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ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. The main symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.


What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. The main symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

People with ADHD often have trouble paying attention, sitting still, and controlling impulsive behaviors. This can lead to difficulties in academic, occupational, and social settings. However, with proper treatment and support, many people with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Who does ADHD affect?

ADHD affects a significant number of people, both children and adults, around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 5-7% of children and 2-5% of adults have ADHD. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both males and females, although it is more common in males.

ADHD can cause significant difficulties in daily functioning and can impact various aspects of life, including academic performance, employment, relationships, and self-esteem. People with ADHD may struggle with time management, organization, and impulse control, among other things.

Despite its prevalence, ADHD is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, which can lead to difficulties in accessing appropriate treatment and support. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, many individuals with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD can vary depending on the type of ADHD a person has and their age. However, the three main categories of symptoms associated with ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty paying attention to details

  • Making careless mistakes

  • Struggling to follow instructions or complete tasks

  • Being easily distracted

  • Losing or forgetting things

  • Being disorganized

  • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort

  • Hyperactivity symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting or squirming in one's seat

  • Leaving one's seat when remaining seated is expected

  • Excessive physical activity

  • Talking excessively

  • Difficulty playing quietly or relaxing

  • Impulsivity symptoms include:

  • Blurting out answers before questions have been completed

  • Interrupting others

  • Acting without thinking

  • Difficulty waiting one's turn

  • Taking risks without considering the consequences

It's important to note that the symptoms of ADHD can vary in severity, frequency, and expression, and that not all individuals with ADHD will experience all of the symptoms. Additionally, the symptoms may change over time and can be influenced by different factors such as stress, sleep, and medications.

If you're concerned that you or someone you know might have ADHD, it's important to seek a professional evaluation by a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They can help determine if ADHD is the cause of the symptoms and provide a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

What are the diagnosis criteria for ADHD?

The diagnosis of ADHD is based on the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. To be diagnosed with ADHD, an individual must exhibit a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning in multiple settings (such as at home, school, or work) and is not due to another medical or psychiatric condition.

The specific criteria for ADHD include:

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities.

  • Often has trouble holding attention in tasks or play activities.

  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace.

  • Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.

  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require sustained mental effort.

  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities.

  • Is often easily distracted.

  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.

  • Hyperactivity-Impulsivity:

  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

  • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.

  • Often runs or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate.

  • Often has trouble playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.

  • Is often "on the go" or acts as if "driven by a motor."

  • Often talks excessively.

  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed.

  • Often has trouble waiting one's turn.

  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

In children, symptoms must be present for at least 6 months, while in adults, the symptoms must have been present since childhood. Additionally, the symptoms must cause significant impairment in daily functioning, such as difficulty in school, at work, or in social relationships.

It's important to note that a diagnosis of ADHD should be made by a qualified healthcare professional with experience in diagnosing ADHD, such as a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist, after a comprehensive evaluation that includes a thorough medical and psychiatric history and assessment of symptoms.

What are strategies and therapies for overcoming ADHD?

There are a variety of strategies and treatments available for managing ADHD and improving daily functioning. The most effective treatment plan for ADHD typically involves a combination of different approaches, tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of the person with ADHD. Some of the most commonly used strategies and treatments for ADHD include:

Medications: Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall), are commonly used to manage ADHD symptoms. These medications can help improve attention and reduce impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Behavioral therapy: This type of therapy can help individuals with ADHD develop better organizational skills, time management strategies, and social skills. Behavioral therapy may also involve training for parents and teachers on how to support individuals with ADHD.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy can help individuals with ADHD identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to their symptoms.

Coaching and support: A coach or counselor with experience in ADHD can provide practical advice and support to help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms and achieve their goals.

Lifestyle changes: Simple changes in daily routines, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and good sleep habits, can help improve symptoms of ADHD.

Education and advocacy: Learning about ADHD and its effects can help individuals with ADHD and their families better understand and cope with the disorder. Joining a support group or advocacy organization can also provide valuable information and resources.

It's important to note that not all strategies and treatments will work for everyone, and that it may take some time to find the right combination of approaches that works best for each individual. 

Working with a doctor, psychologist, or other mental health professional can help ensure that the most effective and appropriate treatment plan is developed.

This content is provided for informational and entertainment value only. It is not a replacement for a trained professional's diagnosis or for the treatment of any illness. If you feel like you are struggling with this condition, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. With the right treatment and support, individuals with this condition can learn to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives. BetterPsych provides full psychological services via telehealth and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our services. For more information and to find a therapist specializing in this disorder, please call (833) 496-5011, or visit

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