Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems. Though it's called adult ADHDsymptoms start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is not recognized or diagnosed until the person is an adult.
Most people with ADHD have problems that fall into both these categories, but this is not always the case. The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined, and they're usually noticeable before the age of 6. They occur in more than 1 situation, such as at home and at school.
Life can be a balancing act for any adult, but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHDpreviously known as ADD. ADHD affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career. ADHD often goes unrecognized throughout childhood.
However, we now know that ADHD is a neurological condition that spans a lifetime. The symptoms of ADHD do change with time, however. For example, childhood hyperactivity may decrease as an adult finds healthy ways to channel their energy.
Do I have ADD? Roughly two-thirds of people who experienced ADHD symptoms as a child will continue to experience ADHD symptoms as an adultthough its manifestations tend to shift and change with age. But many people with attention deficit — particularly its inattentive symptoms — are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as children.
Take this free adult ADD test to gauge whether the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder might explain your habitual disorganization, lack of productivity, poor memory, bad time management, and struggles with money and with work. Share the results with a mental health care professional for evaluation. Could your impulsivity and distractibility be a sign of adult ADHD?
Symptoms of ADHD often continue into adulthood, however, and left untreated these symptoms can negatively impact daily activities and wreak havoc on relationships and work situations. Because ADHD can be difficult to diagnose and so many believe that ADHD is a childhood condition, many adults attribute their struggles to stress or the fast-paced world of today, when instead they may be symptoms of undiagnosed ADHD. In fact, symptoms of ADHD can emerge as early as a child's preschool years.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD affects about 5 percent of children, and about half of them will carry those symptoms into adulthood, says the American Psychiatric Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that numbers are even higher in smaller community samples. On top of that, many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed.
Use this questionnaire to help determine if you need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment of ADD or ADHD in an adult. For each item, indicate the extent to which it is true by checking the appropriate box next to the item. At home, work, or school, I find my mind wandering from tasks that are uninteresting or difficult.
Reprinted with permission from ADDitude Magazine. Studies show that adult attention deficit disorder ADD ADHD is treated successfully with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. But not all adults diagnosed with attention deficit embrace ADHD treatment. Many see their ADD-related traits of creativity, ability to multi-task, and entrepreneurial energy as germane to who they are and their successes in life.