A diagnosis of ADHD is based on reported signs, symptoms, behavior, and history rather than any single test. Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD often vary depending on the exact type and severity of the disorder. The key signs of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In children, a combination of behaviors is most common. Though many people lose focus, get distracted, and act impulsively on occasion, these behaviors tend to be more severe and more frequent for people with ADHD.
ADHD Symptoms and Diagnosis
NIMH » Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Life can be a balancing act for any adult, but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD , previously known as ADD. ADHD affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career. ADHD often goes unrecognized throughout childhood. This was especially common in the past, when very few people were aware of it. Instead of recognizing your symptoms and identifying the real issue, your family, teachers, or others may have labeled you as a dreamer, goof-off, slacker, troublemaker, or just a bad student. Alternately, you may have been able to compensate for the symptoms of ADHD when you were young, only to run into problems as your responsibilities increased as an adult. This can be challenging for anyone, but if you have ADHD, it can feel downright impossible.
Symptoms and Signs of Adult ADHD
Signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults can be hard to spot. However, core symptoms start early in life — before age 12 — and continue into adulthood, creating major problems. Some medical conditions or treatments may cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD. Examples include:. Standard treatments for ADHD in adults typically involve medication, education, skills training and psychological counseling.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD affects about 5 percent of children, and about half of them will carry those symptoms into adulthood, says the American Psychiatric Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that numbers are even higher in smaller community samples. On top of that, many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed.