Before the discovery of ADHD, many people were not diagnosed and, therefore not treated. Left untreated, ADHD can cause a number of mental and physical health issues, difficulties with finances and work, and can put a strain on your marriage and other relationships. It’s important to recognize the signs of adult ADHD so that you can receive the proper treatment because many adults go undiagnosed and untreated.
What are the signs of adult ADHD?
1. Lack of Focus
Not being able to focus is a telltale signs of ADHD. It goes beyond difficulty paying attention; it includes being easily distracted, making listening to others difficult, overlooking details, and not finishing projects.
2. Hyper Focus
The other side of the ADHD coin includes hyper focus, in which people get engrossed in what they’re doing. This can lead to losing track of time, ignoring others who are around you. Ignoring self-care of even the need to eat or go the bathroom. This of course can cause problems within your important relationships.
Notwithstanding the normal chaos that is life, those who suffer from adult ADHD may find life to be more hectic than someone who doesn’t suffer from adult ADHD. This often leads to disorganization because putting things in the right place can be difficult to do.
Occasionally, we forget things but those with adult ADHD view forgetfulness as a part of life. You may frequently forget important dates or where you’ve placed something. While you may forget menial things, you may also forget very important things as well. This can cause issues with work and your relationships because forgetfulness can often be mistaken for carelessness.
It’s not uncommon for adults with ADHD to experience bouts of impulsiveness. This could manifest itself as interrupting others, being socially inappropriate, acting without much though to the consequences, and rushing through tasks. Impulse buying is a classic sign of adult ADHD, especially buying things one can’t afford.
6. Emotional Distress
Those with adult ADHD are constantly feeling chaotic, like emotions are an up-and-down journey. You can become bored easily, which can escalate into flights of fancy. Small frustrations can often seem intolerable, which may cause mood swings and depression.
7. Poor Self-Image
We all get down on ourselves every once in a while, but those with adult ADHD are hypercritical of themselves, leading to a poor self-image. This is largely because they have an inability to concentrate and other symptoms that may cause issues in school, work, or relationships. Those with adult ADHD have a tendency to view these difficulties as personal failures, which causes them to see themselves negatively.
8. Lack of Motivation
You may be open to doing everything at once; you may also feel unmotivated to do so. This is commonly seen in children with ADHD who can’t focus on schoolwork, but it’s also prevalent in adults with ADHD. In addition to procrastination and poor organizational skills, it may be difficult for adults with ADHD to finish projects because they can’t focus for long periods of time.
9. Anxiety and Restlessness
Anxiety is a common symptom of adult ADHD because the mind tends to replay worrisome events repeatedly. Restlessness is also a symptom of adult ADHD because you may feel like you have to keep moving and doing things. This can lead to frustration when you can’t do something immediately.
10. Health Problems
People with adult ADHD tend to neglect their health. This can be compulsive poor eating, not exercising, or forgetting important medication. Anxiety and stress can negatively affect health, making the other symptoms of adult ADHD worse.
11. Poor Time Management
Not being able to manage your time wisely may also be a sign of adult ADHD. You may experience procrastination, trouble keeping track of tasks, lateness, and the inability to prioritize effectively.
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff is trained in Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology in New York, and can help you move beyond the frequent frustrations or limitations that may be caused by adult ADHD/ADD. If you are looking for more information on adult ADHD, please feel free to contact us via email. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 917-609-4990.
Dr. Amanda Itzkoff