These pictures of ADHD give us another way to recognize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
For example, while we often use words such as "hyperactive", "inattentive", and "impulsive" to describe the different types of ADHD symptoms, what do they actually look like?
(Before we begin, remember that ADHD is diagnosed and characterized by three different groups of symptoms: attentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type.)
To help you better recognize what these symptoms look like, use these real life ADHD images as examples. (This is also helpful in other ways, because, some people simply respond/learn better with photos and visual cues rather than descriptive words.)
Hyperactive behavior is probably considered the most stereotypical of ADHD symptoms.
The hyperactive manifestation of ADHD is often described by parents and teachers as "bouncing off of the walls" or acting like the "Energizer bunny." Nonstop activity.
Clinically speaking, hyperactive symptoms involve fidgeting, squirming, unable to remain seated or play quietly, inappropriate running/climbing, excessive talking, etc.
However, it is important to note that not all children with ADHD behave hyperactively, and it is possible to have ADHD without hyperactivity.
Inattentive-type ADHD involves trouble sustaining attention, being easily distracted, difficulty organizing tasks (schoolwork, chores), forgetfulness, losing items, appearing not to listen, etc.
This results in careless mistakes with respect to schoolwork and can hinder academic advancement if not treated.
In girls, this may present as "detached daydreaming." They are often described as "spacey."
Unfortunately, because of the mistaken beliefs that ADHD only affects boys or that all ADHD sufferers are hyperactive, many girls with ADHD go undiagnosed and untreated. They often fly under the radar and suffer in silence.
As a result, if your girl is displaying these symptoms and has not yet been assessed for ADHD, get her tested for ADHD.
Impulsive behavior involves acting without first considering the consequences. In terms of ADHD, this typically involves risk-taking in the form of inappropriate jumping, climbing, racing, etc.
In the photo, the boy is jumping off of a slide, which can result in serious injury.
This is one reason why children with ADHD have higher rates of accidents and visits to hospital emergency rooms that children without ADHD.
My son suffers from ADHD, and when I asked him why he attempted to climb a tree so high or jump his bicycle over a ravine, he nonchalantly replied that it "looked fun!" (I'm sure my fellow ADHD parents can relate.)
The most common type of ADHD is combined, which is a combination of inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms.
Adults experience the same ADHD symptoms as children, but ADHD symptoms are slightly more subtle and nuanced in adults.
They may be unable to focus or concentrate at work, be unorganized, struggle to complete tasks and household responsibilities, suffer from restlessness or constant boredom, interrupt conversations, suffer from excessive talkativeness, etc.
In terms of impulsivity and higher appetite for risk-taking, adults with ADHD are also at greater risk of addiction, substance abuse, gambling problems, etc.
(Note: Substance abuse may also be a way to "self-medicate" by consuming drugs or alcohol in order to take the edge off of ADHD symptoms.)