WHAT IS ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The symptoms appear before a person is twelve years old, are present for more than six months, and cause problems in at least two settings (such as school, home, or recreational activities). In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance.

Additionally, there is an association with other mental disorders and substance misuse. Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many people with ADHD can have sustained attention for tasks they find interesting or rewarding (known as hyperfocus).

People with ADHD of all ages are more likely to have problems with social skills, such as social interaction and forming and maintaining friendships.

Warning Signs of ADHD

Inattention:

  • Is easily distracted
  • Does not follow directions or finish tasks
  • Does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking
  • Does not pay attention and makes careless mistakes
  • Is forgetful about daily activities
  • Has problems organizing daily tasks
  • Avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort
  • Often loses things, including personal items
  • Has a tendency to daydream

Hyperactivity:

  • Often squirms, fidgets, or bounces when sitting
  • Does not stay seated as expected
  • Has difficulty playing quietly
  • Is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as a sense of restlessness)
  • Talks excessively

Impulsivity:

  • Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
  • Blurts out answers before the question has been completed
  • Often interrupts others