Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder, which means it begins in childhood. Due to this fact, it is thought to be a child’s disorder. This extremely common condition is usually diagnosed in childhood, but it is not a disorder that stops when a child hits 18. For most, ADHD is a lifelong disorder that affects many different areas of executive functioning. The core symptoms cluster around difficulties with attention, impulse control, and managing hyperactivity, depending on the subtype.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 1 in 10 children have ADHD, and 4% of all adults, more of which are men, are also affected. As time has gone on, more adults who weren’t identified in childhood are getting diagnosed. They are receiving the help that comes with the diagnosis. Often, adults with ADHD struggle with employment, relationships, and handling daily responsibilities. If most of the signs below resonate with you, share your symptoms with your doctor. This article doesn’t guarantee you have ADHD, nor can it refute your diagnosis. So, what are some signs your struggles may be ADHD?
#1 You Go To The Bathroom, Often
The bathroom is your second home. When you are at work or any other place and you go to the bathroom even when you don’t have to, this could be a sign of ADHD. Adults with ADHD often feel as if they need to move. Many say they feel as if they are driven by a motor. Meetings and long presentations can be hard for you to tolerate because of this need to move. While some will just fidget, you may get up and burn off some of the extra energy at the water fountain or bathroom. It can be hard for you to settle down.
#2 You Interrupt A Lot
Talker McTalkPants is taking forever to get to the point. Again, how did you forget he hangs around the water fountain at 3 pm? Do you wait until he finishes, interrupt him, or finish his sentences for him? If you do either of the last two, this is common behavior for a guy with ADHD.
If you know that sheer impatience isn’t the culprit, your tendency to interrupt may also be related to your working memory. Some researchers say that adults with ADHD may have issues holding information before applying it. So, you may interrupt because you will forget your response by the time McTalkPants finally gets to his point.
#3 Waiting May Just Kill You
Because you get so riled up when you have to wait for anything, it just may be the death of you. Delaying gratification, or waiting for what you want, can be really hard for adults with ADHD. Researchers say people with ADHD may have atypical activation in the areas of their brain related to rewards, which can make waiting tough. In your life, this may manifest as impulse purchases, constant refreshing of your Facebook page to see your “likes”, and road rage.
#4 Starting New Hobbies Is Your Favorite Hobby
Note the operative word is “start”. You may start a lot of hobbies but may not get too far in the mastery of any of them. After the novelty has worn off, you may drop that hobby like a cup of broccoli and liver. With your love for adventure, you are always looking for fun, new things.
How do you know if this describes you? Head to your closet and open it. If your closet is packed with items from different hobbies–rackets, baseball bats, skis, art supplies– you may have adult ADHD. If you drop one or two hobbies because they grow boring, that’s typical, but when this hobby hopping becomes habitual, you should look further into it.
#5 Road Rage Is Real
If you find yourself flipping off motorists on the road, this may be a sign of adult ADHD. When you are prone to this behavior, it is often a sign of impatience, frustration, and anger. You may be running late after having an unpleasantly rushed morning and your temper is right on the edge. Just one cruiser in front of you could push you off the cliff and out will come the bird, violent honking, and steering wheel whipping. This scenario is quite common with adults who have ADHD.
#6 If Procrastination Paid, You’d Be A Gazillionaire
An extremely common scenario for people with ADHD is procrastinating. It tends to rule their lives. If you spend 30 days of a month-long assignment avoiding the task, you may have adult ADHD. People with ADHD often wait until they have absolutely no time left and then find the task will take a lot longer than expected. Whether you are starting late because you didn’t feel like it or your files were extremely disorganized, procrastination can cause a lot of undue stress and worry.
#7 Priorities Are Difficult
Rather than get started on tasks, people with ADHD may spend lots of time avoiding boring tasks and sometimes even tasks they enjoy. If you begin emptying your wallet or cleaning your desk when you have something more important to do, stop, and set an alarm for 10 minutes. Begin the work you need to do.
With a smaller time frame, it is often easier to get cracking. Because you know you don’t have to work for hours you may feel more comfortable getting some of the work completed. When you get the first parts of a project done, it can motivate you to keep going or finish later in the day. Sometimes, the problem is getting started.
#8 Mood Changes
You may experience extreme highs and lows, though not have a mood disorder. ADHD also may come with emotional regulation issues. If you have been diagnosed with a mood disorder and are seeing no improvements with typical treatment, discuss the possibility of ADHD with your doctor. ADHD is often accompanied by anxiety or depression.
How are you feeling after reading these signs? Relieved, shocked, meh? ADHD in adults is very real and can impact your life in many ways. If you are struggling, seek help. This article cannot confirm a self-diagnosis, only a trained professional can.