What are the symptoms of ADHD?
The two main ADHD symptoms:
- Hyperactivity-impulsive behavior
- Easily distracted
- Lack of attention to detail
- Appears not to listen
- Careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Has difficulty following through on instructions, schoolwork, tasks
- Difficulty organizing tasks or activities, schedule
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require mental effort like schoolwork or homework
- Loses needed items often
- Squirming or fidgeting more than normal for most children
- Difficulty taking turns
- Roaming around the classroom when expected to be seated
- Running or climbing excessively or, if in adolescence a feeling of restlessness
- Often interrupts others
- Difficult to playing quietly
- Excessive movement
- Answers questions before they are completed
- Talks excessively Important
Since these symptoms are often seen in most children, and since other issues, such as anxiety, can also cause them, to correctly diagnose ADHD we must also consider the following:
Six or more of the following signs or symptoms for each of the two categories below must be present for at least six months for a diagnosis.
- Symptoms must be so severe as to impair functioning in everyday life and be much more than normally seen in children.
- Since ADHD is a “brain problem,’ it can’t be turned on or off by the child. A child who is hyper at school but not at home is not likely to have impaired brain function. Instead he or she may be under some sort of stress at school.
- A child born with a brain deficit would show it early in development. Consequently symptoms must be present by at least seven years old to indicate ADHD.
- Girls may be more inattentive, while boys may be more hyperactive.
Adult Symptoms of ADHD
As a child with ADHD grows older, they often are able to manage their hyperactivity better. But inattentiveness and impulsivity tend to remain problems.
As a person with ADHD enters adult life, missed meetings and appointments, lost car keys, impulsive remarks can take a toll.
Teens and adults who experience these symptoms often become anxious. The anxiety tends to make the symptoms worse, creating a vicious cycle.
A lot can be done to help people with ADHD learn to manage anxiety, impulsiveness, and forgetfulness.