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The Signs And Symptoms Of ADHD In Adults & How They Can Impact Your Life

Some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they age, but some adults continue to have major symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.


In adults, the main features of ADHD may include difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness.


Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Many adults with ADHD aren’t aware they have it — they just know that everyday tasks can be a challenge.


Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans.


The inability to control impulses can range from impatience in waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger. Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skill
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress


Here are below how ADHD can impact our everyday life.


  1. Compulsive eating

Having ADHD often means you struggle with the ability to set limits on your behaviour (like eating). What’s more, ADHD often lowers your level of dopamine, the hormone involved in your brain’s pleasure center. Gorging on food is a way to temporarily raise your dopamine levels and get that good feeling again.


  1. Anxiety

Worry that won’t go away and keeps you from living your life like you want to is a sign of anxiety. About half of adults with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Sometimes your ADHD symptoms cause that on-edge feeling. When that’s the case, treating your ADHD also helps your anxiety.


  1. Substance Misuse

The same “thrill-seeking” behavior that leads to out-of-control eating can play a role in the overuse and misuse of drugs and alcohol. Doctors think there may be a link between ADHD and drug or alcohol use disorders.


  1. Chronic Stress

Your ADHD symptoms can be stressful. It’s likely that your stress level stays up for longer than most when you have the disorder. Over time, stress can lead to other issues like: Muscle tension and pain, breathing problems, heart issues, trouble controlling your blood sugar and digestion issues


  1. Sleep Problems

ADHD can affect your ZZZs. It raises your chances of snoring, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome (an urge to move your legs when you’re at rest). It can also throw off your body’s internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. That means your sleeping gets out of sync with the natural rising and setting of the sun. That can make you struggle to fall asleep and wake up at regular times.


  1. Employment Problems

Though all workplaces are different, most expect you to be organized, on time, attentive, focused, and do the work you’re asked to do. ADHD can make all of these harder. As a result, you may not be able to live up to your employer’s expectations. So it may be a struggle to keep a job.


  1. Trouble with Deadlines

ADHD can make you forgetful and distracted. You’re also likely to have trouble with time management because of your problems with focus. All of these symptoms can lead to missed due dates for work, school, and personal projects.


  1. Impulsive Spending

Buying things just because you want to gives you a brief boost in those “feel-good” hormones. But that can come at a price. You may find yourself with a drained bank account or bad credit from all of your unplanned spending.


  1. Financial Issues

Dropping deadlines and having risky spending practices are just two of the things that raise the chance you’ll leave bills unpaid. You also have to keep up with paper statements and your check-book — two tasks that are much harder when your ADHD symptoms aren’t under control.


  1. Screen Addiction

It’s true that ADHD makes it hard to keep focus. But when it comes to smartphones, video games, and televisions, your attention can get hooked by the constant change of images, comments, graphics, and games. Your brain craves the reward it gets when you’re on a screen, which can make it hard to tear yourself away.


  1. Sexual Problems

If your ADHD symptoms show up during sex, they can really dampen the mood. Your mind can wander off your partner and the overall experience. Lack of patience can keep you from going the distance. You also need good communication for a healthy sex life, and that may be a struggle for you.


  1. Relationship Problems

It’s common for couples to struggle with communication when ADHD is part of the relationship, especially if you aren’t treating your symptoms. It may feel like you’re constantly nagged by your partner as they try to deal with certain traits of yours, like forgetfulness or lack of focus.


  1. Emotional Outburst

One way ADHD affects your brain is that it makes it harder for you to control how you respond to things. You could explode in anger or lash out in annoyance or impatience. It can also be why you worry so much over minor things.


If any of the symptoms listed above continually disrupt your life, talk to your doctor about whether you might have ADHD. Different types of healthcare professionals may diagnose and supervise treatment for ADHD. Seek a provider who has training and experience in caring for adults with ADHD.