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10 Problems That Could Mean Adult ADHD

Many people think of rowdy kids who can’t sit still when they think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But the fact is, symptoms of ADHD can linger into adulthood. In fact, many adults with ADHD don’t realize that many of the problems they face, including staying organized or being on time, are symptoms of adult ADHD.

What Causes Adult ADHD?

While experts don’t know for sure what causes ADHD, they believe genes may play an important part in who develops attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Environmental issues, such as exposure to cigarettes, alcohol, or other toxins while in the womb, may also play a role.

Unlike other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression, ADHD doesn't begin in adulthood. So symptoms must have been present since childhood for a diagnosis of adult ADHD to be made.

10 Problems That Could Mean Adult ADHD

The conventionally used diagnostic criteria for ADHD, including the most common symptoms, were developed based on how the condition shows itself in children.

These symptoms include forgetfulness and excessive daydreaming, as well as an inability to sit still, or constant fidgeting with objects.

Yet many experts think adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms manifest themselves differently and more subtly. This can make it difficult to recognize and diagnose adult ADHD.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 1: Difficulty Getting Organized

For people with ADHD, the increased responsibilities of adulthood -- bills, jobs, and children, to name a few -- can make problems with organization more obvious and more harmful than in childhood. While some ADHD symptoms are more annoying to other people than to the person with the condition, disorganization is often identified by adults struggling with ADHD as a major detractor that affects their quality of life.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 2: Reckless Driving and Traffic Accidents

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes it hard to keep your attention on a task, so spending time behind the wheel of a car can be difficult. ADHD symptoms can make some people more likely to speed, have traffic accidents, and lose their driver’s licenses.

Adult ADHD Problem No. 3: Marital Difficulties

Many people without ADHD have marital problems, of course, so a troubled marriage shouldn’t be seen as a red flag for adult ADHD. But there are some marriage problems that are particularly likely to affect the relationships of those with ADHD. Often, the partners of people with undiagnosed ADHD take poor listening skills and an inability to honor commitments as a sign that their partner doesn’t care. If you’re the person suffering from ADHD, you may not understand why your partner is upset, and you may feel you’re being nagged or blamed for something that’s not your fault.

WebMD Medical Reference

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Why do you think you might have adult ADHD?