10 Signs of Adult ADHD

Eileen Bailey | Dec 2, 2013

Reviewed by Paul Ballas, DO

1 of 10
1 of 10
Credit: iStock

ADHD was once considered a “childhood” disorder - something that went away as you reached adulthood. Today, we know different. For many, ADHD has gone undiagnosed, discovered only after their children are diagnosed. While the main symptoms of ADHD - inattention, hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsiveness - remain the same, how they show up may be different.

2 of 10

Lack of focus

Credit: iStock

The typical inattention symptom of ADHD often continues into adulthood. You may find you are always starting a project - but never finishing. You may find it difficult to follow along in conversations or find you are easily distracted. You may miss important details - or details in general.

3 of 10

Restlessness

Credit: iStock

Hyperactivity in children shows up as overly energetic and has often been described as “driven by a non-stop motor.” In adults, hyperactivity appears as restlessness or feeling fidgety. You may also remember being a “high-energy” child.

4 of 10

Frequent job changes

Credit: iStock

Job changes due to ADHD occur for two different reasons. You may have a history of being fired from your lack of attention to detail, making mistakes, or personality conflicts. Or, you are bored with your job, constantly searching for a more interesting job. While many adults with ADHD do end up with successful careers, it can take time to find the right job to fit your skills and personality.

5 of 10

Difficult relationships

Credit: iStock

Statistics show that the divorce rate for adults with ADHD is much higher than for those without ADHD. Adults indicate that forgetting important dates and details, not listening, impulsive spending and being unreliable are some of the symptoms of ADHD that cause problems in relationships.

6 of 10

Hyperfocus

Credit: iStock

The opposite of lack of focus, hyperfocus is when you become completely engrossed in an activity you like that you forget everything around you. You ignore those around you, lose track of time and forget about responsibilities. While hyper-focus can be an asset and may help you sometimes, at other times it interferes with relationships.

7 of 10

Disorganization

Credit: iStock

Just as disorganization is a problem for children with ADHD, it is also a problem for adults with ADHD. Procrastination, lack of time-management skills, always being late, difficulty with prioritizing tasks, and clutter all are signs of disorganization.

8 of 10

Money problems

Credit: iStock

A number of the symptoms that cause problems in other areas of your life - disorganization, procrastination, impulsiveness - can wreak havoc on your finances. You might find yourself making late payments because you lost the bill or simply forgot to pay it. You may make impulsive purchases and then not have enough money to pay your bills.

9 of 10

Anger issues

Credit: iStock

Adults with ADHD may have trouble controlling their emotions, leading to angry outbursts where you explode over trivial issues. You may find that you are angry one moment, and then as quickly as your anger appeared, it dissipates. Your family may still be dealing with your outburst but you have moved on to the next problem leaving your partner and children confused about what happened.

10 of 10

Forgetfulness

Credit: iStock

You don’t just forget the unimportant details, you forget important dates, to meet your spouse or friend for lunch, where you put your keys, you name it, you forget it. Forgetfulness is a routine part of your everyday life.