Mental Health Blog

ADHD Throughout Life

Posted by Sarah Carter on


ADD and ADHD are fairly well-known diagnoses, but they have several overlooked aspects that clients and their families are often surprised to learn. ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder; it follows the child into adulthood and can present differently at different ages. It is commonly thought of as attention issues, disorganization, hyperactivity, and an inability to stay on a topic in school or work for an extended period of time. While all of these traits can be true, some additional aspects are often left out. Those with ADHD can be very intelligent, motivated, and can even get hyper focused on a topic for hours at a time. They may be focused on one game, book, or project for work and spend hours working on it without realizing how much time has passed. These more positive aspects of ADHD can be easily forgotten when a child or teen is struggling in an academic environment, and as a society we forget that adults can continue to struggle with ADHD symptoms throughout their lives. Here is a breakdown of how ADHD can present in different age groups:

ADHD in children

  • Difficulty staying focused
  • Forgetful
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Avoids difficult tasks
  • Easily frustrated

ADHD in teens

  • Poor grades
  • Difficulty in friendships
  • Delayed emotional intelligence
  • Poor impulse control skills
  • Increased risky behavior
  • Difficulty multitasking

ADHD in adults

  • Poor time management
  • Disorganized
  • Trouble coping with stress
  • Mood swings
  • Poor planning skills

ADHD can be a challenge for any age, but there are some aspects that can be turned into amazing strengths. Those with ADHD can turn their energy and impulsivity into spontaneity and creativity by channeling those traits into things they are passionate about. They can be the life of social gatherings because of their endless energy and their desire to go around and see or do everything around them. Also, because their brains are always moving between ideas and tasks, they can be immensely creative and able to find new solutions. The hyperfocus trait can be homed in on a specific task that gets completed without a break in concentration because of how deeply someone can concentrate when in a hyperfocus mode. ADHD can make some aspects of life a lot more challenging, but it can also give someone a great set of skills that they can apply to life’s challenges.


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