ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is well-documented in children. It was first described in the mid 19th century by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman, a German physician, in a series of books he wrote for children. “Fidgety Phil”, a character loosely based on patients in his clinic, exhibited symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, while “Johnny Head-in-the-Air”, inspired by another patient, showed signs of distractibility. It wasn’t until 1902 that patients with the disorder were documented in medical literature.
Adult ADHD is less well documented. It is in many ways more hidden in adults than it is in children. Symptoms in children tend to be more overt. Children, in general, have fewer boundaries and fewer constraints on their behavior than adults. Those with ADHD are even less constrained. Adult ADHD symptoms, on the other hand, are more subtle, less outwardly apparent, and less easily diagnosed. Click here
Researchers generally believe that ADHD does not develop in adults. Only adults who were symptomatic as children exhibit any symptoms of ADHD. Studies indicate that about 60% of children carry their symptoms into adulthood, with about half of them
exhibiting symptoms that create significant challenges in their everyday lives. Adults who were diagnosed with ADHD as children, therefore, have a better understanding of what is happening to them. pramiracetam vs noopept
It is estimated, however, that only about 25% of children with ADHD are diagnosed and fewer are treated. Boys are diagnosed more frequently than girls, possibly because hyperactivity in boys is more disruptive. Girls who are distracted are often just thought of as daydreamers. The ratio evens out in adulthood. Adults with ADHD who were not diagnosed as children will often wonder what is wrong with them, bewildered by their own actions.
The basic symptoms of ADHD – impulsivity, distractibility or inattentiveness, and hyperactivity – are the same in both children and adults. Symptoms in adults are more internalized, however. Hyperactivity is not nearly as common in adults as it is in children. Adults who do suffer from hyperactivity will often feel restless and agitated, finding it difficult to relax, instead of the constant motion of children. Inattentiveness, on the other hand, tends to worsen and create greater difficulties as the pressures and complexities of everyday life increase.
There is no generally accepted list of adult symptoms of ADHD. Researchers are in agreement that childhood symptoms cannot be applied to the adult manifestation of the disorder. There is significant agreement, however, among experts that the following list of symptoms is often associated with ADHD in adults:
- lack of organization
- beginning new tasks without finishing old ones
- moodiness, irritability, and a quick temper
- talking over someone else or interrupting them
- risky behavior without regard for the safety of themselves or others
- lack of patience
- lack of social skills when speaking with others
- lack of focus
- inability to set priorities
- inability to cope with stress
- constantly losing or misplacing things
Not every adult with ADHD has all these symptoms nor do they all suffer from them to the same degree, but anyone who recognizes themselves in this list should seek advice from a professional trained to diagnose and support adults with ADHD.