Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition exhibited by difficulty maintaining attention, as well as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adult ADHD symptoms can lead to a number of problems, including unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, and low self-esteem.
ADHD always starts in early childhood, but in some cases it's not diagnosed until later in life. It was once thought that ADHD was limited to childhood. But symptoms frequently persist into adulthood. For some people, adult ADHD causes significant problems that improve with treatment.
Treatment for adult ADHD is similar to treatment for childhood ADHD, and includes stimulant drugs or other medications, psychological counseling (psychotherapy), and treatment for any mental health conditions that occur along with adult ADHD.
March 07, 2013
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Stimulants and nonstimulants for ADHD. Psychiatryonline. http://psychiatryonline.org/content.aspx?bookid=27§ionid=1332352#228315. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- ADHD factsheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Michielsen M, et al. The comorbidity of anxiety and depressive symptoms in older adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A longitudinal study. Journal of Affective Disorders. In press. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Brook JS, et al. Adolescent ADHD and adult physical and mental health, work performance and financial stress. Pediatrics. 2013;131:5.
- Skirrow C, et al. Emotional liability, comorbidity and impairment in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. In press. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Goodman DW, et al. Assessment of physician practices in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. In press. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- What we know: Succeeding in the workplace. National Resource Center on AD/HD, http://www.help4adhd.org/en/living/workplace/WWK16/. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- What we know: Coaching for Adults with AD/HD. National Resource Center on AD/HD. http://www.help4adhd.org/en/living/coaching/WWK18. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- What we know: Interacting with others — Tips for adults with AD/HD. National Resource Center on AD/HD. http://www.help4adhd.org/en/living/relandsoc/WWK15S. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Bader A, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for children and adolescents with ADHD. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2012;24:760.
- Searight HR, et al. Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Jensen PS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 31, 2013.
- Swintak CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2013.
- Lindstrom K, et al. Preterm birth and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in school children. Pediatrics. 2011;127:858.