What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on and execute tasks. ADHD symptoms vary by sub-type – inattentive, hyperactive or combined and are often more difficult to diagnose in girls and adults.
What Is ADHD? Meaning & Symptoms
People with ADHD have trouble with impulse-control, focusing and organization.
Neuroscience, brain imaging and clinical research tell us a few important things –
• ADHD is not a behaviour disorder.
• ADHD is not a mental illness.
• ADHD is not a specific learning disability.
ADHD is, instead, a developmental impairment of the brain’s self-management system. Both adults and children can be diagnosed with ADHD.
Common ADHD symptoms include
• Lack of focus
• Poor time management
• Weak impulse control
• Exaggerated emotions
• Executive dysfunction
What Are the 9 Symptoms of ADHD – Primarily Inattentive Type?
• Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate).
• Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy reading).
• Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).
• Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily side-tracked).
• Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (e.g., difficulty managing sequential tasks; difficulty keeping materials and belongings in order; messy, disorganised work; has poor time management; fails to meet deadlines).
• Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (e.g., schoolwork or homework; for older adolescents and adults, preparing reports, completing forms, reviewing lengthy papers).
• Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
• Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (for older adolescents and adults, may include unrelated thoughts).
• Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; for older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, keeping appointments)
What Are the 9 Symptoms of ADHD – Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive Type?
• Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat.
• Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves his or her place in the classroom, in the office or other workplace, or in other situations that require remaining in place).
• Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. (Note: In adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless.)
• Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly.
• Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor” (e.g., is unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with).
• Often talks excessively.
• Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed (e.g., completes people’s sentences; cannot wait for turn in conversation).
• Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn (e.g., while waiting in line).
• Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission; for adolescents and adults, may intrude into or take over what others are doing).
Through my own volunteering and observations, I have seen a real need to provide affordable counselling for young people. To facilitate this, Space to Breathe Therapy have set up a ‘pay forward’ fund to enable our young people to have access to subsidised or free counselling. If you would like to help with this cause, please click the button and donate whatever you can afford. Every donation will go towards subsidising counselling sessions for our most vulnerable people.