Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly called ADD/ADHD, is often considered a childhood disorder. In fact, many adults also experience the characteristic symptoms of this condition, which include impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.
Doctors aren't sure why some people develop ADD/ADHD, but we do know that the condition likely arises from a combination of genetic, environmental and developmental factors. Review the signs of adult ADD/ADHD and learn more about when to seek help from your doctor and find a solution.
ADD/ADHD Common Signs & Symptoms
While ADD/ADHD may go undiagnosed until adulthood, symptoms begin to present before age 12. If you have this condition, you may:
- Have difficulty completing activities that take focus, such as reading a book or listening to a lecture
- Struggle with deadlines and time management
- Be unable to complete tasks for work or school
- Have difficulty prioritizing when you have several tasks to complete
- Avoid making complex or long-term plans
- Misplace important objects, such as glasses and keys
- Miss appointments
- Fidget or be unable to sit still
- Feel restless
- Talk incessantly or interrupt others who are speaking
- Have difficulty coping with stress
- Have mood swings or temper flares
While hyperactivity is typically the primary symptom for children who have ADD/ADHD, it tends to decrease in adults with this condition as inattention and impulsivity persist.
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When to Visit Your Doctor
Everyone occasionally loses focus, acts impulsively or has troubling settling down. When these issues cause you to struggle at work or with responsibilities at home, however, you may benefit from an evaluation for adult ADD/ADHD. Some people who have this condition experience difficulty sustaining relationships and low self-esteem. You should also seek medical help if you have emotional issues that arise from your ADD/ADHD symptoms, such as difficulty coping with stress.
When you see your doctor, he or she will conduct a thorough evaluation and ask you about your symptoms. Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes display similar symptoms to those of ADD/ADHD. In addition, ADD/ADHD often occurs in conjunction with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, substance use disorder or learning disabilities.
Your family history is also important in diagnosing and treating this condition. You are more likely to develop ADD/ADHD if a parent or sibling also has a history of these conditions.
If you begin to notice that you have any of the symptoms discussed above, take a first step towards improving your condition by making healthier lifestyle choices. By including relaxation and meditation practices in your day-to-day life, proper nutrition, appropriate amounts of sleep, and controlling screen time, great results can be produced. If you are finding that lifestyle changes aren’t doing quite enough, try over-the-counter options, such as Brillia, that can be safe and impactful and avoid the harmful side effects of prescription medications. Plus, you don't need an official diagnosis to use the product. However, if these tactics/recommendations do not provide you enough support, it is recommended that you see a specialist about other measures you can take to get you exactly where you need to be.