How ADHD Looks Different in Adults vs. Children

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not limited to children.

In fact, almost 5% of the general adult population has adult ADHD. However, only about 20% of adults with ADHD are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Why? Well, one possibility is that not everyone with ADHD was diagnosed in childhood. By the time an adult gets to adulthood, they’re functioning differently than they did as a kid, which, spoiler alert: the life demands in adulthood are different than those in childhood.

No matter how well someone with undiagnosed ADHD has coped, it’s common for ADHD adults to feel at some point in adulthood that they are just not where they want to be in life. Knowing about the signs of ADHD in adulthood can help lead to appropriate diagnosis and treatment, which can then turn down the volume on ADHD frustrations and turn up the music on ADHD superpowers.

Signs of Adult ADHD

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Children with ADHD often struggle with restlessness, but more physically. They may run when they are not supposed to, climb things, or distract others in English class. Adults rarely engage in such behaviors. In fact, most adults describe hyperactivity as having a restless mind rather than a restless body. And physical restlessness tends to come about in their inability to relax or fidgeting. Can you watch a movie without scrolling your phone? Are you always bouncing from tasks to tasks around the house but not finishing? Often this behavior is noticed by husbands and wives, not teachers. It’s common for spouses to say things like, “you just can’t relax!” This happens at nighttime too, when a hyperactive ADHD brain struggles to turn off.

Memory Issues

To some degree, we expect children to forget their homework. However, husbands and wives are less forgiving if an adult with ADHD forgets their children’s backpack. Or forgets to pay the mortgage. In fact, adults with ADHD are more likely to report symptoms of memory issues than children.

A couple look at a note with concerned expressions. This could represent memory issues as part of adult ADHD. Learn more about ADHD and anxiety in adults, ADHD and emotional regulation, and other services today! Search "ADHD specialist near me" to learn more! 43016 | 43220 | 43085Relationships Struggles

It’s not uncommon for parents to remind their kids to clean their rooms. Wives on the other hand, not so much. It’s possible that as an adult with ADHD you feel parented by a spouse in some ways. And hey, most of that is because your brain needs interesting things to happen around it, and cleaning out the car just isn’t one of those things. But marital relationships can be a prime example of how the life of an adult has different structures than children, and adult ADHD symptoms end up looking different as a result.


Adults with ADHD can engross themselves in projects. They’ll pick something to be truly passionate about and go all in, blocking out the world, including those around them. This can impact life in many possible ways. For starters, hyperfocus can be an ADHD superpower. Consider great works of art! Many have wondered if Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh had ADHD. On the other hand, hyperfocus can impact relationships, as spouses of ADHD adults can feel shut out or overwhelmed by the intense interest their ADHD spouse can pour into their passions.

Not everyone has ADHD. But then again, many people do.A woman smiles as she types on her laptop at a workstation. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can offer support with ADHD and workaholism in Columbus, OH and other services. Learn more about ADHD and anxiety in Adults and other ADHD symptoms today by searching "adhd specialist near me" today! 43016 | 43235 | 43214

You might be thinking, wait isn’t this just everyone? And the answer is yes…everyone with ADHD. Now don’t forget, everyone struggles with attention issues from time to time. However, not everyone struggles with them their entire lives and in a variety of situations, and not to the extent to which they are notable by others and impact life satisfaction.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment or ADHD Testing in Columbus, OH

At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer adult ADHD Testing , ADHD treatment and anxiety treatment for ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and treatment for men with ADHD. ADHD treatment can help you start getting things done. You can find the answers you’re looking for. An ADHD specialist from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice would love to help you. To start ADHD testing, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
  2. Meet with an adult ADHD specialist.
  3. Stop wondering how to better manage life. Start taking control.

Other Services Offered With Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

ADHD testing and ADHD treatment in Columbus, OH isn’t the only service offered at our Columbus, OH-based counseling practice. Since ADHD impacts people in different ways, we offer a variety of services. We provide ADHD testing, adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Feel free to learn more by scheduling a consultation or visiting our blog!