Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 



Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals of all ages, including teens and young adults. It is characterized by difficulty focusing, controlling impulsive behaviors, and exhibiting hyperactivity. 

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a complex condition that involves difficulties with executive functions, which are responsible for regulating attention, self-control, and impulse management. Individuals with ADHD may struggle with maintaining focus, organizing tasks, and controlling their impulses. 

Types of ADHD

There are three primary types of ADHD: Predominantly Inattentive, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined Type. 

Predominantly Inattentive:

Individuals with this type of ADHD may often appear daydreaming and may be easily distracted. They might have difficulty paying attention in conversations or classroom settings, finishing tasks, or staying organized. 

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive:

Individuals with this type of ADHD may often appear daydreaming and may be easily distracted. They might have difficulty paying attention in conversations or classroom settings, finishing tasks, or staying organized. 

 Combined Type:

Individuals with this type of ADHD display symptoms from both the Predominantly Inattentive and Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive types.

Signs and Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of ADHD can be different depending on the person’s age. In teens and young adults, here are how some of the signs and symptoms may manifest.

Predominantly Inattentive Signs: 

  • Difficulty paying attention 
  • Trouble focusing on tasks or conversations
  • Poor listening skills
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to follow directions or keep track of details
  • Easily distracted by noise and activity 

    Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Signs: 

    • Restlessness, especially when sitting for long periods of time 
    • Difficulty waiting their turn in conversations or activities 
    • Interrupting others during conversations or activities 
    • Fidgeting and squirming 
    Teen distracted from homework due to ADHD

    Diagnosis and Evaluation

    Diagnosing ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or pediatrician. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to begin appropriate treatment. It is important to note that ADHD cannot be diagnosed through one single test or observation, yet it requires a thorough review of the individual’s history, symptoms, and behaviors. 

    Where do I start?

    To obtain a diagnosis and evaluation for ADHD, it is recommended to start by consulting with a healthcare professional. The process typically involves a comprehensive assessment that includes clinical interviews, rating scales, behavioral observations, and a review of medical and developmental history. Bringing in any recent medical records, school reports, and information about the individual’s symptoms could be beneficial. From there, your doctor will be able to determine the appropriate next steps. 

    ADHD Frequently Asked Questions

    Can ADHD be diagnosed in adulthood or is it only a childhood condition?

    ADHD can be diagnosed in both children and adults. While the diagnosis criteria for adults may be slightly different than those for children, it is still possible to be diagnosed with ADHD at any age. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of ADHD.

    Is ADHD a lifelong condition or can it be outgrown over time?

    ADHD is a complex condition that can affect individuals throughout their lifetime. While symptoms may change over time, it is important to develop appropriate coping strategies to manage the condition. With the right treatment plan and support system, managing ADHD can be manageable. 

    What are some resources available to those with ADHD?

    There are many resources available for individuals living with ADHD.

    Organizations such as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) provide support groups, educational resources, advocacy campaigns, research studies, training on ADHD topics, conferences, newsletters, online webinars, and more. 

    See more resources below

    Can you have ADHD along with other mental health issues?

    Yes, it is common for someone to have co-existing mental health conditions along with ADHD. It’s important to consider that when diagnosing and treating ADHD. Co-occurring conditions can include anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, or learning disabilities. 

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