ADHD in adults: Hyper focus and disorganisation are two early signs of the disorder

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Most of the time it’s not difficult to spot ADHD in children. But for adults, the condition can have more subtle symptoms. This means many adults struggle with ADHD and may not know they have it. If having a hyper focus on some details and activities or a disorganisation in others, it could mean you have ADHD and should speak to your healthcare professional regarding the next steps to better mental health.

Hyper focus

In a study published in Science Direct, the relation between ADHD and hyper focus was investigated.

“In healthy adults, the frequency of hyper focus was positively correlated with ADHD traits; older age and higher education were correlated with fewer hyper focus occurrences in a smaller number of situations,” noted the study.

It continued: “ADHD patients and matched controls did not differ in the occurrence, frequency, duration and pervasiveness of hyper focus, but hyper focus was less likely to occur in educational and social situations in ADHD patients.”

The study also found that people with ADHD are often easily distracted.

At its best, hyper focus is what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow” being a state of mind in which you are so immersed in a task that you become one with it.

PET scans have shown that the hyper focusing brain literally “lights up” with activity and pleasure.

At its worst, hyper focus becomes a trance-like state in which you do the same pointless act over and over again.

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One of the most common and debilitating symptoms for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is severe and chronic disorganization.

For people with ADHD, the responsibilities of adulthood including bills, jobs, and children, to name a few can make problems with organization more obvious and more problematic than in childhood.

It’s been said “The best way to get nothing done is to try doing everything at once.” And for many adults with ADHD, this is not just a truism but a maddeningly frustrating way of life.

Life can seem challenging for everyone sometimes, said Healthline.

It added: “But someone with ADHD may have more challenging life experiences compared to someone who doesn’t have ADHD.

“This can make it difficult for them to keep everything in the right place.

An adult with ADHD may find it hard to manage their organizational skills.

“This can include finding it hard to keep track of tasks and prioritize them logically.”

Other symptoms to look out for in ADHD in adults according to Mayo Clinic include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress

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