Adhd characteristics in adults

Updated November 21, 2016

ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is often equated to children and teenagers who have difficulties focusing in school and paying attention at home. The condition is not just for children; adults too can suffer from ADHD. The signs and symptoms for both children and adults are similar, though adult ADHD interferes more with personal and professional activities.

Lack of Concentration

The inability to remain focused on tasks, projects or even trains of thought is one sign of potential ADHD in an adult. This can cause problems at work when a person can't maintain concentration long enough to fulfil tasks. Lack of concentration can affect personal relationships as well if a person cannot stay engaged in conversations or activities.


Being disorganised can lead to problems at both work and at home. The inability to to stay organised, prioritise or stick to a routine can have adverse consequences. Disorganisation can lead to missed appointments, late payments on bills and lost items.


From bouncing legs to jittery hands to pacing the floor, being restless can affect an adult's ability to rest, relax, work and even sleep properly. Getting the restless feeling in check is an important function of diagnosing and treating adult ADHD.


Impulsive actions, thoughts, words and mannerisms can all be symptoms of adult ADHD. This sign is more pronounced in adults than it is in children. This is because adults should have the ability to control their impulses than children, so inappropriate behaviours are more noticeable. For those with ADHD, impulsive behaviour can present itself in talking loudly or out of turn, interrupting others, overeating, drinking too much, promiscuity or otherwise indulgent behaviour.

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