5 signs you may have adult ADHD

It was once thought that children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) would outgrow the condition. This may not be the case.

It's now estimated that of children diagnosed with ADHD, 50 percent continue to experience symptoms throughout their lives. Many adults with ADHD only recognise their own symptoms once their own child has been diagnosed with the disorder. 

5 symptoms of adult ADHD

1. You lack organisational skills
Are you constantly searching for something? You can never find your car keys, cellphone and important documents. Your desk is a mountain of paperwork, you miss appointments and frequently forget to pay your bills. 

Try this: break up your tasks into smaller steps. Use reminders and calendars to stay on top of things.

2. You're easily distracted
In conversation, your mind wanders and you have difficulty focusing. You often get so caught up thinking about something else that you lose track of what's been said to you. Your open-plan office is a nightmare. You constantly feel like you're being interrupted and wish there was a way of blocking everyone else out.

Try this: minimise other stimuli when you're working or studying. Put your cellphone on silent and avoid having the TV on or listening to music. Try to find a quiet place without distractions where you can get your work done.

3. You're always procrastinating
Do you always put off deadlines, studies and other important tasks? Always leave everything to the last minute? This ongoing stress can have a negative effect on your health.

Try: use a daily planner or schedule that can help you keep track of what you need to do. This will help you to better manage your time.

4. You're a smoker
A cigarette is the only thing that keeps you calm, and it's easier for you to focus on your work after smoking. It's estimated that 40% of people with ADHD smoke. It's often only once someone stops smoking that they realise they have symptoms of ADHD. It's also been shown that people with ADHD have a higher chance of using alcohol and drugs than people without ADHD. Those with ADHD are also more likely to start using these substances at a younger age than the average person.

Try: stop smoking.

5. You're extremely impulsive
You often make quick decisions without considering the consequences. You may have walked out of your job on the spot or bought a brand new car without allowing yourself time to weigh up the pros and cons. Impulsivity is probably the most risky symptom of ADHD. This can lead to unprotected sex, excessive drug or alcohol abuse, and other dangerous decisions.

Try: stop and consider each time you're faced with a decision. Take a few minutes before you respond to an email, a few days before making a big decision, write down the pros and cons of situations you are unsure of. These tactics will help you make mature, thoughtful decisions and curb impulsivity. 

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