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Adult ADHD Can be Problematic

While attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often viewed as a childhood disorder, the condition often extends into adulthood impeding and complicating the ability to function.

According to the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, more than half of children with ADHD can expect to contend with the condition as adults. ADHD in adults often is more subtle than in children, but still can be troublesome. It usually presents itself in one of two ways or a combination:

Inattention: Prioritizing and focusing on tasks can be enormous challenges. Organizing work or following instructions may be more difficult than it is for others.

Excessive levels of activity or difficult-to-control impulses: Adults with ADHD aren’t likely to be as physically active as hyperactive children with ADHD. Instead, adults may experience ongoing feelings of restlessness or have trouble relaxing. An adult may always feel the need to be on the go. Impulsivity may show up as impatience, mood swings, intense anger outbursts or trouble with relationships.

Tip-offs that a medical evaluation is needed include:

    — A history of academic or career underachievement.

    — Inconsistent work performance, such as frequently quitting or losing jobs.

    — Difficulty managing daily responsibilities such as paying bills on time or completing household chores.

    — Difficulty with relationships, perhaps related to such behaviors as forgetfulness, being easily angered or not completing tasks.

Interviews and detailed medical and behavioral histories are usually keys to diagnosis. Tests to measure attentiveness and concentration could be part of the evaluation.

Adult ADHD is generally managed with some combination of medication, psychotherapy or life coaching. Many adults with ADHD find counseling helpful. Counseling alone may be sufficient treatment for many adults with this illness.

Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter

Adult ADHD Can be Problematic

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Adult ADHD Can be Problematic. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.