Not Just a Phase: Signs You May Have Adult ADHD

In the fast-paced world we live in today, it’s easy for anyone to become forgetful or get distracted. But for adults with ADHD, their difficulty maintaining attention negatively impacts their life in numerous ways. Problems begin to surface at work, in relationships, and at home. If you’re concerned you may have ADHD, here are some signs to look out for.

Can’t Relax
The ADHD sufferer’s hyperactivity and/or restlessness makes it difficult for them to relax. If you have ADHD, you may frequently find it difficult or almost impossible to do things that require a quiet mind, such as staying seated during an entire movie or meditating. You may find yourself constantly moving around, tapping your hands or feet, and shifting in your seat. This restlessness can lead to feelings of frustration or agitation, impacting not only yourself but also those around. 

Trouble Concentrating
If you’re easily distracted or have trouble focusing on simple tasks, this is a sign you may have ADHD. You may find it difficult to listen to others during a conversation due to mind-wandering, overlook important details, and find it difficult to follow instructions. Your difficulty concentrating may cause problems at work such as not paying attention in meetings, or problems in relationships because you’re distracted during conversations. 

Lack of Organization
Responsibilities such as your career, maintaining your home, paying bills on time, and caring for children and/or aging parents can become unmanageable for adults with ADHD. You may also find it challenging to prioritize tasks in a logical manner, lose track of time easily, and frequently lose or misplace your personal items such as your keys or your phone. Your difficulty staying organized can cause problems such as misplaced documents at work, or lights being shut off from unpaid bills.

If you find yourself often running late, missing deadlines at work, and piling up laundry in your room, these symptoms of procrastination are signs you may have ADHD. Adults with ADHD tend to procrastinate because of their distractibility, difficulty focusing, and trouble handling mundane tasks.

Bad Temperament
If you have angry outbursts, then find yourself immediately over it while your friend or loved one is still reeling from the exchange, this is a sign that you may have ADHD. You may find yourself reacting quickly and intensely to certain things that are triggering and have difficulty regulating your emotions. 

Impulsivity and Risk Taking
Adults with ADHD tend to take risks and be impulsive. You might buy something expensive on a whim, have unprotected sex, drive recklessly, gamble, or blurt out thoughts that hurt or offend others. Research has found that adults with ADHD have a higher alcohol consumption and substance use compared to the rest of the population. Individuals with ADHD also have a tendency for making impulsive decisions that prioritize immediate gratification over choices that offer greater long-term rewards. If you find yourself acting on impulse without considering the possible repercussions, this is a sign that you may have ADHD.

Negative self-image and low self-esteem

Adults with ADHD may experience negative thoughts about themselves and struggle with low self-esteem issues. This is often because they don't understand that their struggles are caused by their ADHD and assume that it is a character flaw. You might blame yourself for your symptoms, believe that you have to try harder, or face criticism from others about your difficulty focusing or being hyperactive. These unfortunate and false beliefs can result in the creation of a negative self-image and lower your self-esteem. 

Although ADHD is oftentimes self-diagnosable, it’s important to consult with a trained mental health professional. Some of the symptoms of ADHD such as trouble concentrating and risk taking are also associated with bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental health issues. Getting the right diagnosis is an important first step for your road to wellness.

If you think you may have ADHD and would like to consult with a licensed and experienced mental health professional, contact us today so we can schedule an appointment.