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Symptoms of ADHD
When determining if ADHD is present, a doctor may provide an individual with an adult ADHD symptoms checklist, which is used to measure the severity of symptoms and just how many symptoms there are. There is no physical test that can measure ADHD, so medical professionals have to use checklists.
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Adult ADHD Symptoms Checklist
The three basic symptoms or traits of an ADHD person are hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsiveness. They are rather general and hard to quantify. A checklist of specific symptoms is a better measurement. Only a medical professional can make an official diagnosis, and it is based on the number of symptoms one has and the severity of those symptoms.
Here are some overall symptoms that can help determine if a person has ADHD:
- Difficulty staying focused or keeping up with daily or routine tasks.
- Extreme distractibility, being distracted by irrelevant things that prevent the original task from being completed.
- Losing track of a conversation while listening to someone, or "zoning out" without realizing one is doing so.
- Difficulty completing tasks or jobs that are mundane or not interesting.
- Poor listening skills and difficulty remembering conversations, and problems following directions.
- Hyperfocus is the other side of this. Once a person gets focused they can have a very hard time getting unfocused. This can be an ADHD strength if channeled properly.
- Poor organizational skills in different settings, such as at home and at work.
- Tendency to procrastinate or forget about important appointments, commitments or deadlines.
- Difficulty estimating the time it will take to complete a task.
- Continually losing objects such as wallets or keys.
- Frequently interrupting others in conversation, or saying things at inappropriate times.
- Poor self control, or difficulty seeing consequences of one's actions.
- Act recklessly or spontaneously without regard for possible consequences.
- Difficulty sitting still, or always needing to be moving in some way.
- A tendency to have an addictive personality and a tendency for substance abuse.
- People with ADHD often have a sense of underachievement, low self-esteem and trouble staying motivated.
- Feelings of restlessness or racing thoughts.
- Craving for excitement and taking risks.
- Irritable or mood swings, and at times trouble with a violent temper.
- Difficulty handling frustration.
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If you have more than half of these symptoms, you may have ADHD. The deciding factor is how much it affects your life and the lives of others around you. Left untreated ADHD can cause a variety of problems in one's personal life, such as:
- Mental and physical health problems such as substance abuse, excessive anxiety or stress, compulsive overeating, and low self- esteem. Other problems can be related to forgetting to take medicine or not paying sufficient attention to one's health.
- Work problems can also arise because ADHD people may have trouble staying on schedule, showing up for work on time, following instructions and paying attention to detail. Managing finances can also be a problem because of the difficulty of paying attention.
- ADHD can also cause relationship problems with one's spouse and family. Problems arise for a number of reasons including, the ADHD person is misunderstood, has trouble keeping up with conversations and paying attention as well as being burdened by a general sense of frustration and disappointment.
NB: The content in this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.