ADHD (previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder) is a term used to describe a neurodevelopmental disorder which begins at birth and often persists to some degree throughout the lifespan. Although people might associate ADHD with young boys, in reality, it can affect both boys and girls of any age.
As people grow older, symptoms associated with ADHD can change due to the relative maturity of adults, but also physical differences between children and adults. Some will display a mostly ‘inattentive type’, others might have a hyperactive/impulsive type, or a ‘combined type’ involving inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behaviours.
Adults with ADHD may have difficulties with:
- Maintaining focus, which can result in a slow pace at work or unfinished tasks
- Remembering where things were left, such as keys, phone or wallet
- Prioritising tasks
- Sitting or standing still without fidgeting or tapping something
- Sitting for long periods, or waiting in queues
- Thinking things through before acting
- Managing emotions such as frustration and boredom
Diagnosing ADHD in adults can sometimes be challenging as there are a number of conditions that present with similar symptoms, or often co-occur with it. As such, an accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
If you or someone you know has been struggling with inattention or impulsive behaviours, consider booking an appointment with a mental health professional.