Undiagnosed ADHD? Daydreaming, Overwhelm, Solitude and Lesser-Known Symptoms of ADHD
Everyone is “neurodiverse” in that we all have different ways of perceiving, thinking, learning and relating. However, adults with undiagnosed ADHD may have difficulty understanding why they find some tasks more difficult than others. There has been an explosion of videos on social media of people sharing their symptoms, and maybe you have seen one of these and wondered about your neurodiversity, whether you have ADHD?
A diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in adults can bring relief due to a better understanding of their neurodiversity. If you, or someone you know, suspects that you have ADHD, read on for some of the signs of ADHD in adults.
It is common for neurotypical people to go through phases of distractability or impulsiveness. Because we all draw the line at different times in our lives, which are influenced by what is happening and where we are in our current situation.
For people with ADHD, however, the symptoms are persistent and pervasive across situations, such as home and work and lead to negative impacts on functioning. Of course, there are also positives, but an assessment would allow the identification and treatment of the negatives.
Some signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults
People diagnosed with ADHD can show differences that cause difficulties in two areas:
Inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing):
- Lack of attention to detail. More careless mistakes are made at work while doing chores or leisure activities.
- Easily distracted. Often tasks are left half done or avoided altogether because the amount of mental focus required to complete them is perceived as too much.
- Forgetfulness. Paying bills, returning phone calls and keeping appointments are especially difficult for people presenting with inattentive ADHD.
- Constantly changing activities or tasks. This can be overwhelming for the person with ADHD, affecting close relationships and making friends.
- Daydreaming. Often has trouble with keeping time and can fail to follow through on promises.
Hyperactive (impulsive and hyperactive behaviour)
- Acting without thinking first. There is an impulse to act to ease the feelings of restlessness.
- Talks excessively. Blurting out whatever first comes to mind, whether appropriate or not, without thinking through how words may be received.
- Loses or forgets things repeatedly and often. Set down your keys and do not pay attention, causing the brain not to lay down a memory of the event.
The good news is that no matter how these symptoms make you feel, the challenges of ADHD can be helped. With education and support from specialists in this field of neurodiversity, learning to manage the symptoms of adult ADHD − even turning some of your weaknesses into strengths – can be achieved.
Does ADHD go away if left untreated?
ADHD Symptoms rarely go away if left untreated. A 2019 study found that the prevalence of ADHD among adults rose by 123% between 2007 and 2016 and that diagnoses among adults were growing four times faster than ADHD diagnoses among children.
For some adults, it may feel it’s pointless to pursue a diagnosis if an ADHD diagnosis hasn’t stopped them from getting married, pursuing a career, or having a family. However, unmanaged ADHD symptoms can reduce productivity, impact self-esteem and lead to relationship conflict. In some cases, individuals can turn to alcohol and other substances to reduce some of the symptoms. Given these points, treatment of ADHD can help adults control how their thoughts, feelings and behaviours are regulated internally and communicated outwardly.
How does your doctor determine if you have ADHD?
The diagnosis needs to be made by a mental health professional with experience in understanding and treating ADHD. One of our psychiatrists will talk to you about your symptoms and life history and ask if they can speak with your close friends or family to help build a complete picture. Also, they will check to see if you have any additional mental health conditions that need addressing.
Talk to Onebright about seeking support for ADHD
As per NICE guidance, the first-line treatment for ADHD is stimulant medication, but your psychiatrist may also recommend talking therapies after the assessment, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, adapted for use with ADHD, as a treatment to manage behaviours to help support you achieve your full potential socially, at work and home.
Onebright provides clinical ADHD screenings, also called ADHD tests, to determine if it is ADHD or a different type of disorder leading to these symptoms. Get in touch to speak to one of our advisors or learn more about the service we provide for neurodiversity.