ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s attention span, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children but can continue into adulthood.

People with ADHD have difficulty paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviour, and/or being excessively hyperactive, impacting their daily functioning, school or work performance, and relationships. While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Diagnosis of ADHD typically involves a thorough assessment by a doctor, psychologist, or another mental health professional. Treatment typically includes a combination of medication and behavioural therapy, as well as lifestyle changes such as a structured routine and physical activity.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person, but the three main presentations of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Here is a snapshot of symptoms to look out for;

1 Inattention symptoms:

  • Paying attention
  • Follow through on instructions or tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful with simple tasks
  • Avoids or dislikes sustained mental effort

2 Hyperactivity symptoms:

  • Fidgeting
  • Running or climbing where it’s not appropriate
  • Having trouble sitting still during dinner, school, or at work
  • Excessive talking
  • Acting as if driven by a motor
  • Blurting out answers before questions have been completed.

3 Impulsivity symptoms:

  • Interrupting others in conversation
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Acting without thinking about the consequences
  • Little or no patience for delays or frustration
  • Intrudes in or disrupts others’ activities.

It’s important to note that not everyone with ADHD will experience all the symptoms, and some people with ADHD may only experience inattention symptoms or hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. If you have concerns about ADHD or think you or someone you know may have the disorder, it’s best to seek advice, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Inattention Symptoms In Detail

Inattention symptoms are one of the three main presentations of ADHD. Some common inattention symptoms include;

  • Difficulty paying attention to details or making careless mistakes
  • Struggling to follow through on instructions or tasks, particularly those that are lengthy or complex
  • Easily distracted by outside stimuli
  • Forgetful in daily activities, such as misplacing essential items or forgetting appointments
  • Avoiding or disliking tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or reading
  • Losing things necessary for tasks or activities, such as keys or school supplies
  • Appearing not to listen when spoken to directly
  • Difficulty organising tasks and activities
  • Frequently shifting from one uncompleted task to another.

Hyperactivity Symptoms In Detail

Some common hyperactivity symptoms include;

  • Fidgeting or squirming in one’s seat, such as tapping feet or hands
  • Running or climbing in situations where it’s not appropriate, such as in class or a public place
  • Having trouble sitting still during dinner, school, or at work
  • Excessive talking or blurting out answers before questions have been completed
  • Acting as if driven by a motor, often moving quickly from one activity to another
  • Difficulty participating in leisure activities quietly
  • Interrupting others in conversation or activities.

Impulsivity Symptoms In Detail

Some common impulsivity symptoms include;

  • Interrupting others in conversation or activities, especially in group situations like the classroom
  • Difficulty waiting for one’s turn in activities, such as in a line or during a conversation
  • Acting without thinking about consequences, such as blurting out inappropriate comments or making impulsive purchases
  • Little or no patience for delays or frustration, such as becoming angry or upset when stuck in traffic
  • Intruding in or disrupting others’ activities, such as entering a conversation without being invited or barging into someone else’s personal space
  • Engaging in dangerous or risky behaviours without considering the consequences, such as driving recklessly or climbing too high in trees or climbing frames.

It’s important to note that these symptoms may also be seen in other conditions, so a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.

Where To Start With Treatments For ADHD?

Treatment for ADHD typically involves a combination of medication, behavioural therapy, and lifestyle changes. The most effective treatment plan will vary depending on the individual, but common approaches include the following:

  1. Medication: Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall), are often prescribed to help manage the symptoms of ADHD. These medications help improve attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Non-stimulant medications, such as atomoxetine (Strattera), can also effectively manage ADHD symptoms.
  2. Behavioural therapy: This therapy can help individuals with ADHD learn new skills and behaviours to manage their symptoms. Techniques may include organisational skills training, time-management training, and anger management.
  3. Lifestyle changes: Changing one’s environment and routine can also help manage symptoms of ADHD. This may include regular exercise, following a healthy diet, and establishing a consistent sleep routine. Creating a structured routine and breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable parts can also be helpful.
  4. Education and support: Learning about ADHD and its effects can be a valuable tool for individuals with ADHD and their loved ones. Joining a support group or working with a therapist can also provide a source of encouragement and understanding.
  5. ADHD assessments: Find a local clinic that offers a professional service for a formal assessment and diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Working closely with a mental health professional is essential to determine the best treatment plan for each individual. In some cases, a combination of medications, behavioural therapy, and lifestyle changes may be necessary to manage symptoms effectively.


Do you think you may need help with an ADHD assessment? We would love to hear from you.

Book an appointment today.