Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is typically considered to be a childhood condition. The truth is, those children grow up. Then you have adults with ADHD. Sometimes the condition was identified early and the child had appropriate intervention to help them manage their ADHD. Other times, the child was never diagnosed and it isn’t until they are an adult having problems with relationships or their job that they are diagnosed.

So, what does adult ADHD look like? For the most part, it isn’t that different from childhood ADHD. However, there are some distinctive differences.

Lesser Known Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Most people are aware of the “typical” ADHD symptoms like impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, but as adult ADHD usually presents with some slightly different symptoms. What typically happens is the ADHD child grows into an ADHD adult who has learned various coping skills that may or may not be necessarily positive.

What also happens is the ADHD symptoms in the child develop and mature so the adult with ADHD has more “grown-up” versions of the childhood symptoms.

Some of the lesser known symptoms of adult ADHD include:

Problems with Sleep

Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or tossing and turning all night can be a symptom of ADHD. Racing thoughts and daytime fatigue are byproducts of sleep deprivation but can also exacerbate the sleep problems.

Difficulty with Time Management

Being always late or frequently “losing track of time” are part of this, but so is simply having a hard time being able to get things done in an efficient way and in a reasonable time.

Impulse Shopping

While an adult with ADHD might be impulsive in several areas, However, impulse shopping is a very common problem. It is not exclusively an ADHD symptom, but many ADHD adults struggle with it.

Difficulty Handling Boredom

A person who has ADHD craves stimulation, they need it. Boredom leaves them with no stimulation, causing them to feel on edge, stressed, or anxious where a person who doesn’t have ADHD probably wouldn’t have a problem.

Overly Spontaneous or Impulsive

This can run the gamut from having trouble patiently waiting in line to interrupting someone when they are talking to suddenly quitting a job.

Difficulty with Emotion Control

It is not uncommon for a person with ADHD to have mood swings, a quick temper, cry easily, or get upset and anxious at the drop of a hat.

Overly Sensitive to Rejection and Criticism

Most people with ADHD have gotten messages their entire lives that they are lazy or even not very intelligent. This creates an environment where rejection and criticism are triggers for depression, defensiveness, anxiety, and other psychological responses.


This might be a surprise, but there are people with ADHD who hyperfocus instead of not being able to focus. This can make it difficult to transition from one task to another.

Low Tolerance of Frustration

This ties in to difficulty controlling emotions but it is worth mentioning as a separate symptom. Life is frustrating and not having the ability to handle those frustrations can cause significant problems on the job, in relationships, and in daily life.

The Impact of ADHD on Adults

Many adults with ADHD don’t even know that they have it, but it can cause problems in many areas of their lives. Just the classic inability to pay attention can have serious consequences. It can cause problems in close relationships and at work.

The person with untreated ADHD may have a hard time keeping a job because they struggle with missed deadlines, time management, and forgetfulness. When they forget one too many meetings or miss too many deadlines, they could get fired or demoted.

These symptoms could also bleed into life situations like traffic which can be unbearable for the person with ADHD. Emotional outbursts, especially anger, can end a romantic relationship.

Anyone experiencing the ADHD symptoms will probably find that they cause difficulty in their life on some level.

If you have ADHD symptoms and they continually disrupt your life, there are treatments available that can make life much easier.

Treatments for Adult ADHD

There are several effective treatments for adult ADHD that do not involve medications like stimulants and certain antidepressants.

  • Counseling – Psychiatric counseling can help you learn how to create positive, healthy coping skills. You can learn how to work around your limitations and focus on your strengths while improving your self esteem.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – CBT teaches you skills to manage your behavior and change thinking patterns that are negative into positive. You can learn how to better manage life problems and find viable solutions.
  • Family therapy – Marriage counseling and therapy for families treats the relationship as a unit so that you learn how to better navigate the relationship and your family learns how to better cope with your less than desirable ADHD symptoms.
  • Neurofeedback – This is a treatment that changes your brainwaves to retrain your brain to operate in a healthier way. It can reduce and often eliminate ADHD symptoms in just a few sessions.

Are you an adult with ADHD? Do you want a happier, healthier life without losing the essence of who you are? Our neurofeedback treatment for ADHD can help you be the best version of you. Call Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback or schedule and Brain Map online.

*Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback does not diagnose medical conditions. Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback is a nonmedical, medication-free program for children and adults who struggle.