Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

 

Learn about the symptoms of Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  The most common treatments for ADHD are psychoeducation, behavior therapy, school interventions, and medications


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A. A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, as evidenced by (1) and/or (2):

1. Inattention: Six or more of the following symptoms has been present for at least six months, to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and school or work activities. (At least five symptoms are required for age seventeen or older).

  • Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities.
  • Often has difficulty remaining focused in tasks or play activities.
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace.
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  • Often dislikes, avoids, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities.
  • Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.

2.Hyperactivity and impulsivity: Six or more of the following symptoms has been present for at least six months, to a degrees that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and school or work activities. (At least five symptoms are required for age seventeen or older).

  • Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in his or her seat.
  • Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
  • Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate.
  • Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly.
  • Is unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended time. Others might view the individual as restless or difficult to keep up with.
  • Often talks excessively.
  • Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
  • Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn.
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others.

B. Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age twelve years.

C. Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms are presents in two or more settings.

D. There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.

E. The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder or substance.

 

The above criteria are adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).