7 Signs Of ADHD In Adults You Might Not Know

ADHD is thought to affect approximately 10 million American adults (and over 365 million worldwide) — and because symptoms can manifest differently in adults, realizing you may have the disorder is typically a slow burn, with overlooked symptoms causing significant strain on your life and health. Signs Of ADHD(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

In the heat of the moment, you may find yourself attributing certain feelings and behaviors to other factors — such as blaming feelings of euphoria on too much coffee or snapping at your frozen computer on a lack of sleep — when, in fact, they are symptoms of adult ADHD.

1. Taking an infinite time to make a decision

People with ADHD may have slower processing speeds. Processing speed refers to how quickly you can respond to a given stimulus (in this case, a set of options) in a given amount of time.

It’s not necessarily a sign of indecision; rather, it indicates that you need more time to work through the decision-making process.

You may have difficulty putting together the details required to see the big picture, anticipating the potential outcomes of each option, or becoming stuck on one idea and having difficulty weighing all of the options to make a decision.

This is the result of being able to control your attention well enough to weigh the pros and cons of a decision and remember what you were thinking.

2. Having difficulty sleeping

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Insomnia does not always indicate ADHD, but research suggests that adults with ADHD may be predisposed to sleep problems. It could be a result of decreased activity in the reticular activating system (RAS), which is a network of nerve pathways in the brainstem that is critical in mediating a person’s level of consciousness.

The RAS functions as a screening device, filtering incoming sensory data and sending bat signals to the brain when it detects important sensory stimuli that must be addressed.

Only for people with ADHD, RAS dysregulation makes it difficult to differentiate between important sensory information and noise. The result? It’s difficult to regulate arousal and sleep-wake transition.
Some people with ADHD may also experience biological disruptions in their circadian rhythm, according to O’Shea. Two examples are delayed sleep phase disorder, in which your sleep is consistently delayed by two or more hours past what is considered a normal bedtime, and delayed onset of melatonin production, the sleep hormone that kicks in at night to help you sleep.

3. Feeling restless all the time

Restlessness is one of the more subtle symptoms of adult ADHD, owing to how easily the external symptoms of restlessness can be attributed to other factors, such as a heavy workload or excessive coffee consumption.

Adults are more likely to exhibit restlessness by having to get up and pace around.  They might be unable to watch a movie without talking or pulling out their phone. Some people may even avoid more subdued activities altogether.

Constant fidgeting of the hands, legs, and feet, as well as picking at your skin, can be subtle indicators of restlessness.

4. Forgetting to eat

According to research, there is a strong link between ADHD and abnormal eating patterns, with binge eating and forgetting to eat being the most prominent.

The precise mechanisms have yet to be determined by researchers, but a combination of factors, including impaired brain activity in the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, could be at work.

When the prefrontal cortex lacks the dopamine required for proper function, it can interfere with your ability to organise, plan, and execute healthy meals, as well as maintain consistent eating habits in general. The dopamine deficiency may also increase your proclivity to reach for convenience foods in order to satisfy the brain’s reward centres and provide it with the stimulation required to focus.

Meanwhile, the limbic system is in charge of regulating our emotions as well as our attention, according to Khan. As a result, you may unconsciously use food to cope with boredom and emotional distress — or you may become engrossed in a task to the point where you forget to eat for hours due to feeling disconnected from your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

5. Completely lost track of time

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People with ADHD struggle to keep track of time or determine how much time they’ll need for a task, a condition known as time blindness.

Although no specific area of the brain has been identified as being in charge of time perception, time estimation appears to be connected to the prefrontal cortex, which depends on signals from dopamine-related pathways to operate properly. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain that helps with executive functioning, focus, and attention, as well as organizational skills.

This could translate into always being late because you rush because you believe you have enough time. If you are certain of the time of an appointment, you may choose to leave your house at that time rather than earlier to give yourself time to get there, find parking, and check in.

6. Exaggerated procrastination

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that leads to feelings of reward and pleasure and is constantly sought after by ADHD brains because it tends to be less present in those who have the disorder.

People with ADHD may find themselves doing everything in their power to avoid routine tasks because they struggle to maintain enough dopamine during those that aren’t as interesting to them.

The average person might find a routine task boring, but with ADHD, the negative feeling is more extreme, as is the avoidance of it. Because it appears to be deliberate indifference and a lack of motivation, it is possible that this potential ADHD symptom will go unnoticed.

7. Spending carelessly

Adults with ADHD are more likely to make poor financial decisions, such as impulsive buying to get a dopamine rush, putting off tedious bill-paying tasks, or forgetting when payments are due.

The basal ganglia, a group of brain structures that process how you evaluate emotions, motivations, goals, and risks, may not be functioning properly.

These structures serve as a channel of communication for various parts of the brain that must cooperate to support learning, the development of habits (such as sticking to a budget), and the planning and execution of tasks (like saving for the future).

When it comes to controlling the signals that are passing through, the basal ganglia in someone with ADHD can be seen to almost short-circuit.

When should you get tested for ADHD?

If you experience five or more symptoms of ADHD, and these symptoms have persisted for longer than six months, are present in two or more settings (for example, at work, and in your relationships), and are lowering the quality of how you function in your life, you might want to get evaluated for ADHD.

To diagnose ADHD and rule out other potential causes for the presenting symptoms, a thorough history must be taken, along with pertinent information and data.

A thorough psychiatric review of symptoms, the gathering of information about the presenting complaint, and personal and family medical and psychiatric histories are all crucial components of the examination.

Psychological evaluations and ADHD rating scales can both be used to strengthen the diagnosis of ADHD.

What’s Next?

For so many adults who have struggled their entire lives, receiving a formal ADHD diagnosis can change everything. Once a diagnosis is made, the process of regaining confidence and motivation can begin.

Similar to treatment for childhood ADHD, treatment for adult ADHD entails medication, psychotherapy aimed at enhancing organization and functioning in daily life, and care for any co-occurring mental health conditions.

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  1. I agree with your point of view, your article has given me a lot of help and benefited me a lot. Thanks. Hope you continue to write such excellent articles.

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