What are the symptoms of adult ADHD?

The symptoms of adult ADHD include impulsiveness, inability to focus and irritability, which could have a serious impact on adult careers and relationships. Watch psychologist Jeffrey Gardere, PhD, discuss the various symptoms of adult ADHD.

Sudeepta Varma, MD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause a sometimes bewildering variety of symptoms. In this video, psychiatrist Sudeepta Varma, MD, discusses key signs of the problem.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) doesn't start in adulthood, although symptoms may not be recognized until then. While hyperactive symptoms often diminish in adulthood, adults with ADHD usually have symptoms like these:
  • Difficulty concentrating or sticking with tasks
  • Trouble with memory, organization, or planning
  • Making rash decisions
Ninety percent of adults who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not know they have it! How can you tell if someone might have undiagnosed ADHD? Look for the following symptoms:
  • Trouble sustaining focus and mental clarity in work or conversations, coupled with an ability to hyper-focus at times
  • Trouble getting organized, tendency to have many piles around the office and home
  • Trouble managing time, being punctual, tendency to procrastinate and get things done in a panic at the last minute
  • Tendency to act impulsively, without reflection or forethought
  • Tendency to have many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow-through
  • Tendency to be a maverick, liking to do things their own way
  • Tendency to be impatient
  • Tendency to argue needlessly, often drawn to conflict
  • Tendency to seek high stimulation, excitement
  • Often highly creative, original, intuitive
  • Often entrepreneurial, inventive, hardworking
  • Often warm, generous, giving to others
  • Often sensitive and deep, but also tend to cover this trait
  • Often under-achieving, not making the most of one's talents

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.