How to Take Charge of Adult ADHD

Learn What Adult ADHD Looks Like

The term ADHD may bring to mind the rambunctious child who can’t sit still and disrupts the classroom. Adult ADHD looks different. “By the time you become an adult, that’s usually socialized out,” Hallowell says. “You’re not overturning chairs or poking your neighbor.”

The main characteristics among adults are unexplained underachievement and inconsistency. “At times they can be brilliant, and at other times they’re just not there,” Hallowell says.

Adults with ADHD tend to be easy distractible, although they may also have laser-like focus at times. They’re often chronic procrastinators and have trouble getting organized. They may also be impulsive, frequently acting or speaking without thinking. Yet people with ADHD are often extremely intelligent, creative, and intuitive, Hallowell says. With proper treatment, these traits can make them highly successful, he adds.

For more on adult ADHD symptoms, see Hallowell’s website at

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