Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also called ADHD, is a common neurodevelopmental condition. However, you most commonly hear about it regarding children–those with ADHD struggle with staying focused, among many other things. Because symptoms of ADHD may appear differently in adults than in children, many times a person may not realize they should seek treatment. Six surprising ways undiagnosed adult ADHD could be affecting your everyday life are listed below.
1. Compulsive Eating
Adult ADHD may cause you to misinterpret instructions, misconstrue something a person says to you, or even misunderstand what your body is telling you. Studies have shown that adults with ADHD who are feeling upset or bored may believe they are hungry. Because of this, these studies have shown that adults with ADHD are prone to compulsive overeating.
An excellent tool to avoid compulsive overeating when you aren’t hungry is exercise. If you know you’ve recently eaten and you are more than likely bored or feeling some other emotion, get up and move. Knowing whether you’ve just eaten leads to the next tip: Try to consume meals and snacks around the same time each day. Even if it’s a loose schedule, keeping a plan will help you decide if it’s hunger or some other feeling.
2. Zoning Out or Unable to Stay Focused
Adults who have ADHD tend to zone out or let their minds wander. It may feel like the lecture your teacher is giving will never end, or the story your friend is telling will never get to the point. The inability to follow may make you feel terrible, but you do not have control over it.
Practicing meditation may help you stay focused. Take a moment to stop and be present and focus on your breathing. Studies have also shown that eating healthy and natural foods have a significant impact on focus.
3. Overlooking Simple Errors
As with zoning out during a lecture, adults with ADHD tend to get bored quickly and may easily miss errors in their work. Missing errors may become especially common when working on something monotonous.
An excellent way to avoid this is to take quick breaks. Get up and walk around for a moment or grab a drink of water. Break up the day and your boredom with a short walk. Do not stay away for too long, though, or allow yourself to avoid getting back on task.
4. Difficult Time Following Verbal Instructions or Memory Issues
Many adults with ADHD report having a difficult time following verbal instructions or remembering complete instructions. This issue may be especially bothersome when learning a new skill or duty at work or school.
To avoid this, try writing everything down even if it seems simple and something you don’t think you’ll forget. You’ll be glad you took the extra minute to jot it down rather than running back to ask your boss or teacher to reexplain the instructions they already went over.
5. Poor Organization Skills
It’s common for adults with ADHD to have messy homes and workspaces. Many have found a way to work that way comfortably, but that is not the case for some. The mess may seem suffocating and overwhelming. For those who feel overwhelmed by the clutter, it may lead to more procrastination.
One tip to help get organized is to start spending at least 15 minutes at the beginning or end of each day organizing. You can also try placing multiple containers and at least one trash can in each room.
6. Low Self-Esteem, Anxiety, or Depression
Spending a lifetime with undiagnosed ADHD and its side effects is a lot to deal with for anyone. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that it may lead to other mental health issues like low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. If your undiagnosed ADHD has caused problems in your career or personal life, you are not alone.
While ADHD may bring on the image of hyper children running around a classroom, the fact of the matter is that many adults suffer from the disorder. Millions of adults have undiagnosed ADHD and are dealing with the above symptoms, plus many more. Suppose you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of undiagnosed adult ADHD. In that case, you should seek a trusted medical professional, like Dr. Jeff Ditzell in New York City for diagnosis and treatment.