Updated 17 July 2017

Can adults have ADHD?

Adult ADHD, if left untreated can lead to risky behaviour as well as work and relationship problems.

Yes, adults can have ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Whilst previously it was believed that ADHD was a childhood condition that kids grew out of as they approached adulthood, it is now estimated that approximately 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have symptoms as adults, Medscape explains.

For adults, ADHD can wreck havoc on work performance and personal relationships. Those with ADHD are also more likely to engage in impulsive or risky behaviours such as gambling, drug and alcohol abuse and dangerous driving. ADHD can also increase the likelihood of violence and other criminal behaviour. For these reasons, it is important for you to book an appointment with a psychiatrist specialising in adult ADHD if you suspect you have symptoms of the condition. A specialist psychiatrist will be able to properly determine whether or not you have ADHD and will prescribe appropriate medication such as Ritalin, Concerta or Strattera should it be required.


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ADHD Expert

Dr Renata Schoeman has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). Renata also holds appointments as senior lecturer in Leadership (USB) and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the co-convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation ( She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and a MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016, and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016.

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