Picture this: You wake up and hit the snooze button for the third time. You had trouble falling asleep last night, and once you finally closed your eyes, you woke up several times. You are exhausted, but you must go to work today.You rummage around, looking for your clothes, and finally find them in the dryer. You stop to take a quick peek at your messages and get lost in social media. You notice the clock as you pour your coffee. How has this much time passed? You are going to be late for work – again.
At work, the day seems to be sliding downhill. You forgot to send a critical memo to the boss before the big meeting. Once in the conference room, your mind drifts to plans for this coming weekend. You begin to shift in your chair.
Why do these meetings take so long? Suddenly, you realize everyone is staring at you because the supervisor asked you a question. A trickle of fear and anxiety runs down your neck as you ask him to repeat his question.
Does any of this sound familiar? Has it happened to you, a family member, or a coworker? ADHD symptoms in adults can complicate your already busy life. In addition, these behaviors can interfere with your job, health, and relationships if left untreated.
ADHD symptoms in adults.
Often ADHD symptoms in adults began in childhood. The child could have been diagnosed early but never learned how to manage the symptoms. Or the child’s case could have been mild, and he was highly functional and hid the symptoms well. In some cases, the parents or teachers did not recognize the signs, labeling them kids being kids, or they chose not to seek help due to the stigma that used to surround the mental condition.
Around half of all children outgrow the symptoms before they reach adulthood. But some children grow up to experience ADHD symptoms in adults and are unsure how to manage the condition.
If a combination of the following symptoms sounds familiar, contact a counselor today.
Trouble with concentration and focus. Although ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have all been rolled under the same ADHD umbrella, both forms have a lack of focus at their core. The inability to concentrate is at the center of ADHD.
While at work, do you struggle with tasks or catch yourself daydreaming? Does it feel like your mind is moving too fast, and you cannot seem to focus on the job at hand? Does your family get upset because you seem to tune them out while they are talking to you? Learning to override distractions and keep your mind on work takes practice.
Most people have acted impulsively at one time or another. However, those with ADHD will find that impulse urges are strong. They may react with little thought to the consequences of their actions. For example, they may say unkind words to a loved one because they are having a bad day. Or they get into a confrontation with a stranger over something trivial, which quickly escalates.
Risky behaviors also fall into this category. They may drive recklessly, behave promiscuously, indulge in drugs and alcohol, or shoplift. Their dangerous behaviors can edge over into the carnal and the criminal.
Impatience and racing thoughts.
Someone with ADHD has little patience. It is not that they are trying to be rude; their minds are moving quickly, and they are ready to talk about the next topic or reach the goal. For example, someone with ADHD whose mind is racing may interrupt others because they are afraid they will forget what they need to say. They have trouble waiting their turn in line, especially if they believe other people are being seen before them.
These racing thoughts are easily distracted, which is why people with ADHD struggle with concentrating on tasks. For example, if someone with ADHD has an important report to finish for work, they may try hard to focus on the job.
However, small things like a coworker walking by the door, the notification icon on his phone, or a thought about something completely irrelevant to the work flits through his mind. As a result, a task that should have taken him two hours to complete is now taking the entire work day. Naturally, this makes him angry as he has little patience with himself.
Forgetfulness.Those racing thoughts and an easily distracted mind make forgetting easy for someone with ADHD. The learning and processing parts of the brain do not have a chance to pay attention to what information is offered. This makes long-term memories challenging.
For example, you have had a long day at work. You come home, struggling to get in the back door while carrying your wallet, keys, phone, laptop bag, and mail. Your children come running, trying to talk to you all at once about school, friends, and upcoming events.
Your spouse asks you about dinner. Your mind is racing, and you are bouncing from topic to topic, person to person, all the while trying to share about your day. Is it no wonder that your mind completely blocks out where you placed your keys when you entered the back door?
Your forgetfulness may be more severe than in the above example. Many people with ADHD get clearance from their primary physician to rule out memory problems before managing their ADHD symptoms in adults.
Feeling on edge.
Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, and feeling on edge are familiar to many with ADHD. Your emotions are heightened, and you may overreact to situations. Counseling can help you manage your feelings by identifying the initial thoughts and reframing those thoughts into neutral or positive ones. Neutral thoughts distract you from negative thoughts, while positive ones flip your perspective.
Restlessness.People with ADHD struggle to remain still. Their minds work so fast that they begin to fidget while trying hard to concentrate on a task or a person speaking. Although fidgeting can distract those without ADHD, it can do the opposite for the one with the condition. This is because when you move your hands while concentrating, the brain releases more dopamine and other neurotransmitters, allowing you to remain focused.
In recent years, fidget toys have been very popular. These toys are not only for children but to help ease ADHD symptoms in adults. The fidget spinner can be held in one hand and spun in different directions. It is a quiet toy that emits a low hum as it turns and tends to be distraction-free for others in an office if you need something to help you focus.
Another popular toy is the bubble push popper. You can find these in a rainbow of colors and various sizes. They are made of silicone “bubbles” that you press until you have completed one side, then flip it over and use your fingers to push the bubbles again. These are inexpensive, and most retail stores carry them.
The stress ball is the most popular fidget toy and a favorite in the office. Although these are called balls, you can find them in various shapes. These are great for the workplace as there is no sound, and using one may also help reduce your stress and anxiety.
Fidgeting and restlessness can cause problems in your relationships. For example, if you lose interest in conversations or move around the room while someone speaks, they may not understand that you are dealing with ADHD.
Finding a counselor.
ADHD symptoms in adults should not control your life. Instead, you control how you manage the condition. If you need support, we are here to help. We can discuss your symptoms and help you choose a counselor on your schedule. We have the option to meet virtually if you prefer. Every session is confidential. Contact us today to get started.
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