Feeling Overwhelmed– Adults with ADHD often feel overwhelmed by their tasks, even those that should be relatively simple or enjoyable. This feeling can be so pervasive that some individuals may become stuck in a cycle of procrastination or avoidance due to the overwhelming emotions associated with attempting to complete their daily tasks.
Hyperfocus is a common symptom of adult ADHD that can cause an individual to become overly engrossed in certain activities or tasks, often to the detriment of other obligations. This phenomenon can be described as an inability to shift focus from one activity or task to another, leading to difficulties with goal-oriented behavior and overall productivity.
Stress Sensitivity- Adults with ADHD tend to be more sensitive than others when it comes to stress; small problems become big problems quickly, and seemingly minor issues can cause extreme emotional distress.
Obsessiveness is another common trait associated with ADHD. It can manifest in difficulty transitioning between thoughts and activities and feeling driven to continually seek external stimulation such as TV, video games, and books. Moreover, obsessions can lead an individual to be stuck on a particular idea or thought for extended periods because they cannot move past it.
Difficulty Following Directions- Adults with ADHD often have trouble following directions—especially if they're long-winded or complex instructions. It may not always be easy to remember all of the details from listening alone; writing things down or using visual cues like diagrams can help jog your memory in these cases.
Mood Swings - Adults with ADHD often experience sudden mood swings, ranging from extreme excitement to sadness, in just a few moments. If your moods change rapidly without apparent cause, this could indicate more going on than meets the eye.
Low Self-Esteem- Many with adult ADHD struggle with low self-esteem due to poor performance at work or school, missed opportunities, procrastination, etc. You may feel like no matter how hard you try, you can never quite measure up or that others don't take your points of view seriously because of issues related to concentration, forgetfulness, and inconsistent behaviors.
Impatience- Adult ADHD sufferers often struggle with patience and waiting their turn regarding conversations or activities with others. If you find yourself regularly interrupting people during conversations or becoming easily frustrated while waiting in line at the store, these could also be signs of adult ADHD.
Impaired Working Memory- Working memory is an essential building block for complex problem-solving and cognitive functioning, as it allows individuals to store memories for brief periods. Adults with ADHD often struggle to recall information quickly and accurately due to this impairment. This leads to difficulty with short-term memory, which can interfere with daily activities such as conversations and problems recognizing simple facts or instructions given moments before. Poor working memory can be particularly detrimental to academic or professional performance, as difficulty remembering key details can lead to mistakes or missed deadlines.
Trouble Making Decisions- Adults with ADHD may also struggle with making decisions due to difficulty processing information quickly or filtering out unnecessary details from important ones. This can make decision-making tedious, leading them to avoid it altogether if possible.
If any of the above signs sound familiar, it may be worth seeking further professional evaluation, as it could mean that you have adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).