6 Personality Traits That Could Secretly Be ADHD

An estimate 4% of adults in the United States – or 8 million people – are officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, each year.

“There is a general belief that ADHD only affects children, but continued research has proven otherwise,” Sussan Nwogwugwu, a board-certified mental health nurse at the digital health company Completed, HuffPost said. “As such, a large percentage of adults with undiagnosed ADHD have presented in recent years.”

However, ADHD persists significantly underdiagnosed in adultsparticularly among women. Common symptoms of ADHD in adults These include disorganization, forgetfulness, problems with emotional regulation, poor time management skills, restlessness, and difficulty multitasking. Left untreated, symptoms associated with ADHD can occur harmful to the physical and mental well-being of a person.

Experts talked to HuffPost about a few Habits that may secretly be due to ADHD.

You keep losing things.

If you regularly check for important items without explaining why this is always happening, it could be a red flag that something else is going on.

“Someone with ADHD may have constant difficulty remembering important details, such as where their keys are, while people who are more neurotypical may only occasionally forget where their keys are,” explained Krista Carvin, a registered social worker based in Ontario, Canada.

You neglect other activities or your needs when you focus on a task.

According to Catherine del Toro, a provider partner for growth therapy, “A common symptom of hyperactivity is being easily distracted from one extreme or being able to focus on the other extreme. Because of this, it can become a habit to become so immersed in one task that we neglect other equally important things.”

As a general example, del Toro noted that this could look like someone writing in such a way that they might forget to eat and sit for hours.

They can also struggle with forgetfulness and leave tasks unfinished.

While people with ADHD tend to become fixated on one task, they can also routinely forget to finish tasks before moving on to the next.

“They may start washing the dishes, notice something has been spilled on the floor and start cleaning the floor. Then, as you sweep, note the fingerprints on the glass door and start cleaning that instead,” del Toro said.

Hannah Rae, a graduate student and case manager for homeless services, told HuffPost that she habitually forgot about events and tasks long before she was officially diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. “I forget most things in my life. I have to write everything down,” she said.

You tend to avoid certain activities some days while actively seeking consistent activity other days.

Regularly fluctuating in between feeling overstimulated or understimulated from your environment can be a sign that you have ADHD.

“For example, some days you feel like going to the grocery store is perfectly fine and it’s not giving you any problems at all,” Carvin said. “Other days, especially when you’re overstimulated, you might find that the sights, smells or sounds at the grocery store really bother you, which can mean following your grocery list or standing in line getting to you. “

According to Carvin, understimulation can make a person with ADHD both listless and restless, but feel insecure about what they need to do to feel better.

You have a habit of having trouble connecting with partners in your relationship.

A A person with ADHD may notice certain habits — which are actually symptoms — that affect their dating life or their interpersonal relationships. For example, Carvin explained that people with ADHD may have a hard time paying attention to their partner or helping with chores around the house — which can lead to conflict and hurt feelings.

“’ADHDers’ can be sensitive to rejection. When faced with harsh feedback from their partners, they may react in ways that seem disproportionate to the situation at hand,” she said.

They are being treated for a mood disorder but still have symptoms and habits related to ADHD.

An estimate 57% to 92% of adults with ADHD also have at least one co-occurring mental disorder or other neurodivergent experiences, with some studies suggesting the number can be as high as 80%.

“Undiagnosed adults may have tried psychotherapy or medication, but treatment that doesn’t target ADHD may not have resulted in the benefits needed to live a better life,” Carvin said.

Hannah explained that although she was being treated for generalized anxiety disorder, symptoms such as trouble concentrating and forgetfulness persisted.

“I knew that not all of these symptoms could be related to this anxiety disorder,” she said. “I was already being treated for a neurological disorder and happened to be screened for ADHD. I have met the criteria.”

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Talking to a therapist or your doctor about your symptoms can help you make a diagnosis.

Note: Experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily guarantee that you have ADHD.

Not everyone who is forgetful or has trouble multitasking lives with ADHD. People who are neurotypical can develop habits such as forgetting things or over-focusing on tasks. However, experiencing emotional distress can be clinically significant and key to deciding whether you should seek medical assistance.

“With an influx of this type of information on social media, there’s real value in hearing the perspectives of people with lived experience while balancing that with evidence-based information,” Carvin said.

Look for medical supplies and resources.

Nwogwugwu explained that “assessment is key” when it comes to undiagnosed ADHD in adults, adding that “it’s never too late to get it.” treatment of ADHD when diagnosed.”

Visiting a health care provider can help someone get formal diagnosis and treatment, as well as accommodations at work or school. For Hannah, finding the right combination of medication and therapy was key to treating ADHD.

However, it’s important to note that factors such as stigma, lack of health insurance, medical care costs, and general misinformation can deter someone from seeking ADHD treatment. If you do not have access to health care, free resources such as support groups, workbooks, and expert-led podcasts can be informative, validating, and useful.

Ultimately, experts say it’s important to recognize and take action if you feel like your habits are affecting your health or your daily life.

As Nwogwugwu noted, “For adults, being diagnosed with ADHD can be a relief and a life-changing moment, as it explains the struggles and issues a person may struggle with throughout their lives.”

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