Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Young Adults

  • Posted at Aug 25, 2023
  • Written by Rebecca
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Young Adults

The signs and symptoms of ADHD can be different for teenagers and young adults than for adults. So, it can be helpful to understand these signs and symptoms to identify potential cases of ADHD in a young adult’s life. While ADHD is treatable, diagnosis is necessary first. But, before a diagnosis can happen, identifying the signs and symptoms is important to determine if help is necessary.

General Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

Essentially, ADHD is characterized by two things:

  • having trouble focusing and concentrating on tasks
  • impulsivity and hyperactivity

Individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD may struggle with both or only one of these categories that characterize this condition. Individuals who are only affected by symptoms of trouble focusing and concentrating may be diagnosed with ADD, which is harder to identify and diagnose.

The Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Young Adults and Teens

In many cases, signs and symptoms of ADHD can be recognized and identified as early as 6 years of age. However, ADHD can be harder to diagnose if a child is only experiencing one of the general signs of ADHD, either hyperactivity or trouble concentrating, which is more often to happen with girls than boys.

Some examples of signs of trouble focusing in teens and young adults living with ADHD include:

  • jumping from one task to another without finishing
  • making mistakes due to carelessness
  • not being able to organize schedules or responsibilities
  • losing items often
  • forgetfulness
  • seeming to be distracted often
  • difficulty listening to and abiding by instructions

Signs and symptoms of hyperactivity in teens and young adults living with ADHD include:

  • inability to stop moving around when asked to sit still
  • moving physically extravagantly
  • disproportionate talking
  • not recognizing activities or behaviors that are dangerous
  • continuously interrupting others when they speak
  • behaving without thinking first
  • trouble waiting for turns
  • having trouble concentrating on responsibilities

Living with these symptoms as young adults or teens can make things especially challenging with school, friendships, relationships with adults, and responsibilities.

Common Concurring Health Issues

Sometimes, young adults and teenagers living with ADHD can be at a higher risk for developing concurring issues including:

Depression: Depressive disorders are mental health conditions that are characterized by episodes of severe sadness, hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts/behaviors. People living with depressive disorders may isolate themselves from others, avoid previously enjoyed activities, and sleep too much or too little.

Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are also mental health conditions that are characterized by episodes of anxiety. These episodes can include panic attacks, which can resemble heart attacks with chest pain, severe fear, and sweating. Anxiety disorders can also come with symptoms of isolation and avoidance, rapid heart rate, and extreme worrying.

Sleep Disorders: Sleep disorders are characterized by unhealthy sleep patterns that can include insomnia, not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, and sleeping too much.

Getting Young Adults Help for ADHD

Treatment is effective in helping to control the symptoms of ADHD as they can negatively impact a young adult’s life. Medications and therapy are helpful in identifying and utilizing coping skills and transforming behaviors. Here at Yellowbrick, we offer outpatient help for families and young adults living with a number of mental health issues, including ADHD. Find out more about our programs and services at our Evanston location today from our website.

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