ADHD Isn’t Just A Kid’s Disorder

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder adult ADHD

The symptoms of a child with ADHD, especially the hyperactive-impulsive or combined type, are often easy to spot. The inattentive type can be harder to detect, but with awareness, more diagnoses are being made. Often, children with ADHD have a hard time focusing, sitting still, and fitting in with other children. Myths still abound that ADHD is a childhood disorder, but for many children, the symptoms persist into adulthood. ADHD is a developmental disorder, and so begins in childhood. As you grow older, these symptoms may become subtler, but still, they can have a large impact on your life. Here are 10 signs you may have adult ADHD.


#1 Organization Is Difficult

The responsibilities of adulthood are many and varied. Juggling bills, employment, children, and significant others can be difficult if you have ADHD. These may compound and make difficulties with organization more obvious than when you were a child. You may have difficulty completing tasks at work, paying bills on time, and handling the stresses of everyday life.

#2 Traffic Accidents

man with adult ADHD distracted while drivingADHD make impact your driving skills because it affects attention. Driving is a complicated skill that requires significant sustained attention. Some people who have ADHD may be more likely to speed, crash their car, and lose their driver’s license. In addition, when the license is lost, ADHD may make it difficult to get to court appointments on time or do the necessary paperwork to reapply for their license, after they have lost it.

#3 Problems In A Marriage

Marital troubles are not unique to a marriage that has an ADHD partner, but certain issues are more common when one partner has undiagnosed ADHD, such as poor listening and missed commitments. Partners may feel frustrated and not heard, while the person with undiagnosed ADHD may feel confused, nagged, and blamed for something they are unable to change. Without intervention of some kind, these difficulties can put a huge strain on the marriage. Discussing these issues with a marriage counselor is recommended before your relationship reaches a breaking point.

#4 Becoming Distracted Is The Norm

The world is growing faster and faster. This can be difficult for people with ADHD. The core symptom of ADHD is difficulty with attention, and this can lead to underperformance in the workplace, especially in fast-paced and noisy offices. With adult ADHD you may experience difficulty staying on task when phone calls or emails come in.

A suggestion: Schedule all phone calls at a certain time, if you are able. Check the most critical emails early in the workday, and then close your email for a few hours.

#5 Difficulty Listening When Others Are Speaking

Related to attention, problems with listening may lead to a lot of missed appointments, frustration, and misunderstandings. You may forget to pick up your child from orchestra though your significant other just reminded you. Long meetings can be especially difficult as you lose focus while the presenter lays out your company’s new structure. These misunderstandings may negatively affect your self-esteem, especially If you are undiagnosed. Because you have no explanation you must deal with the repercussions of a disability. With a diagnosis, you can learn ways to minimize the effects of ADHD.

#6 Restlessness Is Common

Children with ADHD are often labeled “hyperactive”, but in adults, this hyperactivity can look different. An adult with ADHD may be restless and unable to relax. You may be fidgety and find your thoughts are going fast, which makes it hard for you to relax. Others may say you are intense, “always on the go”, or edgy.

#7 Difficulty Starting Tasks

Children with ADHD may procrastinate on homework. This behavior is also seen in adults with ADHD. You may procrastinate on tasks that need a lot of attention, such as taxes, forms, or work-related tasks. This tendency to avoid activities that require sustained attention can cause problems in your marriage, friendships, family, and workplace.

A suggestion: if you are dreading an activity, set an alarm for 10 minutes and begin the task. This will help you get started and you may find you work longer than expected.

#8 Lack Of Punctuality

man with adult ADHD late for workLateness can be caused by many different reasons. Issues of inattention that accompany an adult with ADHD may lead to distraction while on the way to events. You may stop to wash your car, grab an item from the store, or fill up on gas. The inattention can warp the passage of time. After completing these tasks you may find it has been an hour. Many times, people with ADHD have difficulty feeling time pass. Another common symptom is an underestimation of the time needed to complete tasks. You may need four hours for a task, but you will think you can do it in two hours. This can cause issues at work, home, and many other activities.

#9 Outbursts Of Anger

ADHD can make it difficult to regulate your emotions. You may explode over small things, calm down quickly, and often feel like you have no control over your emotions. While you may feel better, those around you may still be stunned.

A suggestion: Try meditation. This may help you gain more control of your emotions and keep healthier relationships.

#10 Priorities May Be Hard To Gauge

You may have difficulty prioritizing obligations, such as deadlines. You may spend many hours on small tasks and not realize there is a more important task that must be completed.

A suggestion: Ask your boss which assignment is the top priority. This can help you ensure you are doing the most important project and keep your boss satisfied.


If these signs sound familiar, visit a trained mental health professional. Other conditions, like depression, can look like ADHD symptoms. The professional can determine the true cause, though ADHD and depression are often present in the same individual. This article should not be used as a diagnosis or to refute a diagnosis.