Recognize Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

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Are you late for work almost every day? Do show up for the weekly sales meeting 15 minutes after it starts? How about that report that was due yesterday? Is it on the floorboard of your car? Do you constantly misplace things like your car keys or phone charger? Do you impulsively purchase items you don’t need?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you may be suffering from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD is usually associated with children, but many adults suffer from the disorder. ADD symptoms often go unrecognized in adults. The symptoms of ADD in adults can be subtle or extremely apparent. If you struggle with any of the following symptoms, consult your physician for an evaluation.


Do you act before you think things through? If your credit cards are maxed out or your bank account is overdrawn, you are probably an impulse spender. Adults with ADD don’t think about the consequences of their impulse buying; like the electric bill being due, or the late mortgage payment. If you have a garage full of unnecessary tools, a closet full of clothes with the price tags still on them, or 25 shades of red lipstick, you may be suffering from a case of impulsiveness due to ADD.


For adults with ADD, getting started is the hardest part of the task. If you can’t bring yourself to sit down at your desk and get busy, or if you put off going to the grocery store until you’re down to sour milk and half a bottle of water in the fridge, ADD may be your problem.

Adult Temper Tantrums

Adults with ADD have a terrible time controlling their emotions. If things aren’t going your way do you fly off the handle? Do you throw things when you’re angry, or lash out at your kids when they’re simply acting like kids? Anger issues are common in adults who have ADD.

Inability to Relax

ADD causes extreme restlessness and hyperactivity. Do you pace when you’re talking on the phone? Do you find it hard to sit through a movie? Do you tap your foot, shake your leg or exhibit other nervous behaviors if you have to wait in the doctor’s office or in a restaurant? Restlessness is a classic symptom of ADD.

ADD doesn’t just appear in adulthood. Most adults who are diagnosed with ADD have had it since childhood, but were never diagnosed. If you suspect you have ADD you should consult your physician or mental health professional.

ADD is treatable with medication, behavior therapy, or by using self-taught behavior modification techniques. ADD doesn’t have to disrupt your life or your potential for happiness and success. Recognize your symptoms, and seek the help you need to overcome the troublesome behaviors caused by ADD.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Recognize Adult Attention Deficit Disorder," in, February 21, 2016, (accessed October 4, 2022).