Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously known as ADD, is a mental health disorder with symptoms including difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, disorganisation and impulsive behaviour. Although there is still a lot to be understood about ADHD and its related symptoms, if left untreated, adult ADHD can eventually lead to unstable relationships, depression, anxiety, poor work performance and low self-esteem and, in some cases, substance misuse, which usually leads to co-occurring disorders,
ADHD often goes unrecognised throughout childhood. That was especially common in the past when very few people were aware of it. Instead of recognising your symptoms and identifying the real issue, your family, teachers, or others may have labelled you as a goof-off, troublemaker, dreamer, slacker, or just a bad student. Alternately, you may be able to accommodate the symptoms of ADHD when you were still young, only to run into troubles as your responsibilities grew as an adult. The more balls you are now trying to keep in the air—pursuing a career, raising a family, running a household—the higher the demand on your abilities to organise, remain calm and focus. That can be challenging for many people, but if you have ADHD, it can feel almost impossible!
Many adults with ADHD are unaware they have it; they just know that everyday tasks can be a challenge. Adults with ADHD may find it challenging to focus and prioritise, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.