Do I Have ADHD? 8 Subtle Signs in Adults

Published by: PsychCentral
Written by: Gia Miller

If you’ve ever wondered whether you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’re not alone.

When many people hear the term “ADHD,” they often think of how it presents in children. They may not even know that ADHD also impacts adults.

In fact, the misconception that it doesn’t affect adults is part of the reason why ADHD is not effectively diagnosed after childhood. People with ADHD might not realize that the symptoms can be present into adulthood.

In fact, studies have shown that 50% to 80% of children with ADHD carry it on to adolescence, and another 35% to 65% then carry it into adulthood.

It was a common belief that ADHD disappeared in adulthood, and this was probably because ADHD looks different in adults than it does in children, and its symptoms were overlooked. The truth is, researchers believe that at least 75% of adults who have ADHD don’t even know that they have it.

So, what does it look like? Here are some of the subtle signs you may have ADHD.

1. Having an altered sense of time

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is “living in the now.” People with ADHD find it hard to keep track of time. They’re often late for appointments, can’t accurately estimate how long it will take for them to complete a task, and leave complicated tasks until the last minute. This is referred to as “time blindness.”

The reason this happens, according to researchers, is that the brain’s prefrontal cortex — which is responsible for executive functioning — doesn’t work as well at managing focus and behavior in adults with ADHD.

This is also the part of the brain that helps you plan for the future. It’s what allows you to prepare yourself for what’s coming next and plan how much time you have to realistically complete tasks.

If that part of the brain isn’t functioning properly, then you’re unable to accurately look into your future.

As a comparison, think of people who are nearsighted: They can only read things that are near to their face. Similarly, people with ADHD sometimes have difficulty anticipating and preparing for future events. The farther away an event is, the harder it is to deal with it.

2. Lack of executive functioning skills

For people with ADHD, time management isn’t the only difficulty. Other executive functioning skills can be challenging too, making it hard to manage the details of your life.

A person with ADHD will find it difficult to organize their thoughts and manage their schedule. You’ll likely also struggle with planning and prioritizing the order of tasks that you’re supposed to do, which can make it hard to meet deadlines.

While the level of executive functioning will vary from person to person, all folks with ADHD will find some challenges in each of the following categories when it comes to doing tasks or assignments:

  • organizing, prioritizing, and getting started
  • concentrating and staying focused, as well as shifting your attention to a new task
  • staying alert, maintaining the same level of effort, and understanding what you’re doing
  • managing your frustration and emotions
  • holding and using multiple pieces of information at once, and remembering things you’ve read or learned
  • controlling your actions

How ADHD May Affect Reading

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Morgan Mandriota

Many people enjoy cuddling up on the couch with a book as a way to wind down. But people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially children, might find reading much more frustrating than relaxing.

This is because those with ADHD tend to experience reading problems.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts children and adults differently, but many people report reading difficulties with ADHD.

So how does ADHD affect reading comprehension? It can be challenging for many reasons, including difficulty with:

  • focusing
  • memory and retention
  • processing information
  • sitting still
  • managing time
  • managing distractions (e.g., distracting thoughts or stimuli in the environment)

“Given difficulties with sustained attention, reading can be particularly difficult as kids often report rereading passages over and over again given lack of focus and being easily distracted,” says Angelique Snyder, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“Their inability to focus and concentrate may make it harder for them to visually track information and retain what they just read, so both their reading speed and comprehension can suffer,” adds Dr. Judy Ho, board certified clinical neuropsychologist and a psychology professor at Pepperdine University.

A 2019 study suggests that reading disabilities and ADHD typically co-occur. Snyder notes that kids with ADHD also tend to have comorbid learning disorders, which can affect reading. Click here for the rest of the story.

ADHD, autism and dyslexia: How companies can help neurodiverse job applicants

Published by: nzherald.conz
Written by: Katie Harris

Neurodiverse Kiwis contribute significant value to the workforce, but structural problems within the interview process mean many can be locked out of the job market. Katie Harris speaks to those on the ground about how to improve interviews for neurodiverse Kiwis.

“Tell me what you’re most proud of?”

For some, this may seem like a simple question to answer, but for many neurodiverse Kiwis its vagueness can throw off even the most well-prepped applicant.

Neurodiversity encompasses neurological differences including dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and Tourette’s syndrome.

The neurodiverse can bring a wealth of creativity, hyperfocus and out-of-the-box thinking that many organisations need, but often interviews can pose as a barrier to success for some.

Autism NZ chief executive Dane Dougan told the Herald the whole recruitment process isn’t set up for neurodiverse people.

Autism NZ employment facilitator Megan McNeice told the Herald a big roadblock for the neurodiverse in interviews is open-ended questions. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Is ADHD linked to substance abuse? There’s strong connection between them, study finds

Published by: The Herald Sun
Written by: Karina Muzhukhina

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be linked to substance abuse, a new study found.

The study, set to be published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, found that even when accounting for age, race, income, education, childhood adversities and mental illnesses aside from ADHD, people aged 20 to 39 and diagnosed with ADHD were 69% more likely to have a substance use disorder than those without ADHD.

Around half of people with ADHD will have a substance abuse disorder, the study found, compared to only about 23.6% of adults without ADHD.

Researchers collected data from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health and analyzed findings from 270 people between the ages of 20 to 39 with ADHD and 6,602 people without the disorder.

About 36% of adults with ADHD reported abusing alcohol, followed by cannabis — with about 23% of adults with ADHD abusing the substance. Those with ADHD “were also three times more likely to experience an illicit drug disorder” — not counting marijuana — compared to those without the disorder. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Why School Stress Is Devastating for Our Children

Published by: ADDitude Magazine
Written by: Jerome Schultz

Chronic stress at school can make kids (particularly those with ADHD or LD) dread going — and change their brains for the worse. But parents and teachers can help alleviate the stress that is stopping these bright kids from succeeding.

For over 35 years, I’ve carried out comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of kids and young adults, seeking to confirm, clarify, or rule out a diagnosis of ADHD. I’ve focused on the relationship between attention and the learning disabilities that often go along with ADHD. My role as a diagnostician has been to identify a pattern of neurocognitive weaknesses and strengths, so that I can help my clients and their parents better understand how they learn best.

An important part of the neuropsychological evaluation is to teach students what they can do to overcome or work around impediments to efficient learning and manage stress at school. This process is helpful, but it often falls short of my goal of helping a client change his or her learning trajectory. Many times, after I used test results to explain a client’s learning profile or convince a student that he or she had the cognitive capability to do well in school, I heard, “If I’m so smart, why do I feel dumb all the time?” Click here to read the rest of the story.