Adults get ADHD too

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not just a childhood condition. Some people had it as a child and now have it as an adult. But if they never got a diagnosis of ADHD as a child, they may not know they have it.


People who have ADHD find it hard to pay attention. They can also have trouble controlling impulses.


Trouble with attention

Everyone has trouble focusing sometimes. But a person may have ADHD if they often:

•  Ignore details or make careless mistakes

•  Have trouble staying on task

•  Are easily distracted

•  Don’t listen when someone talks to them

•  Don’t follow instructions or complete tasks

•  Are disorganized, messy or can’t manage their time

•  Lose things like keys, wallet or phone

•  Forget to do tasks and activities

•  Avoid or dislike tasks that require attention and focus


Hyperactivity & impulse control

People with ADHD may also have hyperactivity and impulsivity. Signs include:

•  Blurting things out or interrupting

•  Fidgeting or squirming

•  Inability to wait in lines

•  Talking too much

•  Being restless or unable to sit down for long

•  Inability to enjoy quiet, leisurely time



Adults who have ADHD may be able to improve their symptoms with home care. Try these tips:

•  Keep a routine each day, including consistent wake and bed times.

•  Make lists for tasks and activities you want to get done each day and check them off as you do them.

•  Have a special place for your keys, wallet and other important items.

•  Break down large tasks into small, manageable steps.

•  Consider joining an online or in-person ADHD support group for adults.


Seeing a doctor

ADHD appears during childhood. You would only be diagnosed with ADHD if you had symptoms before age 12. If symptoms only happened during adulthood, it is not likely to be ADHD. There are treatments available for adults, including therapy and medicine. If you have ADHD, it’s important to see your doctor regularly. They can help you manage symptoms and the demands of daily life.


Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians, National Institute of Mental Health

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