Recognizing Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in Adults


Some of us joke around that we are ADD/ADHD as we find ourselves distracted easily, forgetful, and losing things. Are we really ADD/ADHD or just busy and overwhelmed? ADD/ADHD is not just limited to children; 30 to 70% of children who grow up with it continue to have symptoms as an adult. Also, many adults don’t learn that they have ADD/ADHD until they get help for another problem, such as anxiety, depression, troubles at work, or relationship conflicts.

Some signs of adult ADD/ADHD:
• Being chronically late for work or important events
• Being easily distracted while driving a car
• Often speeding, having accidents, or losing one’s drivers’ license
• Trouble prioritizing, starting, or finishing tasks
• Being disorganized and restless
• Self-control issues, like difficulty controlling anger, impulsive behaviors, and blurting out rude or insulting thoughts
• Able to hyper-focus on enjoyable things while struggling to pay attention to boring tasks
• Depression, anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder
• Smoking, drug abuse, or excessive drinking

Adults with ADHD don’t outgrow the condition, but many learn to manage it successfully. There are tools to help, such as counseling; “organizer” apps on your phone for appointments, tasks, and errands; alarms on your phone with reminders; or Post-it notes at your desk. By getting your own ADD/ADHD under control you will be setting a good example for your children since it can run in the family.

Some experts believe foods that provide quality brain fuel could reduce symptoms of ADD/ADHD. These foods include high-protein foods such as nuts, meat, beans, and eggs to improve concentration. Complex carbs, like whole-grain pasta or brown rice, can help ward off mood swings and stabilize energy levels.

People who think they might be ADD/ADHD should talk to their healthcare professional if they choose to seek treatment.