Adult ADHD/ADD: Signs to Consider
Keeping in mind that many other physical and/or psychological conditions can cause or contribute to attention problems, this list edited from EdÂ Hallowell, MD [see his many excellent ADHD publications], covers many typical signs of adult ADHD/ADD. Â Everyone has some of these difficulties, and to qualify as ADHD, these characteristics must be much stronger than average and cause significant clinical trouble. Â It takes an expert to gather the history and do the interview necessary to differentiate this syndrome from other similar looking difficulties. Â Though there are many screening tools, no test can absolutely accurately identify adult ADHD – psychological testing is always interesting, sometimes useful/sometimes misleading, and very in-frequently necessary if the clinician is experienced and expert with adult ADHD.
- 1 . A sense of underachievement, not meeting oneâ€™s goals, no matter how much one has actually accomplished
- 2. Difficulty getting organized.
- 3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started or finishing.
- 4. Too many projects going at once, and/or trouble with follow through.
- 5. A tendency to say what comes to mind without fully considering the timing, appropriateness or consequences.
- 6. Frequent search for high stimulation.
- 7, Unwillingness to be bored.
- 8. Easy distractibility/the hallmark sign: trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, sometimes coupled with being unable to focus.
- 9. Frequently creative, intuitive, highly intelligent
- 10. Trouble in going through established channels and following the â€œproperâ€ procedure.
- 11. Impatient/ low frustration tolerance/”hot tempered”
- 12. Impulsive, either verbally or in behavior: impulsively changing jobs/geographic locations, spouses, spending money, etc.
- 13. Frequently changing plans/constant new schemes or career plans and the like.
- 14. A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; seeming to look for Something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers.
- 15. Deep insecurity.
- 16. Mood swings, especially when disengaged from a person or a project.
- 17. Physical or cognitive restlessness.
- 18. A tendency toward addictive behavior.
- 19. Lifelong problems with self-esteem.
- 20. Important inaccurate self-observations, even in context of generally accurate self-observations.
- 21. Family history of ADHD, manic depressive illness, depression, substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.Â
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