Adult ADHD

ADHD is a common abbreviation for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder also abbreviated as AD/HD. The condition impacts adults as well as children. Most publicity about ADHD usually refers to children.

The 3 core symptoms of ADHD described in DSM-5, the standard used in Australia, are:

  • inattention
  • hyperactivity
  • impulsivity

To be diagnosed as an adult with ADHD the symptoms must be present from childhood.

As children mature into adulthood, some develop strategies to better cope with their symptoms. Many children however, will carry symptoms of ADHD through to adulthood and if untreated, these result in significant impairment in their ability to study, work and manage their lives.

 

Some Signs of Adult ADHD

  • Chronic forgetfulness
  • Problems with time management; problems estimating how long a given task will take
  • Tendency to take on far too many projects or tasks
  • Generally disorganised; frequently late; rushed; unprepared
  • Frequent moves or job changes
  • Tendency to speak without considering the reaction which may be elicited by the comment
  • Tendency to interrupt conversations
  • Difficulty controlling temper
  • Difficulty managing paperwork on job
  • Chronic pattern of under achievement
  • Pattern of establishing relationships with caretakers - this may be spouse, room mate or a secretary
  • Pattern of periodic depression
  • Difficulty in maintaining long-term relationships
  • Greater than average tendency toward substance abuse
  • Tendency toward impulsivity; making decisions without careful long-term planning
  • Tendency to be either over-active or under-active
  • Low tolerance for frustration - tendency to overreact to frustration
  • Tendency to give up on difficult long-term projects
  • Pattern of interests which are taken up, then dropped, often with the investment of substantial sums of money
  • Difficulty concentrating when reading
  • Difficulty handling demanding learning situations which may be required for job advancement
  • Pattern of achieving less than ones siblings: academically or professional

Additional information