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!
Wow, I have everything on this list except to high risk hobbies. I got tired of people making comments such as ” A little ADHD there” I hope my family doc can help.
Hi Debra! Thanks for the comment. It is common for people with undiagnosed ADHD to have most…but not all of the above “adult ADHD symptoms.” Starting with your family doc is a great step! Maybe take in this list and show him how many of them you do experience. I hope he can help. If not…don’t give up…keep asking until someone listens. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes. ~Laurie Dupar
I just discovered you website. Wow! I was just recently diagnosed with ADHD. I read all this blogs and kind of chuckle at how many of these symptoms I have, ike right now I not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. This is great stuff I look forward to reading more of it and learning more.
whoa read my mind anyone, i have never heard my life so well described i ahve every single sympton on this list, after 3 years of being non medicated and a business which i started on a whim which is about to go bankrupt, i am finally going back to see my psychiatrist i cant live like this anymore i am 30 and want to achieve thing in life instead of starting/stopping starting something new stopping,thats what my life seems to be, its funnt i thought about the waiting thing and only just realised i ahte to wait if i go into a take out shop and there is anymore than 3 people ill just leave. All my life i also have done very high risk stuff raced motorcycles rode them very fast and unsafely on the road, used alcohol, speed and gambling excessivley became addicted, and now am struggling with a codeine addiction of all things. Cant say my life hasnt been coloerful. I will get there as soon as my bankruptcy is processed.
Hi Damon! I am glad you found the article helpful. Being aware of having ADD/ADHD can be relieving to many people. Seeing how it has affected your life. I would even guess that your current addiction is related to the ADHD. Things can be different! REally! You sound like someone with goals and ambition, I would have to see that untapped. Keep in touch. Let me know how it goes..most warmly, Laurie Dupar
My life centers entirely around compensating for ADD. I don’t date, and will never marry or have kids. I keep cash onhand for my car repair bills and high insurance premiums by living as cheaply as possible, never taking vacations,and doing without. Feels like “running to stand still” most of the time.
I try to be greatful, but I’m already exhausted.
anonymous, you are not alone.
sometimes life or God gives us what we can handle. we are special and thrive with the right people around. i messed up my right person too many times.
while it would be nice to be on time at a party or not forget important appointments, we are usually smarter than those who keep the calendar. sometimes we just don’t believe enough.
take care. don’t stay home. good things happen when we finally make it out.