Adult Behavior Disorders
Individuals diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have, to an extreme degree, behavior patterns in which they are inattentive and hyperactive and/or impulsive. Until relatively recently, Attention ADHD was thought to be a disorder that occurred only in childhood and then gradually faded away. Researchers and clinicians now recognize that people with ADHD continue to experience symptoms throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Even if an individual never was diagnosed with the disorder as a child, it's possible that the symptoms may not have been properly identified at an earlier age. Teachers and even counselors may have written off the child's inattention to other factors, missing the actual diagnosis. Perhaps as many as 4 percent of American adults meet the diagnostic criteria for this disorder, with nearly equal numbers of men and women having this condition (Kessler et al., 2006).
As people get older, their ADHD symptoms take different form than the way they may have appeared in childhood. Whereas children may show greater evidence of restlessness and impulsivity, adult ADHD involves difficulties in maintaining attentional focus (Kessler et al., 2010). Adult ADHD symptoms fit a picture consistent with deficits in so-called "executive functioning, " a terms that psychologists use to describe how well an individual can plan, organize, and inhibit irrelevant thoughts. People with adult ADHD have more trouble organizing tasks, make careless mistakes, lose things, and are unable to prioritize their daily activities.