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What are the symptoms of ADHD in adults?

By BS MediaTwitter Profile | Updated: Sunday, 31 March 2019 17:58 UTC
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An inability to focus and restlessness may be symptoms of ADHD.
An inability to focus and restlessness may be symptoms of ADHD.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder. Although people atypically associate this condition with children, it often persists into adulthood. Symptoms include disorganization, restlessness, and an inability to focus.

In the United States, 60 percent of children with attention deficit disorder (attention deficit disorder) will continue to have the disorder as adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. As a result, there is attention deficit disorder in about 4 percent of the adult population in the U.S.

Attention deficit disorder may occur in three different ways:

  • predominantly inattentive attention deficit disorder
  • predominantly hyperactive-impulsive attention deficit disorder
  • a combination of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive attention deficit disorder

A person with inattentional attention deficit disorder may have trouble paying attention or may struggle to remain organized. A person with a deficit deficit of hyperactive-impulsive attention may feel as if they are always restless or find that they make impulsive decisions.

How symptoms differ in children and adults

An inability to focus and restlessness may be symptoms of attention deficit disorder.

Each of these three types of attention deficit disorder can affect some children and adults. nevertheless, the symptoms of each type can often be different in adulthood than in childhood.

The symptoms can besides change with age, which means that a person may move from having one type of attention deficit disorder to some other as they become older.

A person's sex can besides influence their symptoms. According to an article in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, females are atypically older than males when they receive a diagnosing of attention deficit disorder. They are besides more likely to present with inattentive attention deficit disorder and to experience anxiety or depression aboard this disorder.

As a result, and because females with attention deficit disorder often develop better header strategies than males, doctors are more likely to overlook or misdiagnose their attention deficit disorder symptoms.

Symptoms of attention deficit disorder

Below are the typical symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Not everyone will have all of these symptoms, and the way in which they affect a person's behavior will be specific to that person.

Inability to focus

A person with attention deficit disorder mightiness find it difficult to stay focused on a particular task or a speech that they are having. They may become easily distracted or find that they often make mistakes at work.


It can be challenging for some people with attention deficit disorder to stay organized. They may forget to take important possessions with them or lose items that they need to complete a task.


attention deficit disorder can cause people to fidget and find it difficult to stay in one place or do recreational activities quietly. They may feel as though a motor drives them to always be on the go.


At times, a person with attention deficit disorder may talk overly or interrupt other people without waiting their turn. They mightiness find that they often intrude on other people's activities or make abrupt decisions without considering whether they are the best course of action.


Diagnosing attention deficit disorder is not a straightforward process. Only a mental health professional, so much as a scientist, doctor, or clinical social worker, can make the diagnosing.

The organization Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) recommend checking whether the mental health professional has specific experience of working with people with attention deficit disorder.

A mental health professional will take galore factors into account when crucial if a person has attention deficit disorder and what type they have.

According to CHADD, these factors include the number of symptoms that a person has, the severity and duration of these symptoms, and whether they negatively affect a person's quality of life.

The professional will besides consider if other health conditions could be causation symptoms similar to those of attention deficit disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an adult only has attention deficit disorder if they experient symptoms before the age of 12 years. It may be necessary to speak to other people who knew the individual as a child to help determine whether their behavior when they were young could indicate attention deficit disorder.

When to see a doctor

If a person finds that their behavior is having a significant adverse effect on their quality of life or that of a admired one, they should speak to a doctor.


According to the NIMH, treatment for attention deficit disorder atypically involves exploitation medication aboard psychological therapies.


Side personal effects of stimulants can include anxiety, irritability, and issues with sleeping.

attention deficit disorder medications include some stimulants and nonstimulants. Stimulants are quick to work, but they may have unwanted side personal effects and can react with other medications. Nonstimulants take thirster to work but are less likely to cause adverse side personal effects.

According to the NIMH, possible side personal effects of stimulants include:

  • reduced appetite
  • issues with sleeping
  • physical tics, so much as abrupt and repetitive movements or sounds
  • changes in personality
  • anxiety and irritability
  • stomach pain and headaches

If a person experiences these side personal effects, they should speak to their doctor.

Psychological therapies

People will often have psychological treatment for the symptoms of attention deficit disorder as well as taking prescription medications. Psychological therapies can sometimes even take the place of medications, for example, if a person does not react well to the drugs.

According to the NIMH, psychological feature behavioural medical care (CBT) is the standard psychological treatment for attention deficit disorder. CBT can help a person manage their symptoms to reduce the effect that attention deficit disorder has on their life.

According to a study in the Journal of Attention Disorders, research has shown CBT to be effective in reducing the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. According to some other study in the same journal, people with attention deficit disorder saw more improvement in their symptoms when they received medication in addition to CBT.


Although there is no cure for attention deficit disorder, research has shown a combination of medication and psychological therapies to be effective in portion a person manage the symptoms of this condition.

If a person suspects that they have attention deficit disorder and feels that their behavior is negatively poignant their quality of life or the quality of life of other people, they should speak to a doctor or some other mental health professional.

The health care professional can ensure that they get the right treatment to help improve their quality of life.

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