Core Symptoms of ADHD: Impulsiveness

Impulsiveness is one of the three core symptoms of ADHD, alongside hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders.

A particular feature of ADHD in adulthood: Sometimes, those affected have already learned as their life has progressed to better deal with their impulsiveness and to get their exuberant temperament a little bit better under control. After all, as we grow older, we tend to know the consequences of our actions.

Nevertheless, impulsiveness is and will remain a central issue for many people affected, which can become a real problem in social interactions, and especially in relationships.

Impulsiveness: Check List

Impulsive actions and a fiery temper
  • Acting without thinking of the consequences
  • Interrupting when other people are speaking (butting in)
  • Short bursts of anger
  • Appetite for risk taking

Impulsiveness: Signs in everyday life

In everyday life, impulsiveness can show itself in many situations.

We have summarised some examples for you:

  • "Seeing red", even at the slightest provocation
  • Acting/speaking without thinking of the consequences (in retrospect, what has been done or said is regretted)
  • While driving, overtaking where you can't see, tailgating, or speeding
  • When queuing, problems waiting until it's your turn
  • Violent outbursts of anger which are sometimes offensive to others (often you apologise later for what you said)
  • Rapid, frequent talking in conversation with others / ending the sentences of others
  • Spontaneous, ill-considered purchases, spending lots of money

Help with Impulsiveness

If you find your impulsiveness to be very stressful, it's helpful to find a suitable form of ADHD treatment.

Firstly, pay a visit to your family doctor or a psychiatrist/neurologist in your area.

In addition, there are simple behavioural measures you can take in everyday life to help you cope better with your impulsiveness:

Tips with impulsiveness

Impulsiveness: Recognising Strengths

Impulsive people often have special personal strengths that just need to be recognised. Often they remain hidden under the cloak of supposed weakness.

We have summarised some examples for you here – maybe you recognise one or more of these traits in yourself?

  • Creativity, enthusiasm
  • Improvisational talent
  • Captivating manner
  • Varied interests
  • Readiness to help
  • Openness, directness ("wearing your heart on your sleeve")
  • Spontaneity

Read more here on recognising strengths.

Matthias T. (25 years old) When something upsets me, I can't keep quiet about it. I just cannot swallow my anger, I just have to let it out quickly. I often feel sorry for what I've done afterwards.
Dominik V. (39 years old) I hate having to stand in a queue. I'm boiling on the inside and find it very difficult to bear.
Christoph L. (21 years old) I like driving fast on the motorway. I hate it when there's a slow driver in my lane. They should drive over to the right. And I make that clear to them.