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"Is it possible for adults to have ADD?"

ZocdocAnswersIs it possible for adults to have ADD?


My boyfriend is 32 years old, but says he can't concentrate lately and his mind has been racing. Can adults have ADD? I know little kids have it and take medications to control it.


There are many possible causes for lack of concentration and inattention in adults. Probably most likely are stress and fatigue. Other causes would include mood problems (such as depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder) as well as alcohol abuse. If one of these is potentially a factor, it should be addressed first. It is possible for adults to have attention deficit disorder. In fact the number of adults being diagnosed with this condition is growing each year. Symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder would include labile mood, problems with impulse control, and trouble staying on track or completing tasks. Importantly, these symptoms have to be causing significant impairment (for example, difficulty in school or in a job) in order for the diagnosis to apply. Similarly, most people with adult attention deficit disorder also have a history of symptoms as a child or an adolescent. It is relatively rare for adults to develop true attention deficit disorder symptoms in adulthood without any prior evidence of the disorder. If your boyfriend thinks that you may have ADD he should get in to see a psychiatrist for formal diagnosis. Alternatively, he could see his primary care doctor, who can make a preliminary assessment and referral as necessary.

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