What we now understand is that more than 50% of children with ADHD still meet the criteria of ADHD as adults. Conservatively, ADHD affects 4-5% of the adult population, or over 9 million adults. That’s more than the population of Nevada, Utah and Oregon combined!
Undiagnosed ADHD adults, who experienced social and academic failure as children, are often ADHD adults experiencing job failure or
unemployment. Undiagnosed and untreated impulsive type of ADHD as a child, may lead to adults with unwanted pregnancies, reckless driving , gambling problems, excessive high risk activities, over spending and a criminal record. Undiagnosed children with ADHD who experienced repetitive failures from a brain unable to focus or filter out distractions, may lead to the ADHD adult who lives with a sense of hopelessness, frustration, drug abuse and depression.
It is never too late to get diagnosed and treated. It is never too late to finally understand how your brain works so you can create effective strategies that work with your unique brain style in order to finally get things done. I have had the pleasure of working with people in their 60’s and 70’s just newly diagnosed with ADHD. If you have ADHD, and you understand it, you can begin to make informed choices. Things can change.
So what does ADHD look like in adults? What symptoms, problems or challenges might suggest adult ADHD? The list below is a screening tool called “The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)” and was developed in conjunction with the World Health Organization in 2003. The list provides examples of behaviors and symptoms consistent with adults who have ADHD.
- Difficulty finalizing details of a project
- Poor organizational skills
- Frequently misses appointments (or is late)
- Puts off tasks that require sustained attention
- Often makes careless mistakes
- Prone to temper or anger outbursts
- Easily distracted
- Forgetful and/or loses or misplaces things
- Difficulty concentrating on what people are saying to you
- Poor sense of direction
- Difficult to relax and unwind
- Frequently interrupts others
- Impulsive behavior
- Enjoys high-risk hobbies
- Pattern of broken promises and commitments
- Internal sense of restlessness
- Finds it difficult to wait
If after reading this you find that you experience many of the challenges listed above, I encourage you to seek out a professional skilled in the diagnosis of ADHD, such as a Psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or Nurse practitioner to help answer your next questions.
Let me know what you think! Send me a comment. I look forward to hearing from you soon!