Diagnosing Adult ADHD

There are many things about living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that people don’t realize. This diagnosis conjures up images of a little child who isn’t able to be still. Most believe children eventually outgrow symptoms of ADHD. It is time for people to realize ADHD is a complicated disorder. Individuals will experience symptoms long into adulthood. It is common for individuals who had ADHD symptoms as a child to never be diagnosed or receive treatment. Experiencing ADHD symptoms can cause a variety of problems for an adult.

Executive Function Disorder

It is possible to describe ADHD symptoms as an executive function disorder. This is often referred to as the brain’s management system. It is what helps an individual to make priorities, set goals, and create plans then persist until they are completed. Executive function consists of three main components. They are the ability to control, the ability to pay attention, and prioritize. Individuals with ADHD struggle with each of these components.


The cause of ADHD is believed to be a deficit in the neuro-transmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This condition causes individuals with ADHD to try to make up for the deficit by regularly engaging in behaviors that are dopamine-stimulating. They then experience constant mental or physical restlessness. ADHD is a condition that individuals are usually born with.


There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Inattentive-disorganized individuals who want mental stimulation
  • Individuals with impulsive ADHD who try to obtain stimulation within their physical environment
  • Individuals with a combination of ADHD subtypes and try to obtain stimulation with a mixture of the other two


It is common for individuals with ADHD to be underemployed based on their abilities. They may often struggle to perform at a position that fits them. These people struggle to keep up because they can’t multitask. They may not get projects done on time because of being distracted by a phone call or email, and more. People with ADHD are usually too busy trying to engage in mental or physical stimulation or exhausted from the effort to control their impulses. They often have no energy to focus.

Any person who believes they may have adult ADHD should try to get an evaluation. When this is done, people feel better. They can then develop ways to work through their struggles. There is a lot of confusion concerning how ADHD appears in adults. People who feel they may have ADHD need to find an expert who has significant experience with evaluating adults for ADHD.

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