When most people think of ADHD, they imagine someone who’s fidgety and can’t concentrate on a task for very long. And while that’s generally true, some symptoms of the disorder are much more difficult to notice. In fact, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (especially in adults) can manifest in some pretty uncommon ways.
That’s why many adults don’t realize they’ve got ADD or ADHD until long after childhood. Their uncanny ability to adapt to their lifestyle despite the disorder is ripe for research. Meanwhile, some adults are high-functioning members of society whose ADHD symptoms affect them in ways that aren’t necessarily tied to the condition itself.
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” and is generally characterized by impulse behaviors and/or an inability to focus. The signs usually manifest in early childhood and can persist into adulthood, especially if they’re ignored. More than 3 million people get diagnosed with this disorder each year, meaning you’re not alone if you think you have it too.
Anyone with a brain can experience trouble concentrating. So, merely losing concentration during a task isn’t the only sign. Usually, ADHD is accompanied by irritability, absent-mindedness, boredom, and even mood swings. So, while you may be able to pay attention for long periods of time, your lifelong adaptability may have made it more difficult to notice the signs.
Can adults have ADHD?
Anyone can have attention deficit hyperactive disorder regardless of their age, gender, profession, lifestyle, childhood, education level, or religious background. Plus, not all cases begin in early life. ADHD can develop at any time and for many different reasons. So, adults can suffer from the symptoms just as much as children can.
Determining whether you have ADHD can be difficult, especially if you’re only looking for the telltale signs. Because many of the symptoms aren’t blatantly obvious, some people are forced to conduct a self-assessment to evaluate their mental health. To learn more about adult ADHD or to find out if you have it, visit https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/adhd-test.
6 uncommon symptoms of ADHD in adults
It’s normal to feel jittery, irritable, and unfocused if you have ADHD as an adult or child. However, there are a few uncommon symptoms that you should be aware of too. So, here are the top 6 strangest things to watch for:
1. Stammering or Stuttering
If you frequently have trouble spitting out what you mean, it could be a sign that you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Your brain essentially gets overwhelmed and confused while you’re trying to speak, making it hard to communicate thoughts and emotions with fluidity.
2. Fatigue During Tasks
People with ADHD often lose motivation and lack energy during mundane tasks. That’s especially true if they’re working on things that require long periods of concentration or memory recall. Instead of getting busy, they get tired and sleepy from overstimulating their senses.
3. Extreme Intermittent Focus
Adults with this condition can also become hyper-focused on specific details. If they’re particularly interested in or skilled at something, they’ll often zoom in and forget about their other responsibilities. In fact, it’s sometimes described as having a “one track mind.”
4. Left and Right Confusion
Some people with ADHD struggle to tell the difference between left and right directions. It’s actually a form of dyslexia and it affects many adults without them realizing the connection. Meanwhile, nearly 50% of all people with this disorder have been diagnosed with a learning disability too.
5. Relationship Instability
ADHD symptoms can make it hard to maintain healthy relationships, especially if you’re unaware of the symptoms or ignore them altogether. One major sign that there’s a problem is your inability to commit to a partner. You always feel like keeping your options open instead of settling down.
6. Sexual Promiscuity
An unwillingness to settle down or stay in a relationship may play a role in your sexual appetites and subsequent behaviors. According to experts, adults with ADHD are more likely to engage in promiscuous lifestyles than those who can buckle down and concentrate on complex ideals.
An adult can live with an attention deficit disorder for many years without ever realizing there’s a problem. They may even get misdiagnosed by a doctor because they’re unaware of their ADHD symptoms. So, reach out to a mental health guru if you have questions about your behaviors or impulses.
DID YOU KNOW: You can channel your hyperactivity and extreme focus into something positive and productive with the right ADHD coping mechanisms.
How to get help with adult ADHD
Untreated or ignored attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults can cause serious problems. It may damage family relations, limit educational or professional opportunities, or even reduce your emotional IQ (EQ). Therefore, it’s crucial to seek counseling and/or treatment if you suspect an issue.
ADHD can be treated in many different ways, some of which don’t involve over-the-counter or prescription medications. Options such as mindful meditation, organization, planning, and personal accountability can do wonders where pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy fail. However, it’s important to work with a mental health expert to ensure you stay on track and can manage your symptoms appropriately.
Adults can suffer from ADHD too, but the symptoms aren’t always obvious. So, it’s important to seek professional advice before assuming the worst or choosing a treatment plan.
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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MindDiagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.