What Is ADHD in Adults? | How To Cope With It?

what is adhd

Did you know that ADHD is not just a childhood disorder? In fact, it can also affect adults. Many adults with ADHD struggle with daily tasks and may find it difficult to stay organized or focus on a task. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of ADHD in adults and how to get help.

What Is ADHD In Adults?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by 3 main dysfunctions: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is typically believed to occur only in childhood, but research have shown a great number of adults carrying on these symptoms for consecutive years, which further affects their functioning as teens or adults.

Signs And Symptoms In Adults

adhd in adults

Although the Diagnostic Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders,5th Edition (DSM-5) lists the same symptoms for ADHD in children and adults, clinical research has additionally cited that adults have a higher level of executive dysfunction and lack of emotional control than children with the same active symptoms.

The symptoms of adult ADHD are similar to restlessness and impulsivity, which are central to childhood ADHD, but symptoms naturally evolve as the individual matures.

Adults with ADHD tend to

  • Be reckless
  • Have poor organization skills
  • Be impulsive
  • Experience severe mood fluctuations
  • Often feel psychologically troubled
  • Easily distracted
  • Either hyperfixate or loose interest in things very quickly
  • Often times have one or more other disorder like anxiety or depression
  • Feel insecure about being underachieving
  • Get easily stressed
  • Constantly fidget
  • Difficulty in following socially appropriate behaviors

Why Does It Happen?

There is no one answer to this question as the causes of ADHD can vary from person to person. However, it is believed that ADHD may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

adult adhd

In addition, the popular belief that ADHD only affects children drives away the narrative of adult testing and diagnosis for adults which deprives them of the chance to get the right treatment.

How It Effects An Adult?

The side effects of adult ADHD not only have an impact on the individual suffering from it, but also on those around them. It manifests in daily life in the following forms:

    • Poor organization skills may lead to problems at work or school.
    • Social improprieties can damage interpersonal relationships.
    • Adults with ADHD may self-medicate with substances like alcohol or drugs in an attempt to cope with their symptoms.
    • Unsatisfactory academic/professional performance
    • Low motivation and self-confidence are commonly observed in adults with ADHD.
    • Poor time management, further results in procrastination.
    • Anger outbursts can lead to unprecedented mood swings.

How To Cope With It?

adhd treatment

Although it can not be cured, there is help available to form coping strategies and social support.

Professional therapy

A strategic combination of therapy and medication can evidently result in providing quick and efficient results. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and stimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamine are the most common yet effective treatments.

Physical exercise

It burns off excess energy and feelings of in-built aggression and hyperactivity. Exercising also stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps in fostering relaxation.

Balanced diet

Incorporate zinc, magnesium, protein, omega3 fatty acids, along with iron in your diet to provide for healthy supplements and balanced brain. In addition, cutting down caffeine and sugary foods also helps.

Healthy sleep schedule

Getting 7-9 hours of sound sleep helps in relaxing the brain. Ensure that you don’t use any electronics immediately before or after bedtime. Ventilation and favorable temperatures should be maintained in the room.


Practicing meditation, gratitude and grounding to stay in touch with reality. Journaling also helps in keeping track of one’s thoughts. Additionally, having strong peer support can help one feel secure and supported.


ADHD in adults is a real and serious condition. The consequences of untreated ADHD may be severe. Hence, seeking an official diagnosis and timely professional treatment can provide ways to manage your symptoms and live a successful life, even with ADHD.

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.