ADHD Awareness Day: Can Adults Develop ADHD?

By Wild Ginger

ADHD Awareness Day: Can Adults Develop ADHD?

October 12th, 2021 at 10:26 am

Everyone can feel restless from time to time and find it hard to sit still, pay attention or control impulsive behavior. Many things could cause this agitation, but if your problems with attention, focus and concentration persist and interfere with your daily life, it could be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


ADHD is a common disorder marked by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It affects people of all ages, genders and levels of intelligence. Many adults struggle all their lives with undiagnosed ADHD, which includes forgetting things easily, having a hard time staying motivated, and difficulty knowing how to organize daily life. 


Research shows that ADHD is both highly genetic and a brain-based disorder – not caused by poor parenting or family problems, poor teachers or schools, too much TV, food allergies, or excess sugar. It can be treated with medication, education, skills training and psychological counseling, to minimize the impact it has on your personal and professional life.


What is ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent or ongoing patterns of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning. Those with ADHD may also have difficulties with maintaining attention, executive function and working memory.


What are the symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms can change over time, so adults may exhibit different presentations from when they were children. Some symptoms of adult ADHD are:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Restlessness
  • Disorganisation 
  • Poor time management 
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Easily angered


How is ADHD diagnosed

No two people with the disorder have the same symptoms – some experience mild and easily managed symptoms, others have more noticeable ones. However, displaying symptoms alone is not enough to be diagnosed with ADHD. These symptoms must be chronic, affecting major life areas (work, friends or romantic relationships), but cannot be due to other mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, personality disorder). There is no single test for ADHD, a diagnostic evaluation is conducted by a qualified mental health care professional using a variety of tools.


When To Seek Help

There is no one symptom for knowing when to seek professional help, but most adults who were diagnosed with ADHD did so after the following:

  • Difficulty keeping jobs because they quit or get fired
  • Unable to be on time for appointments
  • Have trouble finishing projects they start
  • Can’t do household chores or remember to
  • Have relationship problems
  • Struggle with stress

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