Many people don’t realize that the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can continue into adulthood as a form of adult ADHD. Adult ADHD can only result from a pre-existing diagnosis of childhood ADHD—meaning, one is only susceptible to adult ADHD if they suffered from this disorder as a child. Roughly 3-10% of school-aged children are afflicted by ADHD, and 60% of these children will continue to have symptoms when they’re adults. Symptoms manifest themselves into forgetfulness, excessive daydreaming, constant fidgeting, and the inability to sit still. These symptoms are more subtle in adults and adult ADHD is, therefore, more difficult to diagnose.
Adult ADHD can greatly disrupt your life—from preventing yourself from being organized to affecting your marriage. Disorganization is one of the most noticeable symptoms of adult ADHD—and with the added difficulties of bills, jobs, and children, organizational skills for adults are even more crucial. ADHD symptoms also makes people more likely to speed and have traffic accidents because sitting behind the wheel for extended periods of time can be very frustrating for adult ADHD patients. In extreme cases, spouses who have adult ADHD may appear to have poor listening skills and an inability to honor commitments, which can disrupt marriages. While symptoms for adult ADHD are relatively similar between men and women, there are some differences. Sadly, adult women with ADHD are more prone to eating disorders, obesity, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety than male ADHD sufferers. Awareness of adult ADHD is the first step towards treatment. Take a look at this slideshow to see if you think you’re afflicted by adult ADHD. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor to work out a treatment plan that’s right for you.