to follow-through on complex instructions and tasks (e.g. | | |homework, chores, etc.) | | |In adults, these evolve into:[11] |In adults: | |Procrastination |Chooses highly active, stimulating jobs | |Indecision, difficulty recalling and organizing details required for |Avoids situations with low physical activity or sedentary | |a task |work | |Poor time management, losing track of time |May choose to work long hours or two jobs | |Avoiding tasks or jobs that require sustained attention |Seeks constant activity | |Difficulty initiating tasks |Easily bored | |Difficulty completing and following through on tasks |Impatient | |Difficulty multitasking |Intolerant to frustration, easily irritated | |Difficulty shifting attention from one task to another |Impulsive, snap decisions and irresponsible behaviors | | |Loses temper easily, angers quickly |

Initiative may also refer to:
• In personal behavior, initiative is the ability and tendency to initiate: to start an action, including coming up with a proposal and giving or helping without first being requested to do so A very basic example of a plan: Perhaps you want to go see a movie at a specific time, that is the plan. The procedure to accomplish the plan would define the steps to be taken in order. First, you would look on a Web site for listings of movies in your area, then you would decide which one looks good (if any). Then you would secure transportation thereto, optionally but almost certainly also inviting one or more acquaintances to join you. You may have to adjust your time to when the movie actually starts. A plan defines what you are going to do. A procedure defines how you are going to do it.

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