You’re smart but were never very good at studying in school. You have a strong work ethic but often find it hard to stay on-task at work. You’re responsible but tend to miss deadlines and forget important details.
If this sounds familiar, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be the cause. Although most people identify ADHD as a childhood disorder, many adults also have ADHD but don’t realize it.
Symptoms of ADHD in Adults
ADHD makes it hard to focus your mind. As a result, you may have trouble with detailed or boring work. And it may be hard to stick with one project for very long.
You also may forget things, or you may miss key points during a meeting. You may even have trouble sitting through a movie or concert. At times, you may feel frustrated or angry. This can affect your relationships with others.
Other symptoms of adults with ADHD include:
- Trouble thinking things through
- Low self-esteem
- Ignoring a speaker, even when being spoken to directly
- Lack of organization
Treatment for Adult ADHD
Therapy, coaching and/or medication may be recommended for adults diagnosed with ADHD. These tips may also help:
- Use headphones to muffle noise.
- Work on more than one project at the same time. When you get bored with one, switch to the other.
- Work on boring tasks when you feel most alert.
- Have a schedule for each day.
- Use a day planner and to-do lists.
- Take notes so you’ll remember important details.
- Reward yourself when you finish a task.
The important thing to remember is that you’re not lazy or unintelligent. You just have a hard time focusing. And with help, you can gain control over your ADHD—and your life.
Dana Weibel, MD
Dr. Weibel is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult Psychiatry. Her interests include adult depression and anxiety disorders. She has special expertise in the treatment of adult ADHD.