Have you ever heard "you have so much potential" or "all you need to do is work harder and stay focused?" These are common questions not only asked of people with ADHD but often thought by people with ADHD. 

Did you know that comedians Jim Carrey and Robin Williams, singer/actor Justin Timberlake, actor Will Smith, Entrepreneur and Visionary Walt Disney, athlete's Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and even Albert Einstein all were diagnosed with ADHD.  

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a psychological condition that begins in early childhood and frequently persists into adulthood. Although it is more prevalent in childhood with an estimated 7-8% of children being diagnosed in the United States with ADHD, approximately 4-5% of adults are diagnosed with the condition. In general, males have a higher prevalence rate of the disorder than women.

There are three broad sets of symptoms associated with ADHD: inattention and distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is not necessary to have symptoms from all three areas to meet criteria for ADHD and many adults experience primarily the cognitive symptoms of inattention and distractibility. The hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms are more common in males and are typically more severe earlier in childhood.

In addition to these primary symptoms, many children with ADHD experience secondary problems, including significant academic difficulties during their early school years and/or interpersonal difficulties with peers. 

10 signs of Adult ADHD 

No. 1: Trouble Getting Organized

For people with ADHD, the responsibilities of adulthood -- bills, class, and work, to name a few -- can make problems with organization more obvious and more problematic than in childhood.

No. 2: RECKLESS DRIVING and Traffic Accidents

ADHD makes it hard to keep your attention on a task, so spending time behind the wheel of a car can be hard. ADHD SYMPTOMS can make some people more likely to speed, have traffic accidents, and lose their driver’s licenses.

No. 3: Marital or Relationship Trouble

Many people without ADHD have marital or relationship problems, so a troubled relationship shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a red flag for ADULT ADHD. But there are some problems that are likely to affect the relationships of those with ADHD. Often, the partners of people with undiagnosed ADHD take poor listening skills and an inability to honor commitments as a sign that their partner doesn’t care. If you’re the person with ADHD, you may not understand why your partner is upset, and you may feel you’re being nagged or blamed for something that’s not your fault.

No. 4: Extremely Distractible

ADHD is a problem with attention, so ADULT ADHD can make it hard to succeed in today’s fast-paced, hustle-bustle world. Many people find that distractibility can lead to a history of career under-performance, esoecially in school.  If you have adult ADHD, you might find that phone calls or email derails your attention, making it hard for you to finish tasks.

No. 5: Poor Listening Skills

Do you zone out during long business meetings? Did you forget to pick up something, even though you were reminded several times by someone. Problems with attention result in poor listening skills in many adults with ADHD, leading to a lot of missed appointments and misunderstandings.

No. 6: Restlessness, Trouble Relaxing

While many children with ADHD are “hyperactive,” this ADHD symptom often appears differently in adults. Rather than bouncing off the walls, adults with ADHD are more likely to be restless or find they can’t relax. If you have ADULT ADHD, others might describe you as edgy or tense.

No. 7: Trouble Starting a Task

Students with ADHD often put off doing homework, people with adult ADHD often drag their feet when starting tasks that require a lot of attention. This procrastination often adds to existing problems, including relationship disagreements, workplace issues, and problems with friends or parents.

No. 8: Lateness

There are many reasons for this. First, adults with ADHD are  often distracted on the way to an event, maybe realizing the car needs to be washed and then noticing they’re low on gas, and before they know it an hour has gone by. People with ADULT ADHD also tend to underestimate how much time it takes to finish a task, whether it’s a major assignment at work or a simple home repair.

No. 9: Angry Outbursts

ADHD often leads to problems with controlling emotions. Many people with ADULT ADHD are quick to explode over minor issues or apparently "under react" to major ones.  This often leads to the perception that you don't care about things other do or that you are defensive.  Often, they feel as if they have no control over their emotions. Many times, their anger fades as quickly as it flared, long before the people who dealt with the outburst have gotten over the incident.

No. 10: Prioritizing Issues

Often, people with ADULT ADHD mis-prioritize, failing to meet big obligations, like a deadline at work, while spending countless hours on something insignificant, such as getting a higher score on a video game.

If you believe that you may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD you can contact the Counseling Center at 581-3413 to talk with a counselor who can assist you in deciding how you can find out.  You can also check out these organizations for more information about ADHD and what you can do to get help.  

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

ADDitude Magazine