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Adhd Personality Traits In Adults

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How To Use Add/adhd To Your Advantage

ADHD or Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder? [Overlap & Differences]

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADD/ADHD, is commonly characterized by struggles to focus and achieve at work and school. However, if you have a diagnosis of adult ADD/ADHD, you can leverage the traits associated with this condition to become more successful and reach your personal and professional goals. Here’s what you need to know about using ADD/ADHD to your advantage.

Tips To Consider If You Have Add/adhd:

Pepperdine University published research in 2009 about how to optimize employment performance if you have this condition. The scientists recommended taking frequent breaks if you struggle with a short attention span at work or school.

Blocking out potential distractions can also be effective. Try wearing noise-canceling headphones when you need to focus. Work in a quiet area of the home or office where you won’t encounter others.

Having a positive attitude can help you use ADD/ADHD to improve your life. For best results, make sure you follow your health care provider’s recommendations for treating this condition, which typically includes a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Complementary therapies such as nutrition supplements can also have a beneficial effect.

Treatment For Adhd In Women

Effective treatment for ADHD in women often involves several different approaches. Recommended treatments depend on various factors, including the nature, severity, and impact of ADHD symptoms.

ADHD treatments may include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and accommodations in school, work, and home.

It is essential to start by getting an accurate diagnosis to find the appropriate treatment. ADHD is often missed well into adulthood, so getting a diagnosis can be an important step toward understanding things about yourself that you might have previously chalked up to other causes.

Once you know that you have ADHD, you can feel more empowered to take steps to get help and make changes in your life that will help you to better manage the symptoms of the condition. It can also help you better appreciate some of your strengths, such as high energy levels and creativity, that you can leverage when coping with the challenges you face.

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Do Adhd Symptoms Affect Your Personality

Does having ADHD influence your personality?

Researchers have started to look at the relationship between ADHD symptoms and ones personality. Multiple studies are noting there seem to be some commonalities among personality types and specific symptoms of ADHD, but havent determined a direct relationship.

The bottom line for me is you can have a whole range of personalities that have ADHD, says Craig Surman, MD, an ADHD specialist at Harvard Medical School and a member of CHADDs Professional Advisory Board.

Researching ADHD and personality

A few studies have tried to find a relationship between ADHD symptoms and specific personality types. The studies were not looking at personality disorders, but rather the interplay between specific ADHD symptoms and personality traits . One study concluded that distinct temperaments were associated with inattentive versus hyperactive/impulsive symptoms and offered a compelling picture of personality deviations in ADHD and how they relate to symptom dimensions.

Do specific symptoms of ADHD in general indicate specific personality types across the board? Not necessarily, but research does offer a theoretical connection between symptoms and personality.

Is your individual personality a fixed point?

This idea about what is fixed in us, and how we come across in our personality, might not be so fixed, says Dr. Surman.

Good ADHD treatment reveals your personality

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Related Conditions In Children And Teenagers With Adhd

What Is Attention

Although not always the case, some children may also have signs of other problems or conditions alongside ADHD, such as:

  • anxiety disorder which causes your child to worry and be nervous much of the time it may also cause physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating and dizziness
  • oppositional defiant disorder this is defined by negative and disruptive behaviour, particularly towards authority figures, such as parents and teachers
  • conduct disorder this often involves a tendency towards highly antisocial behaviour, such as stealing, fighting, vandalism and harming people or animals
  • Tourette’s syndrome a condition of the nervous system, characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements
  • learning difficulties such as dyslexia

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Last Of The Romantics

Spontaneity, outside-the-box creativity, and heightened energy all traits of people with ADHD add pizzazz to romantic interludes. Adults with ADHD are known for showering their partners with affection and forever believing in the power of love, even when their relationships hit a bump in the road.

Adult Adhd And Maladaptive Personality Traits

ADHD is estimated to affect 2.5% of the adult population. The consequences and impact of adult ADHD affect individuals in different ways. Previous systematic reviews have found a link between ADHD and the personality traits of conscientious inhibition and negative emotionality. However, there have been some inconsistencies in the medical literature regarding these findings.

This meta-analysis, published in BMC Psychiatry, examined associations between adult ADHD and maladaptive personality traits. A total of 13 studies were included in the analysis.

Ultimately, it was found that high negative emotionality and low conscientious inhibition were associated with ADHD symptoms. However, there was some variation. The researchers concluded that a clinical application of personality assessment may be used to predict the risk of ADHD symptom development .

BMC Psychiatry21

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Research On The Benefits Of Adhd

Research into the benefits of ADHD is often based more on stories from people with ADHD than actual statistics. Some people with the condition report that the condition has affected them for the better.

A small 2006 study published in the journal Child Neuropsychology found that ADHD sample groups displayed greater levels of creativity in performing certain tasks than their peers without a diagnosis of ADHD.

Researchers asked participants to draw animals that lived on a planet that was different from Earth and to create an idea for a new toy.

A 2017 study explored creativity in adults with ADHD. Study participants were asked to come up with new ways to use a belt, book, tin can, and towel.

In general, people with ADHD and people without ADHD came up with the same number of ideas. The researchers also found that there were no differences in creativity between people who took medications for their ADHD and those who didnt.

However, when study participants were told that they had the opportunity to win a bonus, people with ADHD generated more ideas than people without ADHD.

also suggests that rewards and competition may be useful motivators for people with ADHD.

These findings help to support the idea that those with ADHD are often creative and innovative.


In a 2017 study, people with ADHD were more likely to report that they were creative in the performance domain or mechanical/scientific domain than in the artistic domain .

How Can You Cope

ADHD and Autism: The overlap of traits in smart kids & adults

Ive seen that setting alarms and reminders and using digital calendars that sync across devices work well for many folks.

Paper calendars can be useful, but you have to remember to look at them which can be one step too many.

Setting your clock slightly ahead in your car or on your personal watch can be useful as well, as long as you dont start compensating for the extra time you know you have.

One of my favorite methods involved realizing that whenever I was about to do something that would take too long, I would often say to myself, I have time for that. Itll be fine.

Dear reader, it almost always was not fine. So whenever I heard that in my head, I took it as a signal to stop what I was doing and start prepping to leave.

Inevitably, there would be something I had forgotten or something I needed to take with that took up the time I thought I had.

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Common Traits Of Adult Ad/hd

Do I have Adult ADHD?

It is no secret that Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder has become a common discussion point amongst school aged children. The rate of diagnosis has been steadily increasing 3% a year since 2003 and there seems to nothing slowing this number down. So what is the deal with this increase and ADHD phenomenon?

Well, there are multiple theories as to why there is such a steady increase. Many theories include behavioral, environmental, or biological changes but one of the more obvious reasons for the increase is awareness. We are discussing, treating, and screening for ADHD much more than we used to. It may be possible that there arent necessarily that many more children with ADHD today, we just were not paying attention.

Imagine, many adults went through a normal childhood education without an awareness of ADHD. Screening tools were not common, parents were not aware of the disorder, so oftentimes ADHD symptoms where simply chalked up to poor behavior or learning problems especially in a classroom of 20-30 kids. Symptoms could be easily overlooked.

Oftentimes children may grow out of many of the ADHD symptoms or learn effective ways to cope with the daily challenges independently, but many symptoms will linger through adulthood. A recent US study mentioned that the rate of Adult ADHD could be as high as 4 percent.

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Contrary To Popular Belief Adhd Is Not Just About Being Unfocused

These symptoms, while not as widely heard of, can be just as debilitating as the ones we hear about most often.

And by raising awareness and educating ourselves, we can learn how to best support ourselves as we navigate ADHD.

Shivani Seth is a queer, second-generation Punjabi American freelance writer from the Midwest. She has a background in theater as well as a masters in social work. She writes frequently on the topics of mental health, burnout, community care, and racism in a variety of contexts. You can find more of her work at or on .

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Main Characteristics Of Add/adhd

ADD/ADHD causes three main characteristics: hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. People who have this condition often have difficulty focusing on tasks, showing patience and following instructions. They may be very talkative, seem to drift away during conversations and lose important items. With proper treatment, however, individuals can often manage these symptoms and reduce their impact on daily activities.

Scientists think that the brains of individuals who have ADD/ADHD have a limited response to dopamine. This chemical produced by the nervous system governs attention and reward, which explains some of the common personality traits of this condition described below. In addition, the S100B protein is an important regulator of many different intracellular and extracellular brain processes, e.g. various enzymes activities, calcium homeostasis, communication between neurons, etc. Since almost all mental and neurological diseases as well as temporal stress-induced conditions are accompanied by disturbance of the above-mentioned processes, especially communication between neurons, the normalization of these processes is considered to be a prospective way to treat people with such undesirable conditions.

How Symptoms Differ In Women

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One of the reasons why ADHD frequently goes undiagnosed in women and girls is that their symptoms may present differently from those of men and boys. ADHD comes in three presentations: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or a combination of the two.

Men and boys tend to have hyperactive/impulsive ADHD, which may cause them to be fidgety, always on the go, disruptive, restless, talkative, impulsive, impatient, and have mood swings.

On the other hand, women tend to exhibit inattentive ADHD, making it hard to focus, pay attention to details, stay organized, listen, and remember things.

Gender bias may also play a pivotal role in the misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis of ADHD in women and girls. Some of the characteristics of inattentive ADHD, such as being shy or impulsive, are often viewed as personality traits rather than symptoms when they occur in girls and women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls . However, research suggests that this disparity is not because boys are more susceptible but instead because girls are consistently underdiagnosed.

Studies generally show that while men and women with ADHD are more alike than different, there are a few small differences. During adolescence, girls tend to have fewer coping strategies and worse self-efficacy than boys. Girls and women also have fewer externalizing symptoms such as aggression than men, but higher levels of depression and anxiety.

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Demographic And Clinical Characteristics

The three groups did not differ in age. The ADHD group scored four points lower than typically developing controls on NART full IQ. ADHD participants differed from unaffected first-degree relatives and controls in self-reported current and childhood ADHD symptoms. Relatives were significantly different from ADHD and control groups on self-reported current hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, childhood total symptoms, childhood hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms .

Linear Regression Analysis Of Iv7 Subscales And Comorbid Disorders

We calculated three linear regression models with impulsiveness , venturesomeness , empathy with and without PRS, see Table 2. While our analysis focused on Imp and Vent, we included Emp as a secondary endpoint. First, it can demonstrate that questions from the same questionnaire are completely unrelated to any impulsivity-based construct, and second, previous research has shown lowered empathy in adults with ADHD and SUDs . Therefore, we were interested in testing empathy as a way of characterizing a subset of our sample. As we calculated separate models with and without the PRS, here referred to as the smaller sample with PRS and the larger sample without PRS . All other covariates were the same between the four models.

Table 2. Regression models IV7 and PRS.

Patients with alcohol and hallucinogen abuse or dependency showed higher impulsiveness scores. No other diagnostic entities or the PRS were significant for the dependent variable impulsiveness. Patients with anxiety disorder diagnosis showed significantly lower venturesomeness scores. Patients with cannabis abuse or dependency showed higher venturesomeness scores. No other diagnostic entity was significant for the dependent variable venturesomeness.

Patients suffering from stimulant abuse or dependency disorder showed higher scores on empathy in the smaller sample with PRS covariate, but not in the complete sample, pointing to a false-positive effect .

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Correlation Between Iv7 Scales And Clinical Characteristics

We looked at the relationship between impulsivity, venturesomeness, and empathy with inattention and hyperactivity in both adulthood and childhood with a Spearman correlation. Impulsivity was significantly correlated with hyperactivity and inattention in adulthood and childhood , with the correlation between impulsivity and childhood hyperactivity showing the highest correlation . Venturesomeness was strongly correlated with childhood hyperactivity and inattention , but not adulthood. Empathy correlated with adulthood symptoms but not childhood symptoms.

Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve For Personality Traits In Differentiating Adhd

Recognizing ADHD in Adults | Heather Brannon | TEDxHeritageGreen

In comparison to all other personality dimensions, impulsiveness was best in predicting ADHD , followed by extraversion and neuroticism . Therefore, impulsiveness gives good testing characteristics neuroticism or extraversion performs poorly . When impulsiveness, neuroticism, and extraversion are combined, the result is only slightly better than impulsiveness alone , meaning that no additional value is gained by using a sum index across the best three traits.

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The Drive Of Adhd Hyperfocus

ADHD’s trademark hyperfocus can be a serious advantage if you effectively channel all your attention and energy into work that makes a difference. Many scientists, writers, and artists with ADHD have had very successful careers, in large part because of their ability to focus on what theyre doing for hours on end, says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.

Related Conditions In Adults With Adhd

As with ADHD in children and teenagers, ADHD in adults can occur alongside several related problems or conditions.

One of the most common is depression. Other conditions that adults may have alongside ADHD include:

  • personality disorders conditions in which an individual differs significantly from the average person in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others
  • bipolar disorder a condition affecting your mood, which can swing from one extreme to another
  • obsessive compulsive disorder a condition that causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour

The behavioural problems associated with ADHD can also cause problems such as difficulties with relationships and social interaction.

Page last reviewed: 24 December 2021 Next review due: 24 December 2024

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Why Adhd In Women Is Often Misdiagnosed

ADHD symptoms in girls are often viewed as character traits rather than symptoms of a condition. For example, a girl might be described as spacey, forgetful, or chatty. Later in life, a woman might reach out for help for her symptoms, only to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety instead.

The good news is that there is an increasing awareness about ADHD symptoms in women, which means more women are able to get the help they need.

Women with ADHD face the same feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted as men with ADHD commonly feel.

Psychological distress, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and chronic stress are common. Often, women with ADHD feel that their lives are out of control or in chaos, and daily tasks may seem impossibly huge.

Our culture commonly expects women to fill the caretaker role. When things feel out of control and it’s difficult to organize and plan because of ADHD, taking care of others can feel nearly impossible. This societal pressure also may greatly increase a woman’s feelings of inadequacy.

Impulsivity And Venturesomeness In An Adult Adhd Sample: Relation To Personality Comorbidity And Polygenic Risk

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Medius Klinik, Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany
  • 3Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Center of Mental Health, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

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