Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn't limited to childhood. For many, it persists into adulthood. While adults are better at masking the symptoms of ADHD, it can still have a major impact on your life. Recognizing the signs of adult ADHD may help you realize that certain challenges could be the result of undiagnosed ADHD.
In adults, ADHD is often challenging to recognize, given that its symptoms can easily be mistaken for other issues. If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of ADHD, a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be transformative.
At Quality Primary Care in Rockville, Maryland, board-certified physician Suresh Malik, MD, witnesses transformations firsthand when patients with ADHD receive appropriate treatment. Dr. Malik has extensive experience diagnosing adult ADHD and creating effective and comprehensive solutions.
Many adults with undiagnosed ADHD are unaware of it. To help people recognize the signs, we’ve put together a list of the five most prominent signs to look for.
1. Difficulty sustaining focus
Adults with ADHD often find it difficult to maintain focus. This isn't limited to just having trouble paying attention during a boring movie or a monotonous meeting. It can show up in various facets of life, including work and personal relationships. You might struggle to complete tasks or follow conversations, frequently zoning out even during important events.
At Quality Primary Care, our expert team has seen many patients who were initially unaware that their issues with focus were actually a symptom of ADHD. It isn’t just about an occasional distraction; it's a consistent pattern of difficulty maintaining focus that interrupts normal daily activities.
2. Chronic disorganization
People with adult ADHD are often seen as “scatterbrained” or disorganized. They might have messy workspaces, disorganized living areas, or struggle to keep track of important dates and events.
If you have this symptom, you may forget to pay bills on time, lose track of appointments, or find it challenging to stick to a schedule. While everyone can be disorganized at times, someone with ADHD will experience these symptoms regularly, causing significant disruption to their life.
3. Trouble with impulse control
Difficulty with impulse control is a common symptom in adults with ADHD. You may notice this as frequently interrupting others during conversation, taking action without considering the consequences, or having trouble controlling immediate reactions.
This impulsivity can extend to financial decisions, which can lead to reckless spending and subsequent financial issues. At Quality Primary Care, we've found that many of our patients initially mistake this impulsivity for an aspect of their personality rather than a symptom of ADHD.
4. Challenges regulating emotions
Difficulty controlling emotions is a common symptom of adult ADHD. This may include quick temper flare-ups, intense mood swings, and a tendency to get easily frustrated or stressed out. These emotional regulation issues often strain relationships both in professional and personal life. Often, this symptom is mistaken for other emotional disorders, making ADHD harder to diagnose.
5. Restlessness and hyperactivity
Unlike children with ADHD, adults may not show visible signs of hyperactivity. Instead, this may present as internal restlessness, leading to a constant feeling of uneasiness or the need to stay busy. If you’re dealing with this symptom, you might find it hard to relax, or you might feel compelled to stay on the move. This constant need for stimulation can make it difficult to complete tasks that require prolonged focus.
ADHD in adults can be debilitating if left undiagnosed and untreated. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is the first step toward improving your life through effective ADHD management. If you or someone you love exhibits these symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out.
Treatment approaches often involve a combination of medication, lifestyle adjustments, and behavioral therapy. However, each person's journey with ADHD is unique, and the treatment plan should be tailored accordingly, a philosophy we firmly believe and practice at Quality Primary Care.
If you need treatment for ADHD, or if you want to be evaluated, call 301-762-7723 or book an appointment online with Quality Primary Care today.