ADHD: Signs and Symptoms

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is marked by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It affects not only children, but also many adults. For individuals with ADHD, the symptoms interfere with daily life. With treatment, however, people with ADHD can further their success in school, work, and other aspects of life.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of ADHD may vary depending on the person. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Inattention
    • Difficulty keeping focus
    • Disorganized
    • Easily distracted
    • Trouble completing assignments or projects
    • Difficulty processing information quickly 
  • Hyperactivity
    • Trouble sitting still
    • Often fidgeting or talking
    • Restlessness
  • Impulsivity
    • Interrupting others
    • Impatience
    • Acting without thinking of consequences
    • Inability to delay gratification 

Treatment and Therapies

Treatment and therapies may vary but treatment plans commonly include:

  • Medication
    • Although not always, stimulants are most commonly used to treat ADHD as they increase dopamine and norepinephrine, which play essential roles in thinking and attention
    • Non-stimulants may also be used in the treatment of ADHD although tend to work slower, but they still have been found to improve focus, attention, and impulsivity
  • Psychotherapy
    • Behavioral therapy is often used as it helps one monitor their behaviors, and focus on the positives of controlling their impulses
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy is also used as it helps teach mindfulness activities and creates a greater sense of self-awareness

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

  • To learn more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or to find out if it may affect you, we recommend contacting your health care provider.
  • To read more about ADHD, the following resources are suggested:
    • NAMI: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/ADHD
    • NIMH: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd

 

 

Living With ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder, affecting both children and adults, that makes it difficult for one to pay attention and control impulse behaviors. The American Psychiatric Association estimates 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. Although there is no cure for ADHD, various treatments can be used to help minimize the symptoms of the disorder. 

Treating ADHD

The following are treatments commonly used for ADHD:

  • Medication
    • Stimulants: Stimulants are used because the medicine increases dopamine, which can help one’s ability to think and pay attention.
    • Non-Stimulants: Although these medications may take longer to work than stimulants, they can also improve one’s ability to focus, pay attention, and control impulses.
    • Antidepressants: Antidepressants are not currently approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of ADHD, but are prescribed at times to treat adults with the disorder.
  • Therapy
    • Therapy may not directly be effective in treating ADHD symptoms, but is often used as a way for individuals to help cope with daily challenges.
  • Education and Training
    • To help children and adults struggling with ADHD, the support and guidance of family, friends, and teachers can play a big role in treatment. This assistance includes, but is not limited to, parenting skills training, stress management techniques, and support groups.

RESOURCES

  • To learn more about ADHD, or find out if you or your child may be affected by the disorder, we recommend contacting your health care provider.
  • To read more about ADHD, the following resources are suggested:
    • APA: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd
    • NIMH: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics
    • NAMI: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/ADHD

ADHD: Signs and Symptoms

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is a developmental disorder that affects both children and adults, creating a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that interferes with daily functioning.

Primary Characteristics

  • Inattention
    • Difficulties sustaining attention
    • Not following through or failure to finish tasks
    • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
    • Easily distracted by unrelated thoughts and/or stimuli
    • Forgetful in daily activities
  • Hyperactivity/Impulsivity
    • Often fidgeting or in motion
    • Restless
    • Interrupting others
    • Difficulty doing tasks quietly 

Symptoms can vary

ADHD, like other disorders, can have varying symptoms depending on the person at hand. The characteristics listed are often found in those with ADHD, but that does not mean the symptoms are limited to those mentioned.

TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

  • To learn more about ADHD, or find out if you or your child may be affected by the disorder, we recommend contacting your health care provider.
  • To read more about ADHD, the following resources are suggested:
    • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/
    • https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/ADHD
    • http://www.russellbarkley.org/factsheets/adhd-facts.pdf