“I call them time-blind,” Dr. Barkley added. “They just can’t manage themselves relative to time limits.”
Kylie Barron, an A.D.D.A spokeswoman who has A.D.H.D., called it a “disorder of performance.” For her, this means “always unintentionally messing up, sticking your foot in your mouth and doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.”
These concerns are common among those with A.D.H.D., Dr. Barkley said.
“They set goals and they mean to accomplish them,” he added. And although they truly are sincere, they don’t usually follow through, especially when it comes to long-term aspirations, he said.
Many adults with A.D.H.D. also have problems regulating emotions, and may display anger, impatience, an inability to get along at work, self-doubt and difficulty managing stress.
With treatment and the right support, however, people with A.D.H.D. can be highly successful.
Can you be diagnosed with A.D.H.D. for the first time as an adult?
Yes, but adults who are diagnosed with A.D.H.D. must have also experienced significant symptoms of the disorder before the age of 12, even if they were not formally diagnosed during childhood, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or D.S.M.
“There’s all kinds of reasons why people can get into adulthood without being diagnosed or detected,” Dr. Barkely said.
Girls, for example, are less likely to be diagnosed than boys, which is part of the reason the prevalence of A.D.H.D. among women has typically been underrecognized, he added.