Defining ADHD: Symptoms and Diagnosis
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that presents in childhood and often continues into adulthood. Not all people with ADHD have the same symptoms and there are three major subtypes:
- Inattentive Presentation, which includes difficulty concentrating, inattentiveness and difficulty focusing.
- Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, which can include excessive fidgeting, inability to sit still and poor impulse control.
- Combined Presentation, when individuals have a mix of inattentive and hyperactive symptoms.
ADHD symptoms typically peak in childhood and ease as individuals age. However, some adults may continue to struggle with certain symptoms. For example, hyperactivity is more common in young people, but with age, many individuals find hyperactivity decreases and is replaced by restlessness. Some people see a resurgence of symptoms as adults during times of stress or change, for example, during the menopause or when overwhelmed at work.
It isn’t uncommon for people to experience symptoms of ADHD throughout their lives, such as difficulty concentrating or impulsiveness. However, not everyone who experiences these symptoms has ADHD. If you are experiencing ADHD-type symptoms that are causing ongoing problems in your life, this may indicate an ADHD assessment is necessary.