Adult ADHD causes problems with memory, focus, organization, and time management in nearly 5 percent of American adults. Though ADHD symptoms begin in childhood, many patients remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed until adulthood, particularly when they present inattentive rather than hyperactive symptoms. Here, learn how a qualified ADHD specialist can assess and treat the condition using rating scales, medication, and natural therapies. Impulsiveness, lack of focus, and poor organization are among the common symptoms of ADHD in adults. Other common ADHD symptoms among adults are problems with working memory and time management; emotional hypersensitivity is also a common byproduct of ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD or ADD was previously considered a childhood condition that hyperactive boys outgrew with time and maturity. However, the medical community now accepts that ADHD is often a lifelong condition that lasts through adulthood, and also affects girls and women. Because ADHD research and understanding has improved so markedly in the last few decades, many adults today are recognizing their ADHD symptoms for the first time in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even older.
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Many children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD continue to experience symptoms after reaching adulthood. However, symptoms of ADHD tend to evolve and become more subtle with age. If overtly hyperactive behavior is part of the picture — for example, running around or having trouble sitting still — it usually emerges in childhood and is most noticeable during elementary school. By adolescence, hyperactivity often subsides or is manifested in less obvious ways, such as fidgeting or restlessness. By adulthood, the primary difficulty is with memory and attention see "Diagnosing ADHD in adults" — causing problems not only at work, but also with personal relationships and finances. Although most of the research on ADHD has been done in children, detailed guidance has emerged for adults who experience symptoms of the disorder.
ADHD in Adults
The disorder interferes with the quality of life by intruding on day-to-day functioning. These are:. Adults who have significant problems with inattention, but exhibit few or no symptoms of hyperactivity, are said to have the predominantly inattentive presentation of ADHD. People with this type of ADHD have trouble paying attention to details, are easily distracted, often have trouble organizing or finishing tasks and often forget routine chores such as paying bills on time or returning phone calls. The causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD are unclear, but the condition often runs in families. There appears to be a genetic and neurobiological basis for ADHD. Usually, adults with the predominantly inattentive form of ADHD first developed it during childhood and adolescence. They were likely reprimanded in elementary or middle school, were consistently distracted and turned in incomplete work. However, because children with this form of ADHD usually are not hyperactive, the disorder might have gone unrecognized until they reached adolescence or adulthood.
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD, is a condition characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, or a combination. Less than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated, and only about one-quarter of those adults seek help. Thought to be biological and most often genetic, ADHD takes place very early in brain development. Adults with ADHD may exhibit the same symptoms they had as children, and although hyperactivity often diminishes by adulthood, inattentiveness and impulsivity may persist. ADHD symptoms often include an inability to focus, disorganization, and restlessness. Adults with ADHD may have a hard time organizing things, listening to instructions, remembering details, or difficulty completing tasks, which can affect their relationships at home, school, and work. People who have ADHD may exhibit different symptoms, and they may experience them at different levels of severity, ranging from mild to significant impairment.