Would you recognize the symptoms of ADHD if you saw them? Consider the following list of prevalent ADHD symptoms as well as several signs that many people don’t realize are connected to the disorder.

symptoms of ADHD Cary, NC

The ADHD Most People Know

For the most part, symptoms of ADHD fall into three main categories: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity.


People with ADHD may struggle to stay focused and engaged. Distractions seem to be everywhere; boredom may be a constant complaint. Inattention often looks like:

1. Forgotten or missing items. Those dealing with ADHD are often heard saying “I forgot _____,” or “I can’t find my ____.” Misplaced homework. assignments, and other necessities are a common occurrence and a frequent source of frustration.

2. Lack of follow-through or motivation. Things just don’t get done. Projects and plans are frequently abandoned for seemingly more interesting pursuits. People with ADHD set aside good ideas for better ones, only to become bored with the idea of completing any of them.

3. Zoning out. Some people with ADHD simply drift off, away from the situation, task, or conversation currently taking place. Children may find it difficult to resist daydreaming when they should be reading. Adults may struggle to stay tuned into conference calls or presentations at work.


People with ADHD may struggle to be still or remain calm. Hyperactivity often looks like:

4. Fidgeting. For children with ADHD, the ability to stop moving is an almost overwhelming challenge. Feet keep tapping, bodies wriggle constantly, and a propensity for rocking or swaying is not uncommon.

5. Restlessness. Teens and Adults with ADHD tend to exhibit less rambunctious behavior and more restless, edgy energy.


People with ADHD may struggle to reign in sudden urges. Impulsivity looks like:

6. Outbursts. Children and adults struggling with ADHD may have a tendency to speak without thinking or may display emotional sensitivity toward others.

7. Poor Emotion Management. Moodiness is a common ADHD issue, sometimes expressed with bouts of explosive anger.

The ADHD Most People Don’t Recognize

Sometimes symptoms of ADHD are more subtle or complex. Combinations of ADHD symptoms create relational and physical issues that might be misdiagnosed or require a closer look.

Relationship trouble. The lack of concentration and a tendency to interrupt or speak without thinking often leads to misunderstandings and frustration for potential friends or partners.

Poor Short-term Memory. Inability to stay present and focused in the moment leads to an inability to retain short-term memories. An ADHD mind is sometimes too distracted to preserve what’s happening around them.

Problems with procrastination and prioritizing. Usually occurring in adults, focus on insignificant matters takes priority over family concerns, occupational obligations, and upcoming deadlines.

Chronic Lack of Punctuality. Many people with ADHD seem inconsiderate or absentminded when it comes to time. They seem to always be rushing around or disorganized regarding appointments and gatherings. In truth, they are dealing with tendencies to try and cram too much into too little time and fail to notice how much their activities affect others.

Recklessness. Whether it’s thrill seeking or risky driving, the impulsivity that signals ADHD can create a desire to seek dangerous highs.

Sleep Problems. People who are constantly moving, thinking, and seeking out stimuli have a hard time shutting down. Insomnia, sleep terrors, even teeth grinding have all been linked to ADHD.

ADHD can be challenging. If you or someone in your family experiences or displays these symptoms regularly, you may benefit from a consultation with an experienced professional.

Learn more about ADHD Treatment here.

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DEC 1, 2021

Please note that as of December 1st, 2021, 
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