Adult ADHD

The following content is from Dr Hallowell’s website, which provides comprehensive information on the many aspects of ADD and ADHD. It is not our intention to duplicate the site, but to provide a taste of the wealth of information and insight available. (Courtesy of

While ADD tends to be associated with childhood, we’ve learned that it is far more widespread among adults than previously understood. While there are some children with ADD/ADHD who will outgrow it, we now know that the vast majority will not. Listed below are criteria for adult ADD that we developed from our clinical experience:

  1. A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished).
  2. Difficulty getting organised.
  3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
  4. Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through.
  5. A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
  6. A frequent search for high stimulation.
  7. An intolerance of boredom.
  8. Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times.
  9. Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent
  10. Trouble in going through established channels and following “proper” procedure.
  11. Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
  12. Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money.
  13. Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like; hot-tempered.
  14. A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers.
  15. A sense of insecurity.
  16. Mood swings, mood lability, especially when disengaged from a person or a project.
  17. Physical or cognitive restlessness.
  18. A tendency toward addictive behaviour.
  19. Chronic problems with self-esteem.
  20. Inaccurate self-observation.
  21. Family history of AD/HD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.

Recognising and treating ADD is just as important for adults as it is for children since it has a wide ranging impact in careers, marriages and families.


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