Easily Distracted or Something More? Warning Signs of Adult ADHD

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Have you ever been caught not paying attention during a conversation? Or what about being so engrossed in something that you forget about everything and everyone around you—even when they’re trying to get your attention? Chances are it’s happened a few times over the course of your life and at least one of those times was met with a joke about having some kind of attention deficit disorder (ADD). It’s easy to laugh off, but how do you know that those moments of distraction or being unable to concentrate are normal and not a sign of something else?

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Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is often called attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity, is a mental health condition that can cause a lot of the symptoms that we often blow off as “just being tired” or chalk up to a bad day. This is actually the reason that ADHD often goes undiagnosed even after years of symptoms.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of ADHD can help you figure out whether or not what you’re experiencing is something you should talk to your doctor about.

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Signs and Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of adult ADHD:

  • difficulty focusing or concentrating

  • restlessness

  • hyperactivity

  • anxiety

  • impulsivity

  • forgetfulness

  • poor decision making

  • mood swings

  • quick temper

  • disorganization

  • poor time management

  • issues coping with stress

  • problems maintaining relationships

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What Sets ADHD Apart From Plain Old Scatterbrain?

You might look at the list of signs and symptoms and recall experiencing most of them at one time or another. We all have, really. What sets someone with ADHD apart is that the symptoms are disruptive and interfere with various aspects of their lives on a consistent basis.

ADHD can make your work and home life difficult for you and those around you. At work, your disorganization and lack of focus can make it hard to meet deadlines, retain important information, or even just get any work done. These things, combined with irritability and a quick temper can lead to strained relationships with colleagues.

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Talk to Your Doctor

At home your symptoms can be just as disruptive to your routine and make it hard to pay bills or keep a healthy relationship with your partner or family members.

If you find that any of the signs and symptoms we covered are an ongoing problem in your life, then talk to your doctor about what you’ve been experiencing. They could be the result of another mental health issue other than ADHD, or even a medical condition like a thyroid disorder.

Your doctor will be able to refer you to a specialist that can properly diagnose or rule out ADHD.