6 Little Known Symptoms of ADHD

When most people think of ADHD symptoms, they probably think of the inability to focus, lack of organization, and someone who seems to be scatterbrained at times. While these symptoms are true and often linked to ADHD, there are some that most people don’t know about. Better understanding your child’s condition, especially the symptoms, can strengthen your bond.

Keep reading to learn about 6 little known symptoms of ADHD.

  1. Mood Swings

When you hear the term mood swings, most people think of bipolar disorder, which is known to cause periods of euphoria that shift to crippling depression. Similarly, people with ADHD can also have mood swings. Those with the condition are often extremely passionate and have strong emotional reactions. Unlike those with bipolar, people with ADHD often have a trigger that causes them to have a mood swing.

Be aware of the topics that cause your child to have a strong emotional reaction. Knowing what’s safe to talk about and what isn’t can help minimize mood swings and in turn improve your relationship.

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  1. Issues Sleeping

Does your child with ADHD always seem to be tired? Though you may think your child is just a night owl, the fact is that ADHD can make getting to sleep, and staying asleep, a challenge. People with ADHD often have all sorts of thoughts racing through their mind, especially at bedtime. The mix of lack of focus, hyperactivity, and stimulant medications can make getting to sleep a challenge. Because of this, insomnia and ADHD often go hand-in-hand.

So while you may want to tell your child to get to bed earlier or to start counting sheep, those options are rarely true fixes.

  1. Depression

Depression is sometimes more than just having low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Studies have found that 47% of adults and 14% of children with ADHD suffer from depression. But, most people who have been diagnosed with ADHD don’t suffer from full-blown depression. In fact, people with ADHD are often diagnosed with what’s known as secondary depression. This is depression that’s caused by the frustrations of living with ADHD.

On those days when your child seems to be lacking energy or sad, know that their symptoms are probably getting the best of them. Be supportive during the tough times.

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety and excessive worry often plague people with ADHD. But, most people assume that because someone is anxious that they have some sort of anxiety disorder. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders are often confused and misdiagnosed. But, it’s rare that someone just suffers from anxiety. In fact, anxiety impacts 53% of adults with ADHD.

If your child seems to be “on-edge” more often than not, it’s likely due to ADHD. During these periods, the best thing you can do is to be supportive and understanding. For some, anxiety can be crippling and things that used to be tolerable can cause a flurry of emotions. When your child is anxious, do your best to be calm. Your calming emotions may slowly have an impact.

  1. Social Awkwardness

We all know that one person who can be a bit awkward, especially in social settings. Does your child with ADHD sometimes miss social cues or act inappropriately in certain situations? Most people think that autism is the only disorder that impacts social awareness. But, ADHD also causes social struggles. The condition can make it harder to make friends and to understand proper communication skills.

With this symptom, there isn’t much you can do except be accepting. Encourage growth and keep working with your child to help them maintain healthy social relationships.

  1. Difficulty Making Financial Decisions

People with ADHD are more likely to make impulsive decisions. Your child may not be the best when it comes to money.  This is especially important for parents raising teens: Saying no to that expensive xBox may be easy for you, but for your child, the impulse to buy it can be quite strong.

Work closely with your child to teach good money management techniques and as they mature, don’t be afraid to teach them how going to a doctor and getting a prescription actually works.  As your kids enter adulthood, they need to know how to manage their condition and their money.


Understanding these 6 little known symptoms of ADHD will help you to better understand your child.  As you work with your child’s doctors to come up with a treatment plan that works for them, do your best to understand the disease and the symptoms.

It’s also important to note that the extends passed managing your relationship with the child and extends into the realm of medication.  While some medications can be filled with the generic form, some are only available in the name-brand version, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month. The good news is that there are ways to save money on ADHD prescription treatment. Many providers offer a Vyvanse savings card or a program that can help you save on pharmacy coupons.  If you’re feeling lost, ask your doctor what he or she recommends.

Do you have any tips for raising children with ADHD?  Share your story in the comments.


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