Attention Deficiency Hypersensitivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder with three distinct subtypes: inattentive, hyperactive, and combined type. A study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that over 60% of children with ADHD in the US continued to have the disorder into their adulthood.
Some of the most symptoms of ADHD include restlessness, disorganization, and an inability to focus. But there are many other symptoms of ADHD you should be on the lookout for so you know how best to diagnose the disorder.
Symptoms of ADHD
There are many typical symptoms of ADHD you should be aware of. It is also worth noting that not everyone will show all these symptoms. Moreover, the disorder affects people differently and is specific to each person.
In this post, we will discuss the 14 common signs and symptoms of ADHD you should be aware of. Keep reading.
1. Lack of Focus
This is one of the most telltale symptoms of ADHD you should watch out for. Lack of focus simply goes beyond finding it difficult to pay attention. It can mean anything from being easily distracted to overlooking details, not completing tasks, and having difficulty listening to other people in a conversation.
At other times, you tune out completely and forget what you were doing initially. This is a clear sign of ADHD.
The flip side of lacking focus is being hyperfocused. People with ADHD can get so engrossed in what they are doing that they zone out everything else around them. However, this kind of focus can just as easily make you lose focus on other more important and more pressing tasks that need your attention.
3. Time Management Concerns
Often, people with ADHD find it hard to manage their time effectively. They tend to procrastinate a lot, especially on tasks, show up late for events, and even ignore tasks they deem boring.
A person with ADHD may also have trouble focusing on past or future events. The “now” is always more on top of their minds than everything else.
You will hardly find a person with ADHD who isn’t impulsive. And the more interesting fact is that their impulsiveness can manifest in different ways, including rushing through tasks, being socially inappropriate, acting without thinking about the consequences, interrupting others during conversations, and more.
A person with ADHD is also more likely to purchase items impulsively, especially things they cannot afford or don’t need.
5. Negative Self-Image
Most times, ADHD people self-ridicule themselves and are hypercritical of every part of their body. This can lead to having a negative self-image, which is due, in part, to their difficulty concentrating.
But having a negative self-image can affect other aspects of your life, such as your school, work, and even relationships. Certain difficulties like personal failures and underachievement can make you be even more hypercritical of yourself.
6. Restlessness and Anxiety
Nothing feels as frustrating as feeling like your internal motor won’t let you handle certain tasks. You want to keep moving and perform certain tasks, but your internal motor won’t allow you. This can be very frustrating, making you become restless and anxious.
Some common signs of restlessness and anxiety for people with ADHD include:
- Shifting in their seat
- Moving around frequently
- Finding difficulty sitting still
- Tapping their hands or feet uncontrollably
7. Physical Health Concerns
Most people with ADHD tend to neglect their physical health. Other ADHD symptoms can contribute to these people neglecting their physical health, which may deteriorate if left unchecked. These ADHD symptoms include impulsivity, disorganization, lack of motivation, neglecting exercise, and compulsively eating.
Stress and anxiety can also have negative effects, worsening other symptoms.
8. Substance Misuse
While substance abuse may not affect all ADHD patients, it can cause significant damage. Substance abuse may involve the use of alcohol, tobacco, penicillin, and other drugs. And while the research still isn’t detailed on the link between ADHD and substance abuse, the theory is that ADHD patients self-medicate using drugs. They misuse substances in the hope of improving sleep, improving focus, and relieving anxiety.
People with ADHD tend to have more challenging life experiences, which make it difficult to have everything organized. A person with ADHD will find it difficult to manage his/her organizational skills. It becomes increasingly difficult to prioritize tasks logically and keep track of tasks.
While it is quite normal to forget things occasionally, people with ADHD are more prone to it. To these people, forgetfulness tends to be second nature. And this may include routinely forgetting where you put things or important dates for events.
Forgetfulness can be so bothersome to the point that it causes serious disruptions in your life and of your colleagues. In more serious cases, it can affect relationships and careers, which can be very frustrating and stressful.
11. Emotional Concerns
Living with ADHD isn’t easy. Although your emotions are always in flux, you can become bored quite easily and end up chasing excitement on a whim. Suddenly, small frustrations seem intolerable and might even shift your mood and bring depression.
When left untreated, emotional concerns can complicate both your personal and professional relationships.
12. Lack of Motivation
Many people with ADHD also tend to suffer from a lack of motivation. This can be a major concern, especially in children who find it difficult to focus on their schoolwork. Coupled with procrastination, an unmotivated ADHD patient will find it hard to finish projects.
You won’t have the same zeal to work on projects as other people would.
Fatigue is also a major concern for many people with ADHD. And it’s no surprise because these people tend to be hyperactive most of the time. A person with ADHD can easily suffer from fatigue from lack of sleep, side effects of ADHD medication, and even the constant effort to focus on tasks.
Whatever the cause, too much fatigue could worsen attention difficulties and even cause more health problems.
14. Relationship Concerns
Almost everyone with ADHD has trouble keeping and maintaining relationships, whether it is romantic, professional, or platonic. These people can lash out at any moment, then suddenly withdraw and remain completely silent. You never know when their mood suddenly changes, and they don’t want you around anymore.
As such, you find that many people with ADHD come across as insensitive, uncaring, and irresponsible. And while these traits can easily drive other people away from their lives, it is important to try and understand their situation.
People with ADHD can be inattentive, easily bored, or take over other people’s conversations, which other people find annoying.
Although there’s no known cure for ADHD, some researchers have shown that a combination of certain medication and psychological therapies can be effective in helping alleviate some of these symptoms. Schedule an appointment with your doctor today if you suspect that you have ADHD and feel your behavior may negatively affect your quality of life and those of people around you.
A professional healthcare provider can help you get the right treatment to improve your quality of life and help you live with other people comfortably.