• Klarity ADHD

ADHD Symptoms in Adults

Updated: May 4

The symptoms of ADHD in adults are not often subtle. If you suffer from adult ADHD, you’ll likely concur. ADHD symptoms in adults intrude into everyday activities. They can conflict with daily life in a number of ways, causing relationship and work problems.

ADHD is a frustrating disorder, not least because there’s controversy as to whether it exists or not. But those with adult ADHD symptoms can tell you it exists and creates havoc in the lives of individuals suffering from the condition.

If you suspect you may suffer from this disorder, ADHD treatment is key to getting your symptoms under control. Schedule a quick and easy initial assessment with an experienced clinician today.

Overview of ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that’s typified by an inability to focus or distractability, impulsivity and hyperactivity, or a combination of the two. Although it’s usually first diagnosed in childhood, ADHD symptoms can last through adulthood.

What Are the Symptoms of ADHD in Adults?

ADHD symptoms are often severe, interfering with both work and personal relationships. For example, an individual may hyperfocus on their partner at the beginning of a relationship but lose that focus over time, which leads the partner to believe they’re being ignored. Regardless of how they exhibit, these symptoms of ADHD, left untreated, can wreak havoc in the lives of those suffering from the disorder.

There are many symptoms of ADHD in adults. We’ve compiled a list of commonly observed adult ADHD symptoms.

Inability to Focus

A person suffering from ADHD often exhibits an inability to focus, especially on tasks they may consider boring or repetitive. They also may lack the ability to focus on activities they find interesting. In addition, they may have difficulty paying attention to someone who’s talking, with a tendency to drift off.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

This symptom of ADHD can cause problems with work, as the ADHD sufferer may be unable to focus on work and leave assignments incomplete. It can also cause relationship issues, as the partner may feel ignored or as though they’re responsible for all the household chores. When severe, the inability to focus can lead to lost jobs and broken relationships.


The opposite of an inability to focus, hyperfocus manifests itself as complete focus on one task or situation to the detriment of all others. This is often the case with new stimuli, where the ADHD sufferer pays attention to one new task while ignoring others that are less interesting.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

When a person focuses on one thing, they may ignore other less stimulating things. This symptom of ADHD can cause severe work problems when the ADHD sufferer hyper focuses on an object that isn’t the job but something extraneous. Also, the ADHD individual may hyper-focus on a new relationship, which causes issues when the amount of attention inevitably wanes, and the partner feels abandoned.


The ADHD individual often has problems with putting things off. They may be focused on something else, or they may find the tasks either too difficult or too boring. To many sufferers of ADHD, it’s more attractive to do things tomorrow instead of today.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

Procrastination often causes people to miss deadlines, and work takes longer to get done or is left incomplete. Important tasks get put off until the last minute. This can cause issues with work, where timely completion is often essential; it can also cause problems at home, where, for example, undone chores are often left to the other person to complete.


Impulsiveness can manifest itself in a variety of ways. A person may jump into a new situation while leaving undone tasks in the last one, or they may make choices that prove detrimental or injurious. Impulsiveness can lead to reckless behavior, which can be serious.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

When someone acts without thinking things through, the impact can be felt throughout their life. They may make a major purchase without thinking about the economic ramifications or may quit their job without having a fallback plan. Impulsivity can easily leave a person in a worse condition than what they started in.


A person with ADHD often has an inability to pay attention. They can’t focus on important objectives, or they may not pay attention to their relationship. They may drift away when someone speaks to them. Often this inattentiveness is visited upon less interesting but still important tasks.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

Inattentiveness in work means important assignments are left unfinished, which causes job performance to suffer. In a relationship, it’s detrimental as the partner may naturally feel they’re not important enough to pay attention to, which can lead to resentment.

Trouble Prioritizing

A person suffering from ADHD may have problems putting tasks in order by importance. They may be unable to understand which is the most critical and focus on a less important task.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

If someone can’t prioritize, they often leave important work unfinished. They may focus on what is most interesting to them while ignoring what needs to be done, which can cause issues with work performance. They also may lack the ability to prioritize responsibilities in relationships, which leaves their partner having to pick up the slack.


This ADHD symptom manifests itself by an inability to maintain order or manage details with work or at home. They may be unable to keep papers or notes in order or may have problems arranging files on their computer. Their home may be disorganized and messy or cluttered.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

Disorganization leads to an inability to find or produce information when it is needed. When someone can’t organize, they are less able to focus on important tasks. When someone is disorganized in daily life, they may have to deal with a messy or chaotic household, which impacts their ability to concentrate on important things.


An adult with ADHD is often forgetful. They may forget to do important work obligations, they may forget to do household chores, they may forget where they put their keys, and they may forget important dates.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

It’s obvious that if you forget to do something your boss told you to do you’ll have problems at work. If you forget where you put your keys, you’ll be late, and if you forget important dates, you’ll likely hurt people’s feelings and have relationship problems.

Poor Time Management Skills

Another common ADHD symptom is the inability to manage time properly. The ADHD sufferer might hyper-focus on something and let the day get away from them, or they may spend too much time on nonessential activities.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

Time management is essential to properly organizing one’s day. If a person spends too much time on one task, the others suffer, which leaves important tasks undone and deadlines missed. A poorly planned day may have more obligations than someone can complete. Things get left undone, which can cause problems with work and relationships.

Problems Completing Tasks

An ADHD sufferer may be unable to get things done. Tasks are left partially completed, leaving nothing taken to resolution. This can manifest in both work and household situations.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

When work is left undone, it can affect the whole organization. Incomplete tasks either hold things up or are left to someone else, which causes problems with colleagues. If a person is unable to assume responsibility for tasks, it ultimately disappoints someone else, and this person could be a boss or a partner.

Low Frustration Tolerance

Adults with ADHD often frustrate easily and are unable to cope. They may abandon tasks due to frustration or lack the ability to stick to obligations that they consider boring or difficult. Some amount of frustration is a natural part of life, and the inability to tolerate it can cause serious problems.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

If someone is frustrated easily, they often have trouble completing tasks. They walk away from frustration rather than digging in and working things through. It can be easy to become frustrated, but if you can’t handle the situation, this ADHD symptom can impact work performance and relationships.

Quick Temper

This symptom of ADHD is one of the most serious. ADHD sufferers can be quick to anger, often in situations that don’t warrant it. This may manifest itself at work, where frustration leads to outbursts, or may occur in relationships where the ADHD individual lashes out at their partner for seemingly no reason.

Problems this ADHD Symptom May Cause

Anger is often inappropriate but is especially so in a work environment. Angry outbursts focused on one’s coworkers or boss are often not tolerated and can lead to discipline or dismissal. A hot temper directed at one’s partner is unacceptable and can lead to the dissolution of the relationship.

Get Treatment for Your Adult ADHD Symptoms

Anyone may exhibit one or two of these symptoms of ADHD and not have the disorder. If you exhibit many symptoms and think you might have ADHD, take this online test for further information and to get connected with an ADHD therapist. Then book a consultation for evaluation, diagnosis, and relief of your ADHD symptoms.