Do Children With ADHD Become Adults With ADHD?

ADHD is a well-known disorder in our society among children. And this leads us to the question: Do children with ADHD become adults with ADHD?
Do Children With ADHD Become Adults With ADHD?

Last update: 23 January, 2022

Until not long ago, it was thought that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ) was overcome as children matured. In other words, with age, the condition simply “disappeared”. We now know that ADHD begins in childhood and that its symptoms can continue into adolescence and adulthood. While in some children, it may seem that they outgrow the disorder (though in reality, they learn to live with hyperactivity and control their impulses), in most cases, children with ADHD will become adults with ADHD.

The nature of ADHD is chronic, so symptoms can appear in different ways depending on how the person develops at different stages of life.

Symptoms may even decrease as the person grows older. For example, restlessness may decrease over time, but it doesn’t go away. Adults and adolescents have many resources and strategies to turn to in the event that ADHD symptoms become problematic for them at any given time.

The diagnosis of ADHD

Many people with ADHD may not be diagnosed in childhood and are diagnosed by the time they reach adolescence and even into adult life. This usually happens especially when the symptoms have more to do with inattention and not so much with impulsive or hyperactive symptoms. Although the person can successfully manage symptoms in childhood, adolescence, or adult life, the disorder can cause a greater demand for sustained attention, planning and, even organization, so coping with ADHD can be somewhat more complicated and will require new strategies.

A child sitting on a bench looking frustrated.

When an adolescent or an adult is diagnosed with ADHD, they can find a sense of relief in the diagnosis because this will give them an explanation for all the obstacles they’ve been encountering throughout their lives. In addition, by finding comfort in the diagnosis, they’ll also prepare themselves to face the challenges of their day-to-day lives with new strategies and they’ll feel more confident talking about what’s happening to them with friends and family.

Adolescents and Adults with ADHD

Adolescents who have ADHD but aren’t diagnosed or treated have few tools and resources for managing their symptoms. As a result, teens often have a harder time dealing with symptoms, which can cause problems on a day-to-day basis.

Like all adolescents, adolescents with ADHD also want some independence, and by not controlling their impulsivity, they may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors. All of these challenges can lead to emotional problems and low self-esteem. For this reason, it’s so important to be attentive to the possible symptoms of ADHD and, in this way, offer the necessary help to help them learn control and behavior skills. This way, you can avoid academic, work, social, relationship problems, etc.

A child walking down a path holding a Winnie the Pooh toy.

Upon reaching adulthood, the symptoms of hyperactivity can be more subtle in people’s lives. For example, internal restlessness, scattered attention, poor organization, procrastination, hasty decisions, etc. may be experienced.

Although they’re not clearly seen, the symptoms can affect a person’s life very negatively because they can find it difficult to perform tasks at work and they may respond impulsively in situations where moderate respectful behavior is required.

Adults with ADHD, if they don’t receive the help they need, could have work problems and even have difficulties keeping friends or even partners. That’s why it’s so important to diagnose ADHD from childhood because this way, they can begin to learn skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives and that will facilitate their integration and inclusion in society in all aspects and also, will help them feel good about themselves.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.