Clinical presentation

Download page

ADHD represents a persistent pattern of developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity [24]. It has been estimated that approximately 60% of children will continue to experience symptoms of ADHD as adults, whilst at least 30% will carry the full disorder through to adulthood [481, 482]. Research indicates that attentional difficulties are more likely to persist into adulthood, whilst impulsivity and hyperactivity tend to diminish over time [483, 484]. Adult symptoms are expressed differently to the way in which they are expressed in childhood. These may include [485, 486].

  • Difficulties with time management.
  • Disorganisation.
  • Procrastination.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Difficulties  sleeping.
  • Irritability, frustration, or anger.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulties concentrating or studying (which may present as academic underachievement).
  • Occupational or workplace difficulties.
  • Problems forming and maintaining relationships.
  • Difficulty obtaining and/or maintaining stable employment.
  • History of imprisonment or frequent contact with police.

In addition, clients may present with other symptoms which are not unique to ADHD, but are common to many mental disorders (e.g., problems sleeping, irritability, fatigue).