10 Signs You May Have Adult ADD

Blog-10 Signs You May Have Adult ADD

Content updated from previous publish date.

Most people think of ADD/ADHD as a childhood disorder, but this common condition also affects millions of adults. Although 9.4% of kids aged 2-17 have been diagnosed with this brain-based disorder compared with just 4.4% of adults, diagnoses in adults are rising at 4 times the rate seen in children, according to research. Experts suggest that many adults are living with undiagnosed ADD/ADHD. This is alarming because untreated adult ADD/ADHD often leads to chronic stress, anxiety, depression, divorce, and job failure. Even more alarming is the fact that studies show ADD/ADHD is considered a risk factor for dementia in later life. This is why it’s so important to know the warning signs of adult ADD/ADHD.

Although 9.4% of kids aged 2-17 have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD compared with just 4.4% of adults, diagnoses in adults are rising at 4 times the rate seen in children. Click To Tweet


ADD/ADHD symptoms in adults can be more subtle than those seen in kids, which can make them harder to identify. Here are warning signs of ADD/ADHD.

1. Poor sustained attention span.

If you have trouble being able to concentrate for extended periods of time while reading, doing paperwork, or working on a project for your job, it could indicate that ADD/ADHD is to blame.

2. High susceptibility to boredom.

Adults with ADD/ADHD tend to get bored easily when doing routine chores or wading through tedious material. Conversely, adults with this condition can have laser-like focus when engaged in activities they love.

3. Frequent lateness.

If you’re often late for work, appointments, and dates, it might be a symptom of ADD/ADHD. In addition to routinely showing up late, adults with this condition tend to have difficulty completing tasks and assignments on time. This can cause problems in the workplace and can prevent you from getting promoted. In some cases, it can lead to demotions or result in being fired.

4. A tendency to misplace things frequently.

Do you spend too much of your time searching for where you left your keys, wallet, or phone? If you’re disorganized and have trouble keeping track of where you put things, it may not be a sign of memory loss but rather ADD/ADHD. Misplacing things is linked to a lack of paying attention and disorganization.

5. Poor organization and planning.

Does the idea of planning a big project for work, a birthday party, or preparing your taxes fill you with dread? Does it seem so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start? This can be a sign of the condition because the ADD/ADHD brain has trouble filtering out unimportant external information. This means there is so much data filling your mind at once that it’s challenging to narrow down what needs to be done.

6. Procrastination until deadlines are imminent.

Adults with ADD/ADHD can have trouble with motivation, which means chores and work assignments get put off until the last minute. Do you let things go until a deadline looms—“Oh no, it’s due tomorrow!”—or someone gets mad at you because you haven’t started yet? When workplace issues like this happen repeatedly, it can derail your career.

7. Restlessness.

Do you feel fidgety, keyed up, or agitated? Do you have trouble sitting still or being quiet for extended periods of time? Do you feel uncomfortable in a confined space (not a phobia)? These may all be signs of adult ADD/ADHD.

8. Frequent job changes or falling in and out of romantic relationships.

If you find yourself feeling antsy after a short time at a new job or getting bored quickly in a new relationship, it could be an indicator of ADD/ADHD. People with this brain-based disorder tend to like excitement and novelty, meaning that once a job or fling starts to feel mundane or static, it’s time to bolt or stir things up. Creating drama in the workplace or picking fights with a loved one can serve as a way to stimulate the brain of someone with ADD/ADHD. But this unhealthy tactic ultimately undermines career advancement and ruins relationships.

9. Failure to listen carefully to directions.

Do your eyes glaze over when you look at the instructions for installing new software, a recipe with more than a few steps, or the directions for assembling DIY furniture? An inability to listen to and follow directions is one of the clear signs that ADD/ADHD may be involved.

10. Poor performance at work, despite abilities.

Making silly mistakes, not paying attention to details, and otherwise coming up short on work assignments despite being intelligent and a hard worker may be a tip-off that ADD/ADHD is a factor. Having this condition can also make you more prone to burnout, which drains your energy and prevents you from performing your best. If you feel like you aren’t living up to your potential in your career, you may want to learn more about ADD/ADHD.


What does life look like for adults with undiagnosed and untreated ADD/ADHD? Look at Brett. At age 27, Brett had just been fired from his fourth job in a year. He blamed his bosses for expecting too much of him, but it was the same old story. Brett had trouble with details, he was often late to work, he seemed disorganized, and he missed important deadlines. The end came when he impulsively told off a difficult customer who complained about his attitude.

All his life Brett had similar problems. He dropped out of school in the eleventh grade despite having a high IQ. He was restless, fidgety, impulsive, and had a fleeting attention span. When he was in school, small amounts of homework would take him several hours to complete, and it involved a lot of nagging from his mother. Brett had mastered the art of getting people angry at him, and it seemed to others that he intentionally stirred things up.

These were lifelong symptoms of ADD/ADHD that had gone unnoticed, undiagnosed, and untreated. When he finally decided to seek help at Amen Clinics for his symptoms, he got a brain SPECT scan, which revealed low activity in the prefrontal cortex, a common finding in people with ADD/ADHD. With appropriate treatment to boost activity in the prefrontal cortex, his life made a dramatic turnaround. He returned to school, finished a technical degree in fire-inspection technology, and got a job. He kept that job for at least years now and said he felt happier, more focused, and more positive than ever before.


It’s never too late to get diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and to learn how to manage the condition. Natural ways to heal ADD/ADHD include vigorous exercise; a higher-protein diet; setting goals; neurofeedback; and taking nutritional supplements such as rhodiola, ashwagandha, and green tea extract. Getting the proper treatment for your type—brain imaging at Amen Clinics shows there are 7 types of ADD/ADHD—is the key to reducing symptoms and living the life you deserve.

ADD/ADHD and other mental health issues can’t wait. At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, clinical evaluations, and therapy for adults, teens, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. Do you do any kind of on-line consultations?
    I live in Israel, so it would be difficult to get to an Amen Clinic.
    Does any-one in Israel do anything similar to Amen Clinics?

    Comment by Anya Liss — May 18, 2018 @ 2:37 AM

  2. Do you have a clinic in the State of Colorado? Or what State are you located? I know I have ADD since I was a child and never was treatedfor it.
    Now as an adult have lots of problems concentrating and reading, writing, focusing on my projects.

    Comment by Evelia Williams — May 18, 2018 @ 4:51 AM

  3. Hello Evelia, our clinic locations are listed here: https://amenclinics.com/locations/. For more information about our treatment options for ADD, please feel free to call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834 or submit this form online to receive a response: https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/. Thank you for reaching out.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 18, 2018 @ 1:05 PM

  4. Hello Anya, thank you for reaching out. We can offer video or phone consultations. To reach our Care Coordinators to discuss setting this up, please call 949-266-3715 or submit this form on our website to receive a response: https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/. Our Care Coordinators can also let you know if we can offer any referrals out of the country.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 18, 2018 @ 1:07 PM

  5. Please open a clinic in Austin Tx. I’ve followed Dr. Amen for 7 years and want to scan my entire family’. We were exposed to mold and had some scary health issues in 2016-2017. I love what y’all do! Please keep up the amazing work.

    Comment by Kristen — May 19, 2018 @ 5:40 AM

  6. In 2008 , at 59-year-old,I was diagnosed with ADHD. I tried at least 8 medications. Most had negative side effects. I developed facial dysconesitia (sp?) . The doctor was not sure if the med caused this. I decided to discontinue it. I have been trying to manage. At times I do well, but I disappoint myself Often. Of the symptoms listed, I have all but #s 1 & 10. Unsure what to do. Please advise. Thank you, Christee Coleman

    Comment by Christee Coleman — May 23, 2018 @ 1:53 AM

  7. Hello Christee, thank you for reaching out to us. Our recommendation is to call our skilled Care Coordinators. They are available to discuss the specifics of your condition and symptoms and assist you with options for care. Please call 888-288-9834 or you can submit this form on our website and we’ll reach out to you: https://amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — May 23, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

  8. Do Amen clinic take insurance if not email a brochure of prices of treatment. I have ADD.

    Comment by Magda Iris Osorio — June 27, 2018 @ 4:52 PM

  9. Hello, I’m from México, I Want to know how can I get SAme or what place from Here I can buy it?.

    Comment by Yuliana Segovia — September 16, 2018 @ 12:53 PM

  10. Hello Yuliana, Dr. Amen’s line of supplements include SAMe. Here is a link for you: https://www.brainmdhealth.com/same-mood-and-movement-support.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 17, 2018 @ 7:19 AM

  11. Too bad that I’m forced onto Medicare and I cannot come to this place. I’m sure my life would improve!:(

    Comment by Nancy — April 1, 2019 @ 11:19 PM

  12. Where are you located? I'm in Mississippi.

    Comment by Lanitea Allen — August 11, 2023 @ 5:09 AM

  13. Are there plans in the future to open a clinic in the AR. TN. MO area? My brother had Lewy Body Dementia and I am seeing things that concern me.
    Thanks so much!!

    Comment by Phyllis — August 11, 2023 @ 5:15 AM

  14. excellent post!

    Comment by Doug Morris — December 10, 2023 @ 3:31 PM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Contact Us