Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideADHD in Adults Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to ADHD in Adults

ADHD in Adults Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to ADHD in Adults

What are adult ADHD symptoms and signs?

What is thought to be partly the result of maturity, adults with ADHD may show little to no signs of hyperactivity. For those who do, symptoms and signs of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention may resemble those that are exhibited by children and teens. However, how those symptoms are exhibited tends to vary with age. Symptoms of ADHD include the following:

Inattention

  • Often makes careless mistakes or pays inadequate attention to detail
  • Trouble focusing during work or leisure activities
  • Does not appear to be listening when spoken to directly
  • Is often unable to complete directions, work tasks, or chores
  • Frequently has trouble organizing a task or activity
  • Has a tendency to avoid, dislike, or resist engaging in activities that require sustained attention
  • Often loses things that are necessary to complete tasks or activities
  • Easily distracted by extraneous or unrelated stimuli
  • Often forgetful

Hyperactivity/impulsivity

  • Frequently fidgety or moves hands or feet
  • Frequently has trouble remaining seated
  • Has a tendency to feel restless
  • Has difficulty participating in leisure activities quietly
  • Performs multiple activities at once
  • Excessive talking
  • Often interrupts others talking
  • Trouble waiting his or her turn
  • Frequently intrudes on others
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/8/2016
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