How ADHD Affects Adults Differently Than Children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder isn’t just a condition that affects kids and teens; it affects adults, too. But for many adults, the symptoms are a bit different. Here are four symptoms for which to be on the lookout.

Many people think attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical issue that only happens in kids and teens, never during the adult years. But ADHD can affect adults, too — in fact, about 10 million American women and men suffer from adult ADHD and the often devastating symptoms it can cause.

However, even though ADHD affects people of all ages, it often affects adults differently. Mostly, those differences have to do with the symptoms ADHD can cause, as well as the role those symptoms play in daily living.

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Source 23 Psychiatry, LLC, provides adult ADHD care virtually, through telehealth visits right in your own home — or whatever location is convenient for you. Provider Kimberly M. Gilbert, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, has extensive experience treating ADHD in adults (and kids, too). Here’s what she wants you to know about adult ADHD and its symptoms. 

Adult ADHD: What to know

Most people know that during childhood, ADHD symptoms can take a big toll on school performance and make it more difficult to have friendships. As an adult, ADHD symptoms also interfere with your life and your activities and responsibilities, causing difficulties at work, during social activities, and with long-term relationships.

ADHD causes many of the same symptoms during both childhood and adulthood, but these four areas tend to be especially challenging for adults. 

1. Problems focusing
Staying focused and on track is a prevalent symptom among adults who are struggling with ADHD. Adults with ADHD frequently find it challenging to remain focused on tasks they find repetitive, dull, or uninteresting.

Though it’s hard to stay focused on tasks that are dull, adults with ADHD may find they’re hyperfocused on topics that do interest them. In fact, their interest can become so focused, they may have trouble thinking about anything else, even “daydreaming” about their topic of interest when they should be focused on work or another important task. 

2. Problems with organization
Getting organized and staying organized is another challenge for adults with ADHD. Even though you may know what you need to do to stay organized, you still may not be able to motivate yourself to take those steps or to stick with an organizational system once you establish one.

Many adults with ADHD also have problems with procrastination, delaying important tasks until the last minute or beyond. Poor time management can make many work duties especially difficult, and it can take a toll on relationships, too. 

3. Problems with forgetfulness
Because adults with ADHD have difficulty with organization and time management, it isn’t too surprising that memory issues also occur — especially remembering dates or events that aren’t all that interesting to you. But with ADHD, forgetfulness goes further than difficulty remembering dates and appointments.

Many adults with ADHD find their thoughts are disjointed or “muddled.” They may frequently misplace items, like their keys, or they may forget to keep appointments. Some people with ADHD spend days or weeks working on a project, only to miss that last crucial deadline. 

4. Problems with restlessness
It isn’t just your thoughts that can be jumbled and “all over the place.” The hyperactivity aspect of ADHD makes you physically restless, too. Often, this restlessness makes it hard to sit still during meetings or other events, or it may prompt you to interrupt other people or cut people short during a particularly long conversation. 

Get help for your ADHD symptoms

ADHD can have serious effects on your life, interfering with work, relationships, and daily responsibilities. Seeking help early is the best way to minimize the impact of ADHD while vastly improving your quality of life.

Most people with ADHD — kids, teens, and adults — benefit from a combination of medication and therapy to help them manage their emotions and organize their thoughts. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs and adjusted over time as those needs change.

Better still: With virtual visits, our practice makes it easy to get the custom care you need when and where you need it, making it a lot easier to keep your ADHD symptoms under control. To learn more about ADHD treatment, call 614-905-5900, or book an appointment online with Source 23 Psychiatry today.

Psychiatry & Telehealth located in Virtual Office, Columbus, OH

Source 23 Psychiatry, LLC


4449 Easton Way, Suite 200,
Columbus, OH 43219

Hours of Operation

Source 23 Psychiatry, LLC


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


9:00 am - 6:30 pm


9:00 am - 3:00 pm




10:00 am - 3:00 pm



PSALM 23: 1-6

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.