Last updated on August 7th, 2023.
Untreated ADHD can interfere with everyday life and keep you from accomplishing your goals. It is a disorder that is more commonly diagnosed in children, but adults can also have it.
The most common symptom of adult ADHD is the inability to focus. Still, you may also experience symptoms such as fatigue and forgetfulness. ADHD can make it challenging to be productive at work or school.
When you have ADHD (considered as a non-medical term to be neurodivergent in the way it works, you may also have difficulty starting and finishing tasks. Take a look at this article and find out seven common adult ADHD symptoms.
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What Can Trigger ADHD in Adults?
ADHD is frequently thought of as a problem that only affects children, which is not valid. ADHD is a treatable condition that many adults have. Many adult ADHD diagnoses are for adults who were not diagnosed as children because of a lack of pressure to perform and a protected environment.
With the demands of adulthood and pressure to perform academically, on the job, or in life in general, symptoms can emerge from specific prompts. Some of these triggers may not exist if the ADHD was diagnosed and treated before age 12 and into adulthood. The following are a few triggers:
Poor sleep habits harm cognitive function, and many adults get less than six hours of sleep each night. This amount is not acceptable because most adults should be getting eight hours of sleep each night. Inadequate sleep leads to decreased alertness and concentration and increased stress levels.
If you are chronically sleep-deprived, you could be damaging your brain. The lack of sleep can precipitate ADHD symptoms, even creating the problem altogether. When you do not sleep enough, your mood and performance can drastically nosedive, and you can begin to see aggravated ADHD symptoms.
Medication Side Effects
Many medications for bipolar and schizophrenia can cause side effects that can worsen ADHD and sometimes even create a severe problem with concentration. One of the significant side effects of some mental health medications is that they can cause brain fog, which is when you feel it is difficult to perform certain tasks requiring a certain level of cognitive function.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause concentration issues. Certain nutritional deficiencies can cause different symptoms.
- Cognitive difficulties
- Memory problems
- Extreme fatigue
- Heartbeat irregularities
- Pale skin
Many of these symptoms can worsen or mimic ADHD in adults. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Lack of Exercise
Lack of regular exercise does not only affect your physical health but also your mental health. It can also compromise your overall well-being. Many negative symptoms can occur with a lack of exercise
- Memory problems
- Decreased motivation
- Lowered focus and attention
- Fatigue or decreased functioning
You should try to get at about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days of the week, even if it is something as simple as taking a walk outside. You will feel better, and your ADHD symptoms will not be as challenging to overcome.
Not Taking Medication Exactly as Prescribed
Taking your medication as prescribed will give you a better outcome than if you miss doses or take too much or too little. If you take your medications as prescribed, your ADHD symptoms should be kept under control. If you fail to use medications appropriately, it can result in negative consequences:
- Substance use disorders
- Untreated ADHD
- Serious health conditions
Some people do not like to take medications for their ADHD, as they can have some undesirable side effects. Some natural supplements are good for motivation and focus. Certain foods can also help with mental clarity and concentration.
Whether you take medication for ADHD is your choice. If you choose to try a medication for ADHD, you should speak with your doctor about the right ADHD medication. Whatever you and your doctor select, make sure you follow their instructions and take your medication correctly.
How do You Check for ADHD in Adults?
When your primary care doctor checks for ADHD, they will obtain their information from various sources. They may refer you to certain professionals like:
- Clinical psychologist
When you are tested for ADHD, you will likely need psychological testing. They will need to see if your symptoms match the criteria for ADHD. You may also be checked to see if you have a learning disability. Your physician will also be able to rule out certain conditions, like a thyroid disorder that could be mimicking ADHD.
The doctor will also ask pertinent questions to find out about your history. They will need to know about your childhood to see if signs point toward an ADHD diagnosis. Based on the information presented, you could be diagnosed with either the hyperactive, impulsive form of ADHD, the inattentive type or they may determine that you do not have ADHD.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD, your physician will likely suggest treatment and medication to help you. They may also offer you some practical advice concerning how to manage your behavior.
7 Common Adult ADHD Symptoms
Untreated ADHD can cause many problems in your life and may disrupt your daily activities. It can also be challenging to learn new things when your symptoms occur. There are many common symptoms of adult ADHD. In this article, we will discuss seven of them.
1. Inability to Concentrate
The inability to concentrate is the most common symptom of adult ADHD. There are many ways that lack of concentration can manifest:
- Being easily distracted
- Unable to pay attention during conversation
- Not paying attention to details
- Inability to complete tasks or projects
The inability to focus can be a very frustrating symptom that most people with ADHD have the biggest problem with. It is the number one reason many people choose to go on ADHD medication.
Someone with ADHD may have more problems with organizational skills than people who do not have the disorder. It can make specific tasks difficult, and it can be challenging to keep things in order. If you struggle to follow lists or keep your desk from becoming cluttered, you could have ADHD.
3. Difficulty with Directions
Many people who have ADHD struggle when it comes to directions. About one half of all people with ADHD also have learning disabilities. ADHD and learning disabilities are both associated with neurodevelopment. It can be a challenge for those with ADHD to understand directions.
4. Risky Behaviors
Many people who have ADHD have problems with certain unsafe or risky behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse. These behaviors involve the neurotransmitters in the brain. Someone may choose to dabble in drugs, for example, if they are subconsciously trying to raise low levels of dopamine.
5. Fatigue at Work
It takes a lot of energy to concentrate hard enough to get your work done when you have ADHD. It can lead to profound exhaustion. Mental fatigue is also a common sign of a sleep disorder, another common symptom of ADHD. It can leave you feeling empty, like you have nothing to give.
Many people who have ADHD have forgetfulness. Memory can be a challenge. It may be helpful to make notes more often if you find yourself having trouble with memory. This tip can help prevent you from getting into trouble at work or having issues with memorization in school.
7. Restlessness and Anxiety
Anxiety is a frequent symptom of ADHD, as your mind may repeatedly go over problems or situations. You may find it challenging to sit still and watch a movie, or you might fidget a lot. An adult that has ADHD may be restless. You may:
- Move around a lot
- Tap your hands or feet
- Shift in your seat or have difficulty getting comfortable
- Not being able to sit still
If you are hyperactive with ADHD, the above symptoms are prevalent.
ADHD can be a very challenging disorder to deal with. Although it is more common to find children with ADHD, adults can also suffer from it. If you encounter any or all of the above indicators, you may need to be tested for ADHD. Treatment and medication have helped many people take charge of their lives.