Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on Jun 22, Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems. Though it's called adult ADHD , symptoms start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. In some cases, ADHD is not recognized or diagnosed until the person is an adult. In adults, hyperactivity may decrease, but struggles with impulsiveness, restlessness and difficulty paying attention may continue.
Adult ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can also be categorized as a mental health condition. It was formerly believed that children outgrew their ADHD symptoms in adolescence but we now know that over sixty percent of adults maintain some of their impairing core symptoms into adulthood. The accepted conservative prevalence rate of adult ADHD is four percent. Symptoms include difficulty with regulating attention being unable to focus for any length of time, hyper-focusing with the inability to break focus, and difficulty with prioritizing focus to a level of impairment and possibly, but not necessarily, hyperactivity and impulsivity. As in childhood, there are three subtypes of ADHD that are determined based on the type of symptoms displayed, including: primarily inattentive formerly known as ADD , combined all three symptoms , and primarily hyperactive extremely rare. Many of the symptoms of the primarily inattentive subtype of ADHD may be internalized, making them more difficult to identify.
Download Fact Sheet. It is important to ultimately gaining control over symptoms that wreak havoc in your life, personally and professionally. Finding a clinician that is especially familiar with ADHD is key to a good diagnosis. Seeking out hospital and University Centers, gaining referrals from your doctor, or getting suggestions from support group members are all ways to start your search. Don't be discouraged if you have to look outside your home town to find someone that meets these qualifications.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults can be hard to spot. However, core symptoms start early in life — before age 12 — and continue into adulthood, creating major problems. Some medical conditions or treatments may cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD. Examples include:.