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Adult onset ADHD?


Well-Known Member
I'm 19 and noticing worsening of ADHD like symptoms last 6 months. I simply can't focus on anything, even on my special intetests. My mind is wandering all the time. When online, I feel the need to change activities every few minutes. At university I have trouble concentrating on lessons. At home, when I study i need to walk a bit every few minutes, but I still mannage to learn the subject. This is the situation last 6 months. I also feel need to move at the bus station, instead of standing I walk across the station.

These symptoms more or less started in last year, like I got ADHD in late adolescence. As a child I was more passive and hyperfocused on speciak interests. I had the special aversion to physical activity including walking. Now I like to walk miles. Now my mind is wandering all the time. Yestrday Croatian national football team, object of my special interest played nations league semi final, I couldnt focus on match. I find university stuff interesting, but still struggle to study.

Could it be that I really had hidden ADHD that showed up now? Or is it maybe the result of complusive scrolling on internet? I know ADHD is common with ASD.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
How is your current stress level in your life right now? Higher stress than usual?


Hopefully Human
Staff member
V.I.P Member
As I understand it, it would be extremely rare to develop ADHD as an adult. It is considered a condition that is present from childhood. Although, it would certainly make sense that childhood symptoms are missed or misdiagnosed and the realization of ADHD doesn’t occur until adulthood. But there are also many other things that could mimic some of the symptoms that you are describing. Here’s a bit more information on it…

How is ADHD diagnosed in adults?​

ADHD is a disorder that begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. Adults who are diagnosed with ADHD experienced several symptoms of ADHD before the age of 12. As adults, they currently experience at least five persistent symptoms of inattention and/or five persistent symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity. These symptoms must be present in two or more settings (for example, home, work, or school; with friends or relatives; in other activities) and interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.

Adults who think they may have ADHD should talk to their health care provider. Primary care providers routinely diagnose and treat ADHD and may refer individuals to mental health professionals. If you need help starting the conversation, check out NIMH’s Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider fact sheet.

Stress, other mental health conditions, and physical conditions or illnesses can cause similar symptoms to those of ADHD. Therefore, a thorough evaluation by a health care provider or mental health professional is necessary to determine the cause of the symptoms and identify effective treatments. During this evaluation, the health care provider or mental health professional will examine factors including the person’s mood, medical history, and whether they struggle with other issues, such as alcohol or substance misuse.

A thorough evaluation also includes looking at the person’s history of childhood behavior and school experiences. To obtain this information, an individual’s health care provider may ask for permission to talk with partners, family members, close friends, and others who know the individual well. A health care provider or mental health professional may use standardized behavior rating scales or ADHD symptom checklists to determine whether an adult meets the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. An individual may complete psychological tests that look at working memory, executive functioning (abilities such as planning and decision-making), visual and spatial (related to space), or reasoning (thinking) skills. Such tests can help identify psychological or cognitive (thinking-related) strengths and challenges and can be used to identify or rule out possible learning disabilities.


Misty Avich

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I've noticed that about myself too. I seem to have more ADHD symptoms in adulthood than when I was a child, but I think it might be because when I was a child I never really had to think for myself much, as my parents did everything for me and also I had some support in school so I didn't even need to organise myself too much there either.
But when I was about your (OP's) age I felt like I was becoming more disorganised and forgetful and having executive functioning issues.
So maybe it's the same with you. The demands of adult life are starting for you and you realise your ADHD can't keep up. It's OK though, it doesn't mean you're stupid or anything. It just means you have ADHD. Lol.


Well-Known Member
I have no problems with "organizing life" I have problems that I struggle to focus when going to study.

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