The 6 Main Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

symptoms of adult ADHD

About 2.5% of the adult population struggles with ADHD. And it can be a struggle. Too many adults go undiagnosed, with no opportunity to get the help they need. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of adult ADHD.

Lack of Focus/Hyperfocus

ADHD isn’t simply not being able to focus. Many adults with ADHD can focus very intensely for long periods of time. The problem is in not being able to regulate focus.

Most ADHD adults can’t effectively focus on boring things. And some can’t stop their intense absorption in what fascinates them.

Disorganization and Time Management

It might be the dishes, or the bills, or getting to work on time. ADHD in adults can create a constant state of chaos.

Difficulty focusing on necessary but boring tasks and an unrealistic sense of time can be a constant drain on the resources of the ADHD adult.


Impulsivity might involve being impulsive socially, financially, or in relationship. Breaking into a conversation, breaking up with a partner, breaking the bank to buy something that sparkles – all driven by impulse. And all these areas of life can suffer.

Restlessness and Anxiety

Restlessness seems to be the adult form of the hyperactivity that ADHD children experience. It’s no wonder some symptoms of adult ADHD are very frustrating for the adult. Imagine being revved up to move and not being able to. That urgency tends to come out in small movements as fidgeting or squirming.

Relationship Issues

Relationships as an ADHD adult are difficult. So are relationships with an ADHD adult. In any kind of relationship, ADHD traits can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Understanding ADHD can help.

Substance Misuse

Not every ADHD adult has this problem, but the ADHD population has a higher percentage of “misusers.” The reason is unknown, but the theory that misuse begins in self-medication makes intuitive sense.


Treatment is available, but the symptoms of adult ADHD have to be recognized before the undiagnosed sufferer will know where to look for help.

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