Secondary Symptoms of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD are divided into primary and secondary symptoms.

The primary symptoms of ADHD are attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They can appear together, but not necessarily.

Many adults with ADHD report many other symptoms that are sometimes considered to be distressing.

Good to know: Usually at least two other symptoms occur (in addition to the core symptoms).

Summary of the Secondary Symptoms of ADHD

Rapid mood swings

  • Normal and depressed moods quickly merge into one another, whereby the depressed mood often lasts for only a few hours up to a few days

Easy to irritate

  • Outbursts of anger even with little provocation, which often trigger interpersonal conflicts

Decreased tolerance to stress

  • Feeling of being overtly stressed by "normal" everyday life


  • Many tasks are started at the same time, but not completed, appointments are forgotten, deadlines are not met, etc.

Addiction as a Problem with ADHD

In general, adults with ADHD often find it hard to get the balance right. This explains why addictions are more frequently observed in ADHD sufferers.

Common addictions seen with ADHD are:

  • Alcohol dependency
  • Substance misuse (such as nicotine, cannabis, cocaine)
  • Shopping addiction
  • Gambling addiction
  • Internet addiction
  • Sex addiction

Other comorbidities that can arise in connection with ADHD are:

  • Depression
  • Social phobias
  • Sleep disorders

There is Help Available

If the symptoms of ADHD are a heavy burden, it is important to seek help. Today, there are effective therapeutic approaches available that can help you better deal with your own "characteristics" and make it easier to cope with everyday life.

Read more here on treatment for ADHD.