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The Actual ADHD Symptoms in Adults When discussing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults, it’s important to remember that symptoms show themselves differently in children and adults. The disorder typically manifests itself more subtly in adults, making diagnosis and treatment relatively rare. One marker of ADHD in adults, however, is the widely accepted notion that it can hardly develop in adults. Researchers now know that approximately 60 percent of children with ADHD will take their symptoms into adulthood. In the United States, fully 4 percent of the population suffer to some extent in the symptoms of ADHD. Of approximately half will be troubled by them. Many children with ADHD aren’t diagnosed. They are sometimes confounded and perplexed by their own activities and moods, often blaming themselves for their perceived inadequacies and limitations, when symptoms appear in undiagnosed adults. The causes of ADHD aren’t well understood. Current research has suggested that both genes and environmental problems, such as alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, each have their role to play. Mention ADHD in children and the image that comes to mind is the hyperactive kid bouncing off the walls. As the child get to adulthood, that type of behavior subsides a little. It’s replaced, however, by other, more difficult to discern symptoms. The young adult is faced with new obligations and duties. Life makes new demands, requiring a juggling act to keep all the balls in the air. This is challenging for everyone. All of us feel overwhelmed from time to time, but a person with adult ADHD finds it challenging most of the time, and often impossible.
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Symptoms in adults are usually divided into three categories – distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Distractibility is defined as the inability to focus on a job or task for a certain amount of time. Impulsivity is defined as the inability to control reactions. Hyperactivity is defined as fidgeting and restlessness, and an inability to maintain still.
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Distractibility is generally believed to be the least bothersome of the three broad categories of symptoms, at least outwardly. Adults who suffer from them, though, can find them quite disruptive. Impulsivity issues can be very troubling for an adult with ADHD. They often have difficulty maintaining control over behavior, reactions, and their comments. They will normally act or speak without thinking. They will react without thinking about the consequences of their activities. Such behavior can lead them into situations that are risky. At work, they’ll rush into a job without going through the instructions, often resulting in errors and only partial task completion. Emotional issues may also arise from impulsivity. Adults With impulsivity issues might find it tough to control emotions. Feelings of frustration and anger tend to be a specific challenge for the adult with ADHD. It is important to note, however, that adults who have one or more symptoms of impulsivity or distractibility may still have ADHD.