The Basics: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Three main traits characterize ADHD: difficulty sustaining attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
You Should Know
- Attention-deficit disorders affect approximately 3-5% of children. It is estimated that more than half of all cases have symptoms that carry into adulthood. Nearly 8% of 18 – 29 year olds have ADHD.
- While ADHD will not cause other mental health problems, people with ADHD are more likely to have other conditions such as anxiety and depression.
- Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.
Signs and Symptoms
The American Psychiatric Association defines a person as having ADHD when eight or more of the following are present over a long period. Since most children and adults will, at times, display the characteristics listed below, a true attention deficit disorder is measured by the degree and impact these behaviors present in the life of the child or adult.
- Failure to give close attention to details
- Failure to finish tasks
- Does not seem to listen
- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Difficulty concentrating on school or work or other tasks
- Inability to follow through on instructions
- Acts before thinking
- Loses things necessary for tasks
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Flits from one activity to another
- Talks impulsively and interrupts or intrudes on others
- Has difficulty taking turns
- Irresponsible risk taking behavior
- Blurts out answers before questions are complete
- Tendency to anger easily
- Difficulty remaining seated and sitting still
- Fidgets with hands or feet
- Difficulty awaiting turn
- Always on the go
Sources used in this article: "Prevalence, Recognition, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a National Sample of US Children"
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