Insight & Growth          
Attention Deficit: Coping and Success in Adult Life 


The needs of adults with attention deficit have often been overlooked.  In moving from adolescence to adulthood, ADHD symptoms tend to shift from external visible ones (such as physical hyperactivity) to internal symptoms.  Many adults were never correctly diagnosed as children and have used their intelligence and determination to mask their symptoms.

However, this often occurs at great emotional cost. Many high-functioning adults with ADHD struggle with low self-worth, see themselves as a failure, and feel they constantly let others down.  Over the years, they adapt to the situation and these positive or negative adaptations can become part of their personality.


Adults with attention deficit may be bored with tedious, repetitive tasks, and experience difficulty with planning and organization.    Impulsivity may lead to frequent job changes, troubled romantic relationships, financial problems, or a tendency to interrupt others.  An adult with ADHD may be easily frustrated or angry, and cool off equally quickly - then be left wondering why everyone is still upset. 

There is no magic cure for ADHD, but many adults learn to manage it successfully.  Success usually comes with with education about the condition, knowledge of coping and mastery skills, and strategies for structuring life and promoting positive interpersonal relationships.  

While ADHD can be a burden for some, it can also be a gift.  People with ADHD are often energetic, creative, and willing to take risks.  Often this gift comes into focus after an individual acquires self-knowledge and learns to channel their energy and creativity.


Library Resources

Useful LInks

  • ADD Resources - a national non-profit organization that helps people with ADHD achieve their full potential through education, support and networking opportunities 
  • Misunderstood Minds - online companion to PBS documentary on learning differences and disabilities 
  • CHADD Calgary - information and support for parents, children, and adults in Calgary area, who are affected by ADHD