Today we want to share our list of ADHD signs. Most parents can and do spot the signs of ADHD in their children as they age, but there are plenty of us out there who have slipped through the gaps. While we learn more about ADHD in this day and age, there was a time where it was just called the ‘naughty children’s issue’. Children who displayed ADHD symptoms and signs were – and in some cases, still are – dismissed as being naughty, disruptive and just plain unable to be helped. It’s a sad fact, but if you are an adult dealing with symptoms of ADHD, there’s a chance that you were overlooked.
ADHD poses very different challenges for adults than it does for children and without the right treatment and the right support, it’s important to know the signs so that you can affect personal, real change. Understand that if you are dealing with adult ADHD, you can get help! You’re not alone in wanting to get some support and without treatment and help, you might struggle to meet your personal and professional goals. Before you get any help at all, though, it can help to recognise the signs of adult ADHD. These are signs and symptoms that present a pattern, so if you’re noticing things happening keep a diary of the symptoms so that you can present them to the doctor.
- You are struggling with your focus. At work or at home, people with ADHD often lack control over what they can focus on. If you’re a daydreamer and you are easily distracted, or you find yourself zoning out during conversations, then it may be worth making a note of when this happens – even down to the time of day. Another focusing symptom in ADHD is the ability to hyperfocus. This is when you cannot do anything but feel consumed by the task in front of you.
- You lose everything. They call you a scatterbrain, they call you confused, but really you’re just someone who misplaces everything they own! Storing and organizing your belongings may not be the easiest thing, but it’s something you may be in need of. If you’re misplacing everything and constantly retracing your steps to find the items you’ve lost, then you may need to note this down as a symptom.
- Lateness is a factor. Being late for everything can be a flaw in your personality but if it’s consistently happening and your time management skills just aren’t improving, then you might look deeper. Did you know that adults with ADHD really struggle with time management? Whether It’s because they cannot find their keys, they cannot remember dates and times or they underestimated the time they take to complete tasks, ADHD puts this into a wider focus. Your doctor should be able to refer you for an assessment that will tell you for sure.
- You behave in a manner that could be considered ‘risky’. Did you know that the research shows that adults with ADHD are much more likely to be riskier in their behavior? They’ll be more inclined to start fights or to overspend their cash without considering the consequences. They’ll also be more reckless in their sexual decision making or even their driving. With the right help and support, however, this can be smoothed over and risky behaviors can cease (or at least slow down).
- You tune out and you don’t listen. You don’t mean it, but you know you’re frustrating people around you. Social interactions can feel like a huge challenge for people with ADHD. You might not be able to help interrupting people or waiting for your turn to speak. You might find it hard to keep track of the conversations or notice non-verbal cues that can mean you’re usually supposed to quiet down! Talking too fast, speaking too much or blurting out words that aren’t a part of the conversation are all happening and you need to figure out why!
- You find it difficult to prioritize things. When you’re dealing with ADHD, you might find it very difficult to prioritize things that are most important. Adults who have ADHD always find themselves occupied with something to do but that doesn’t mean that they’re doing things in any kind of order! There is something called ADHD paralysis, where you have so many things on the list you struggle to do any of it. You might find it hard to think ahead and deadlines may be a huge struggle for you because you’re not finding it easy to keep up. All tasks can feel equally important to you which makes it hard to know where to start.
- You find relationships a struggle. It’s not just personal relationships like partners, but relationships with friends and coworkers that can be a struggle when you have ADHD. It’s common for those who are coping with ADHD symptoms to find relationships difficult due to blurting out hurtful statements or finding regulating their emotions a struggle. They may even be unable to maintain friendships long term. Seeking counseling and professional support can help you to learn tools and techniques that’ll help!
- You’re extremely restless. Another high sign of ADHD in adults is restlessness, which can present itself in a range of ways. You might be flighty in your thinking or you might constantly fidget. You may overthink, catastrophize and even have impulsivity in your behavior. Often, fidgeting and being unable to sit still is mistaken for inattentiveness and that can be hard to overcome. There are tools like fidget spinners out there that can help you to focus, which is an interesting fact for those with ADHD. Tasks need to be done so that they can provide enough focus for adults with ADHD and if it’s not stimulating enough, it may be hard to stick with it.
- You’re easily angered. You might think that you have a quick temper, but did you know that 70% of adults with ADHD find emotional dysregulation a factor? You might find yourself impatient, explosive in your outbursts, irritable – the list goes on.
Don’t be afraid. If you have any of these signs of adult ADHD, you can get the help you need from the right specialists.