Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, some more well-known than others. ADHD symptoms are individual and rarely do patients exhibit this disorder exactly alike. This can make a diagnosis difficult. Recognizing some of the less common symptoms may help in pursuing the correct diagnosis for your condition.
If you suffer from the major or lesser-known adult ADHD symptoms, Klarity can help you find the treatment you need. Book an online appointment and see an experienced psychiatric healthcare provider within 48 hours.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurobehavioral mental health disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and short attention span (inattention). ADHD is present throughout a person’s entire lifetime. An adult diagnosed with ADHD likely had it as a child but was simply not diagnosed earlier.
In general, no two people with adult ADHD express the disorder precisely alike. Some may have a high concentration level with things that interest them, while others are continuously challenged to concentrate regardless of interest. Some patients may be highly social, while others are withdrawn.
Just as no two people with adult ADHD express the disorder precisely alike, there is also no “one size fits all” type of treatment. In general, patients benefit from a multi-phasic treatment plan consisting of diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, counseling, behavior modification techniques, and ongoing care from an experienced provider. At Klarity, we offer solutions for online ADHD treatment tailored to the individual patient and their needs.
Once diagnosed, adults with ADHD have responded to treatment for their symptoms and report greatly improved satisfaction in their work and personal lives.
Types of ADHD
There are three main types of ADHD, each with its own associated symptoms:
- Inattentive Type
- Hyperactive/Impulsive Type
- Combination Type
The patient generally displays most of the below symptoms but few of the hyperactive-impulsive type.
- Carelessness resulting in mistakes
- Inability to stay on task
- Inattention/Not appearing to listen/Mind wandering
- Inability to follow or comprehend instructions
- Task avoidance, especially for tasks that require sustained attention
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty in organizing tasks (i.e., poor time management)
In general, the patient displays most of the below symptoms but few of the inattentive type.
- Inability to remain still, i.e., fidgeting/squirming
- Getting up often when seated, i.e., moving away from the workplace
- The necessity to “burn off” excess energy/restlessness
- Inability to work quietly
- Talking too much, inappropriate conversation patterns
- Often “on the go” as if “driven by a motor.”
This is the most common type of ADHD, where the patient displays a relatively equal amount of both Attentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive symptoms.
Well-Known ADHD Symptoms
Adult ADHD symptoms are often severe, interfering with both work and personal relationships. Regardless of how ADHD symptoms are exhibited, if left untreated, they can wreak havoc in the lives of those suffering from the disorder.
There are certain groups of ADHD symptoms that are more common than others, including:
Concentration and Focus Related
These symptoms include being easily distracted, the inability to stay on task, hyperfocus (or the ability to remain laser-focused on a task while shutting out everything going on around you), and daydreaming.
Inability to Focus
The ADHD sufferer may have an inability to focus on tasks they consider boring or repetitive or even activities they find interesting. They may have difficulty paying attention to someone who’s talking and tend to drift off. An inability to focus can cause problems with work, such as leaving assignments incomplete, or it may cause relationship issues, as the partner may feel ignored.
Hyperfocus is 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.
Disorganization and Forgetfulness
These symptoms include constantly losing items, procrastination, chronic lateness, missing appointments, and messiness or clutter.
Adults with ADHD may often have problems with procrastination. They may put things off because they’re focused on something else or find the tasks too difficult or boring. Procrastination can lead to missed deadlines, work that takes longer to get done or is left incomplete, and important tasks that get put off until the last minute.
This includes the inability to maintain order or manage details with work or at home. The ADHD sufferer may be unable to keep files organized and their home may be messy or cluttered. Disorganization can lead to an inability to find or produce information when it is needed.
An adult with ADHD may forget to do important obligations, such as at work or household chores, or they may forget important dates.
Poor Time Management
An AHD sufferer may have the inability to manage time properly and might hyperfocus on something and let the day get away from them, or spend too much time on nonessential activities. Tasks left undone can lead to problems with work and relationships.
These symptoms include an inability to wait your turn, interrupting others, abruptly stopping or starting a task, or saying things before they are thought out.
Impulsiveness may lead a person to jump into a new situation while leaving undone tasks in the last one, or making choices that prove detrimental or injurious, such as reckless behavior. For example, the person may make a purchase without thinking about the economic costs or quit a job without a fallback plan.
These symptoms include anger management issues, depression, lack of motivation, and low self esteem.
An ADHD sufferer may be quick to anger or frustration that leads to outbursts, including in situations that don’t warrant it. This anger may manifest itself at work or in a relationship.
Hyperactivity and Restlessness
These symptoms include an inability to fully relax, constant fidgetiness, a need to be constantly “on the go,” and racing thoughts.
Lesser-Known Signs of Adult ADHD
There are many symptoms of ADHD and not all individuals display the exact same symptoms. While the common symptoms mentioned above are more diagnostically prevalent there are also lesser-known symptoms. Below are some of the lesser-known signs that may help indicate whether you should seek a medical professional’s opinion on an ADHD diagnosis.
Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep could be connected to ADHD. According to the Sleep Foundation, both types of ADHD can manifest in different sleep problems. For instance, individuals with predominantly inattentive symptoms are more likely to get less sleep due to going to bed later, while those with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive symptoms are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Those with combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive ADHD experience both poor sleep quality and less sleep.
“Time Blindness” is a term used to describe the way individuals with ADHD sometimes process time. In some cases you may find that you are so hyperfocused that you lose track of time or in other cases you fail to notice when you need to transition to another task. Inability to properly manage time affects every aspect of your life.
Severe Mood Swings
Abrupt changes in mood for seemingly no reason can be related to impulsivity and other behavior-related symptoms of ADHD. If you have these regularly, it is important to mention this to your medical professional.
Impulsive shopping and overspending are being recognized more and more during ADHD diagnosis. The inability to control “wants” is correlated with impulsivity symptoms of ADHD and can also manifest to substance abuse issues and chronic overeating.
Difficulty Forming and Maintaining Relationships
If you are having difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, it could be a result of adult ADHD. Inattentiveness to your partner, forgetting important dates and details, low self-esteem, and inability to relax are all symptoms that can take a toll on your relationships.
Low Tolerance for Boredom
Boredom is a definite trigger for many of the more well-known symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity and lack of attention to detail. Boredom can also trigger emotions related to impulsivity, such as anger. Having a low tolerance for boredom is also a coping mechanism to avoid it.
Anxiety is a widespread affliction. It is also increasingly correlated with adult ADHD symptoms. Feeling constant unease, racing thoughts, distraction, and missing details are hallmarks of anxiety and also ADHD.
Individuals with ADHD might exhibit the tendency to be hurt, offended, or suspect mal-intent more readily than someone without this condition. Low self-esteem is seen in individuals with ADHD; this goes hand in hand with how they may process criticism, either real or perceived.
Working Memory Deficit
Individuals with ADHD sometimes fail to be able to process stored information correctly. Working memory helps you to complete tasks with which many ADHD individuals have challenges.
If You Have These Symptoms, You May Want to Get Tested for ADHD
If you believe you have the symptoms of ADHD, take this free 2-minute self-evaluation. Pursuing a proper diagnosis is the first step in your journey to determine if you have adult ADHD and, if so, what individual treatment options are best suited.
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Has Never Been Easier
Contact Klarity to schedule a call with an ADHD specialist today. With more than a decade of experience in treating adult ADHD, the licensed professionals on Klarity are committed to providing easy, convenient, and affordable personalized care.