Is ADHD Just for Kids?

Many believe that ADHD is a problem unique to school-aged children. But the symptoms of ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and the diagnosis, can occur even earlier in the preschool years. Furthermore, parents and many doctors once believed that as children with ADHD enter adolescence and then become adults, their ADHD will no longer be an issue. But recent studies have shown that some aspects of ADHD can persist well into adult life for as many as 85% of children with ADHD.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that often does not completely go away, but instead changes over time. Depending on the circumstances and demands of their life as a person matures, coping with ADHD may or may not include medication or other treatments throughout adult life.

How does ADHD present itself?

Generally, ADHD poses problems with tasks that require focused attention over long periods, though not as much so for activities that are highly engaging.  School can be especially challenging for a person with ADHD because the typical classroom setting, compared to a video game, for example, can be relatively unstimulating.  Assignments can be lengthy and require sustained, organized thought, and the daily routine can be less structured than a youth with ADHD might require.  Most children with ADHD are diagnosed during their school years precisely because the academic, social, and behavioral demands during these years are very difficult for them.

Adults with ADHD

Approximately 10 million adults have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In early adulthood, ADHD may be associated with depression, mood or conduct disorders and substance abuse. Adults with ADHD often cope with difficulties at work and in their personal and family lives related to ADHD symptoms. Many have inconsistent performance at work; have difficulties with daily responsibilities; experience relationship problems; and may have chronic feelings of frustration and guilt.

The symptoms of ADHD can create challenges for the adult in the workplace, just as they do for children in school. Some adults with ADHD have very successful careers. Others may struggle with a variety of challenges, including poor communication skills, distractibility, procrastination and difficulty managing complex projects. Seeking assistance from a psychologist or social with career counseling training can be helpful in understanding and coping with ADHD on the job. Each individual with ADHD has a different set of challenges.

Typical Symptoms in Adults:

• Distractibility. Problems with external distractibility and internal distractibility can be the biggest challenge for adults with ADHD.
• Impulsivity.
• Time management difficulties.
• Hyperactivity. Adults with the hyperactive presentation of ADHD often do better in jobs that allow more physical movement
• Poor Memory. Failing to remember deadlines and other responsibilities can create problems at work.
• Boredom-related work performance impairment.
• Procrastination.
• Difficulty with long-term projects.
• Paperwork/details and the organization thereof.
• Interpersonal/social skill issues. Individuals with ADHD may unintentionally offend co-workers by interrupting frequently, talking too much at inappropriate times, or being too blunt.

When you need help for ADHD…

You keep losing things, chronically, and feel you can never finish anything at work, or maybe have had a frustrated family member suggest that you might have ADHD.  Whatever the reason, getting a proper diagnosis of ADHD is the first step to getting treatment. It is important step in gaining control over symptoms that wreak havoc in your life, both personally and professionally.

Typically, adults who should seek an evaluation for ADHD experience significant impairment in one or more areas of living. Examples of impairment may include losing a job because of ADHD symptoms, experiencing excessive and related conflict in marriage, financial crisis because of impulsive spending, failure to pay bills in a timely manner, or experiencing academic failures in college as a result of ADHD behaviors.

Call our office at 612-869-4444 or email us at to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services. We look forward to assisting you, or your friends and family with your mental health needs.