ADHD in adults

Symptoms and forms

Adults with ADHD often remain unrecognized. Often, adults realize that they have ADHD when they learn that their children suffer from it. Contrary to the previous opinion that ADHD "fuses" over time, we know today that up to two thirds of young people take ADHD into adulthood. However, the diagnosis is now only made in every tenth affected adult.

In contrast to childhood, where classic symptoms mainly appear, the manifestation of ADHD in adults differs widely. Hyperactivity occurs, in this stage of life, mostly in the background and is replaced by a strong inner feeling of restlessness.

Chaos reigns

Adults with ADHD are often very disorganized, not concentrated, distracted and forgetful, and they find it hard to distinguish between important and unimportant things. They quickly lose track of what they do and they cause their environment, even though they do not want to, to become chaotic as well.

Similar to children with AHDH, adults respond, above all, to intense external stimuli. They become violent, angry or irritated. Enduring an event or situation that arises, usually seems very hard to them. Instead, they are rather erratic and often act out of the moment, without considering the consequences of their actions.

The psyche is affected

However, adults with ADHD do not normally make an appointment with their doctor in the case of classic symptoms such as failure to concentrate and impulsiveness, rather because of the side effects: mood swings, depression, or anxiety. These are among the typical manifestations that affected adults have. One moment they are euphoric, and the next they fall into an emotional depression. This is an aspect 40% of those affected suffer from, and their emotional life is like a roller coaster ride.

The body’s reaction

Due to these mental disorders and the therefore related emotional stress, ADHD can also lead to physical symptoms, such as high blood pressure and diabetes or psychosomatic illnesses, such as headaches, feelings of anxiety, palpitations, or restless leg syndrome.

Adults with ADHD are at an increased risk of developing an eating disorder and substance abuse problem. This is most commonly with alcohol, drugs, nicotine and medications. 

The performance is affected

Although people with ADHD often have high intellectual abilities, problems such as a reading and writing disability remain partially in adulthood.