What are the 9 symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD symptoms are classified into two types: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. To be diagnosed with ADHD, these symptoms must be persistent, pervasive, and significantly interfere with daily functioning in a variety of settings (e.g., home, school, work). Furthermore, the symptoms must have appeared before the age of 12. The specific symptoms and their severity can vary among individuals and may change over time. Here are the common symptoms of ADHD:

1. Inattention Symptoms:

  • Failing to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities, such as listening to lectures, conversations, or lengthy reading.
  • Struggling to follow through on instructions, often leading to incomplete schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace.
  • Being disorganized and having trouble with time management and planning.
  • Avoiding or disliking tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • Frequently losing items necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, keys, or wallets.
  • Being easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or external stimuli.
  • Being forgetful in daily activities, such as running errands, returning calls, or keeping appointments.

2. Hyperactivity-impulsivity Symptoms:

  • Fidgeting or squirming in seat frequently.
  • Leaving one’s seat when expected to remain seated (in situations like school or office).
  • Running or climbing in inappropriate situations or feeling restless in adults.
  • Having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • Being “on the go” as if driven by a motor, often excessively talking or blurting out answers before questions have been completed.
  • Having difficulty waiting one’s turn or interrupting or intruding on others (e.g., butting into conversations or games).

ADHD is further categorized into three subtypes based on the predominant symptoms:

  1. Predominantly inattentive presentation (previously called ADD)
  2. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation
  3. Combined presentation (with both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms)

It’s crucial to note that everyone may experience some of these symptoms occasionally, but for a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms must be chronic, severe, and disruptive to daily life. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have ADHD, it’s important to seek a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional, psychologist, or psychiatrist to determine an accurate diagnosis and receive appropriate management and support.

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