ADHD characteristics in children are classified into three groups: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type (a combination of inattentive and hyperactive).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is diagnosed using the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM).
According to the DSM, in order for ADHD to be diagnosed six or more of the following symptoms for an ADHD type must been present for at least 6 months, and must be severely disruptive with respect to academic, work, and social functioning.
In addition, they must be inappropriate for developmental level, and must have been present prior to age 7.
Further, the symptoms must not be due to a medical condition, sudden life changes, or other mental illnesses. The three major characteristics of ADHD are as follows:
* Has challenges remaining seated.
* Frequent fidgeting with hands and feet; squirms in seat.
* Inappropriate running and climbing. Restlessness.
* Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
* Behaves as if always "on the go"; often acts as if "driven by a motor".
* Hyper-verbal or excessive talkativeness.
* Frequently interrupts others.
* Blurts out answers inappropriatey in class.
* Had difficult waiting for one's turn.
* When spoken to directly, frequently does not listen.
* Does not pay close attention to schoolwork or details; makes careless mistakes in school or work activities.
* Has trouble maintaining attention on school, work, or leisure activities.
* Forgetfulness; loses things easily.
* Has trouble following instructions with respect to school, work, chores, or other duties.
* Has challenges organizing and project planning.
* Avoidance of tasks that require prolonged mental effort (schoolwork, work).
* Easily distracted.
The symptoms are the same for adults, but are often more nuanced. Adults generally become more mellow with age, so they are less likely to be hyperactively bouncing off of the walls (though some might!).
Rather, adults may exhibit ADHD symptoms such being hyper-verbal and overly talkative, and often have challenges focusing on work and life responsibilities.
Where children with ADHD suffer academic challenges, adults face challenges with respect to maintaining a job, managing money, or maintaining friendships and romantic relationships.
Complicating matters is that ADHD is often unrecognized and untreated in adults as many folks erroneously believe that ADHD only affects children. This is gradually changing with greater awareness among mental health professionals and society in general.
Get Dr. Kensington's FREE ADHD Newsletter!