Common Behaviors and Problems of Adult ADHD
The following behaviors and problems may stem directly from ADHD or may be the result of related adjustment difficulties:
- Chronic lateness and forgetfulness.
- Low self-esteem.
- Employment problems.
- Difficulty controlling anger.
- Substance abuse or addiction.
- Poor organization skills.
- Low frustration tolerance.
- Chronic boredom.
- Difficulty concentrating when reading.
- Mood swings.
- Relationship problems.
These behaviors may be mild to severe and can vary with the situation or be present all of the time. Some adults with ADHD may be able to concentrate if they are interested in or excited about what they are doing. Others may have difficulty focusing under any circumstances. Some adults look for stimulation, but others avoid it. In addition, adults with ADHD can be withdrawn and antisocial, or they can be overly social and unable to be alone.
So I bolded all the things I either have or have had problems with in my life, currently and in the past. It’s an interesting issue, realizing you have something, then coming to terms with it. Both my son and my father have been diagnosed with ADHD and given the checklists out there (such as the one above), it’s not hard to make the logical jump that, given that ADHD is a hereditary disease, I probably have it too. I really wrestle with this one. I have struggled all my life with coming to terms that my mother has MS. When I was younger I used to be ashamed that my mom was different from all the other kids’ moms. But I still loved her. As I got older my respect for her strength and the love and support my father gave her, frankly just intimidated me. They have been an amazing couple and continue to this day, something like 40-odd years. Impressive in a society in which most of us will be divorced at least once…or twice in some cases…
I know living with two people with ADHD could not have been easy for my ex. Especially when only one of them admitted to it, and it was not me. Tonight I lost my temper. Now, I’d like to excuse this by saying I’m tired, I’ve been working a lot of overtime the last two weeks and it’s been a rather stressful time, all of which is true. But it does not excuse me yelling at my son. He was arguing with me about something that happened at school, he’d borrowed a Nintendo DS and the styallus (the control stick) had gotten broken. I finally yelled at him to “lose the attitude.” And the voice in which I said it, and only that, along with the look on my face, drove my son away from me crying. I didn’t call him names or belittle him, nor heaven forbid, did I hit him. But the voice that came out…it startled even me. And the crazy thing was as soon as I yelled out, I was over it. I just let my buttons get pushed.
After about five minutes of him sitting in his room and me cooling off in the kitchen, I went and sat outside his door and apologized. I was out-of-line for getting that angry, I said. And I meant it. He came out and sat in my lap for a while as he calmed down and I cooled off. We talked, and he apologized for arguing with me. We’re two of a kind, he and I. And I have my own struggles with this disease. I can only admire my parents and hope to eventually do as well…