ADHD in Adults

ADHD in Adults

ADHD Definition

Adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by combinations of persistent psychological symptoms and behavioral traits that promote impulsivity and make it difficult to focus.

Recognition by the American Psychological Association

The disorder was introduced by its current name in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1987. Prior to this, ADHD symptoms were being diagnosed as Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder then Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) with or without a hyperactivity distinction. Today the manual includes three subtypes of ADHD, defined by the frequency and combination of specific symptom sets.

Adult ADHD Symptoms

While many people have experienced and will experience certain ADHD symptoms at points throughout their lives, it is the persistent combination of symptoms that identify an adult with ADHD. 

  • If you have ADHD as an adult, you have had it your whole life.
  • Certain symptoms may fade in intensity as you age.
  • Others may become more apparent as you experience and navigate the challenges brought on by adulthood.

An ADHD diagnosis is often only given if your symptoms are impacting you negatively in multiple areas. Adult ADHD Coaching provides coaching, counselling and behavioral changes to help reduce the negative affects of ADHD.


Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

ADHD - Impulsive Behaviour

Impulsive Behaviors

Are you spontaneous? Do act before thinking things through?

ADHD Symptom - Disorganized


Do you have a hard time planning and controlling your environment?

ADHD - Poor Prioritization

Problems Prioritizing

Is it difficult determining which tasks are more important?

ADHD - Unable to Focus

Unable to Focus

Are you distracted by everything around you?

ADHD - Trouble Multitasking

Trouble Multitasking

Do you feel overwhelmed keeping track of multiple tasks?

ADHD - Feeling Restless

Feeling Restless

Do you fidget? Is your body still moving when you are sitting down?

ADHD Symptoms - Frequent Frustration

Easily Frustrated

Are unplanned interruptions and surprises constantly a problem?

ADHD Symptoms - Frequent Mood Swings

Frequent Mood Swings

Do constant changes in mood disrupt your workflow?

ADHD Symptoms - Trouble Completing Tasks

Trouble Completing Tasks

Are you currently behind on something?

ADHD Symptoms - Poor Time Management

Poor Time Management

Do you feel like there is not enough time in a day?

ADHD Symptoms - Trouble Planning

Poor Planning

Are you often unprepared or catching up?

ADHD Symptoms - Anxiety and Stress

Stress Related Issues

Is stress affecting your health and relationships?

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ADHD Types

Most adults with ADHD will experience a unique set of symptoms, with elements of both distractibility and impulsivity, but this is not always the case. There are three accepted types of ADHD that account for the vast majority of situations. Your ADHD coach will provide you with the tools relative to your specific type.


The American Psychological Association currently recognized three types of ADHD:

Predominantly Inattentive ADHD

Predominantly Inattentive

The inattentive and distractible type is characterized by poor focus and time management without the impulsive or hyperactive behavior.

Predominately Hyperactive and Impulsive ADHD

Hyperactive / Impulsive

The impulsive and hyperactive type is the least common, with impulsive behaviors but no distractibility.

Combined Type ADHD

Combined Type ADHD

This is the most common type, with a combination of inattentive and impulsive characteristics.

ADHD Diagnosis

An official ADHD diagnosis can come from a medical doctor, psychiatrist or another mental health professional depending on what part of the world you are in. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association is the diagnostic standard with criteria and guidelines to follow. In addition to evidence of five or more ADHD symptoms in adults, healthcare providers are also looking for the following items:

  • Were the symptoms manifested before age 12?
  • Are the symptoms present in multiple areas (work, home, school, etc…)?
  • Do the symptoms have a negative impact?