11 Adult ADHD Symptoms And How To Manage Them

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is often associated with childhood. However, it’s essential to understand that this condition can persist into adulthood and significantly impact daily life, relationships, and career progression. These Adult ADHD symptoms are little known because they aren’t talked about!

adhd as an adult

Adult ADHD symptoms aren’t talked about nearly enough and I would like to shed some light on them!

This post is all about the common symptoms of adult ADHD!

The Common Symptoms of Adult ADHD

​ADHD Symptom Checklists:

1. Low Self-Esteem

When discussing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults, we often focus on the more overt symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. However, there’s another side to this disorder that isn’t talked about as much but can be just as debilitating – low self-esteem.

ADHD can lead to a series of life challenges, from academic struggles to difficulties in personal relationships and career progression. Over time, these constant hurdles can erode an individual’s self-esteem, leading to feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy.

My Recommendations:

  • ​Start to find things you love in your family members and you might start to notice them in yourself too, and thus improving your self-esteem. 
  • If you have an anxiety disorder on top of your Adult ADHD (which is super common) talk to your primary care provider and ask what they can help you with!

2. Difficulty Paying Attention

One of the most prominent symptoms of adult ADHD is difficulty paying attention. This is often misconstrued as a lack of interest or carelessness. Adults with ADHD may find it challenging to concentrate during meetings or lengthy conversations, leading to misunderstandings or errors at work. They may also exhibit signs of forgetfulness, such as misplacing items or forgetting appointments.

This difficulty with attention can also manifest as distractibility. Adults with ADHD may find their minds wandering during tasks, even those they find enjoyable. This distractibility can make it difficult for them to complete tasks efficiently, leading to frustration and feelings of inadequacy.

My Recommendations:

3. Impulsive Behavior and Restlessness

Impulsiveness, or acting without thinking about the consequences, is another key symptom of adult ADHD. This could result in interrupting others, making rash decisions, or engaging in risky behaviors. Impulsivity can lead to various problems, including strained relationships, job loss, financial difficulties, and legal issues.

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Alongside impulsivity, adults with ADHD often feel restless. They may seem edgy or constantly “on the go”, finding it challenging to relax or engage in quiet activities. This restlessness can also manifest as physical symptoms, such as fidgeting or difficulty sitting still.

My Recommendations:

  • Find people you can be impulsive with and won’t judge you. You are going to need a few people in your life that are there for you and you can get your impulsivity out with!
adhd symptoms as an adult

4. Disorganization and Procrastination

Disorganization is a common struggle for adults with ADHD. They may have messy workspaces, trouble managing their time, or difficulty prioritizing tasks. This disorganization can lead to missed deadlines, lost items, and overall inefficiency.

Coupled with disorganization, procrastination is also common. Adults with ADHD may put off tasks that require sustained mental effort, like completing paperwork or preparing reports, until the last minute. This procrastination can lead to stress and anxiety, further exacerbating their symptoms.

My Recommendations:

5. Emotional Concerns

Adult ADHD can also have an emotional component. Adults with this condition may experience frequent mood swings, quick temper, or a low frustration tolerance. They may overreact to minor problems and have trouble dealing with stress. These emotional symptoms can often lead to difficulties in relationships and social interactions.

Additionally, adults with ADHD may struggle with self-esteem issues. They may feel inadequate or like they’re not living up to their potential, leading to feelings of depression or anxiety. These emotional challenges can create a vicious cycle, as they can further exacerbate other symptoms of ADHD.

My Recommendations:

6. Hyperfocus

On the flip side of inattention is hyperfocus. Some adults with ADHD may become so engrossed in a task that they lose track of time and neglect other responsibilities. While this intense concentration can be beneficial in some situations, it can also lead to problems if it causes them to ignore important tasks or commitments.

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Hyperfocus can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can lead to high levels of productivity and creativity. On the other hand, it can cause adults with ADHD to lose sight of the bigger picture, leading to an imbalance in their work, relationships, and personal life.

My Recommendations:

  • If you don’t take stimulant medications, then it can seem weird to have these spouts of hyperfocus, but I love to use them when I am hyper-focused on something productive!
  • Surround yourself with productive people and the type of people you look up to so when you get hyper-focused you will be focused on something you have seen or heard of from these people!

7. Relationship Problems

When it comes to relationships, being present is an essential part of maintaining and growing! The thing about ADHD is you likely have inattentive symptoms and that can make relationships hard to keep and excel in.

Other relationship problems include a lack of emotional support for your partner or friend, which can lead to only taking from relationships and never giving back. If you think about it from your friend’s perspective, would you want to be friends with someone who always needs help, always talks about themselves, and never asks you about your day or how you’re doing? No, you wouldn’t!

My Recommendations:

  • Start writing down things that your friends tell you about themselves and add them to your calendar when they say they have something big coming up.
  • Text your friends about their days and send them random TikToks or memes that you think they would like!
  • Include your friends in your daily activities and see if they would like you to join them in theirs!
  • Tell them about your inattentive symptoms so they know you aren’t purposely ignoring them!

8. Lower Work Or School Performance

After an ADHD diagnosis, you may look back and wonder how you got through High School! You may have a hard time getting over things you did in High School or have anxiety about your performance in school or work.

It can be hard to perform well in work and school if you can’t focus, aren’t intrinsically motivated, or don’t love what you are doing! That is why people with ADHD may struggle to attend class or keep a job for a long period. If this is you, don’t worry! There are resources for you!

My Recommendations:

9. Extreme Restlessness

People with ADHD often struggle with boredom and getting restless easily. This can be seen when you are at work and you don’t find your work satisfying and so you go talk to other people or procrastinate.

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This is super common for us with ADHD because that is literally in the DEFINITION!! HYPERACTIVITY!! We often struggle to contain our leg movement or can’t sit in one place for too long before getting bored and wanting to do something else. You might experience times of hyper-focus for a few hours and then want to never do that activity again!

My Recommendations:

  • Take lots of breaks when you are doing a long activity. Give yourself PLENTY of time to go to the bathroom or eat a snack. Water breaks are also super important.
  • Go on long walks to get out some of the physical restlessness feelings. I would aim for at least twenty minutes to get the full effect.

10. Lack Of Social Skills

The main issue that people can deal with is symptoms of inattention. When we don’t pay attention, then we miss vital social cues that could completely change our interpretation of the situation.

Funnily enough, autism and ADHD often get misdiagnosed for each other and they often overlap. So if you believe you are autistic and you have an ADHD diagnosis, then I would think about getting an Autism test done!

My Recommendations:

11. Mental Health Problems

Many people with ADHD struggle with substance use disorders, anxiety, or depression. When it comes to mental health problems, ADHD can exacerbate the symptoms and make dealing with these mental health conditions even harder.

When it comes to substance abuse, you may struggle with nicotine. Nicotine helps to improve focus, and I know MANY people with ADHD who struggle quitting because it helps them so much. As young adults, you need to be careful about your vices and habits because you don’t want to create a lifetime habit that you get embarrassed by or cause your other anxieties or depression to worsen.

One of the many adult ADHD symptoms is mental health issues, but the good news is… you are not alone! Adult patients at so many therapists’ and psychiatrists’ offices are not only there for anxiety and depression, but also for ADHD!

My Recommendations:

  • Start looking into executive functioning. When you understand the root of your ADHD, it can help you not to become depressed and anxious about it!
  • If you don’t have the hyperactivity of ADHD, so you have Attention Deficit Disorder, look into seeing a therapist for a few sessions to get a basic treatment plan for focus and attention!


This post was all about Adult ADHD Symptoms!

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symptoms of adhd as an adult
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adhd adult symptoms

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