ADHD in Adults

ADHD in Adults

By Jake Lamberton.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results in issues with inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. ADHD is often diagnosed in children and was originally thought to be something that children outgrew in adulthood but we now know that a large proportion of children who struggle with ADHD will struggle with ADHD in adulthood as well. Furthermore, ADHD can often go undiagnosed in childhood as some children learn to cope with their symptoms, do not have a chance for diagnosis or fall into a category that is often underdiagnosed (e.g. females).

With ADHD symptoms are grouped into two categories; inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

In adults inattention symptoms may look like:

  • Difficulty staying focused or sustaining attention (e.g. in lectures, conversations or longer reading tasks).
  • Difficulty following through with work, assignments, chores.
  • Forgetfulness and missing important events (e.g. paying bills, returning phone calls or going to appointments).
  • Losing important things regularly (e.g. keys, wallet, books, glasses, phone, tools)
  • Getting easily distracted or seemingly not listening when spoken to.
  • Difficulty giving attention to tasks and making careless mistakes (e.g. missing details, inaccurate work).
  • Difficulty keeping things organised and managing activities.
  • Reluctance to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.


In adults hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms may look like:

  • Feeling restless or fidgeting.
  • Difficulty sitting still and often getting out of your seat when remaining seated is expected.
  • Talking excessively or often interrupting conversations.
  • Struggling to engage in leisure activities quietly.
  • Intruding into or taking over what others are doing.
  • Difficulty waiting in line or waiting for your turn.

Of course, we all struggle with some of these symptoms from time to time and that’s just part of being human! But if these symptoms are interfering with or reducing your ability to be able to function at work, school, university or with friends and family it may help to talk to your GP or a mental health professional.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Wender, P. H., Wolf, L. E., & Wasserstein, J. (2001). Adults with ADHD: An overview. Annals of the New York academy of sciences931(1), 1-16.

This blog was written by Jake Lamberton, to learn more about Jake’s experience, click here.

To book an appointment with Jake or one of our other Psychologists, click here.

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