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What is ADHD?

At times, everyone has trouble sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive actions.  However, for some people, the problems can be so pervasive that they can interfere with all areas of their life:  home, school, social, and work.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a well-known and common neurobiological disorder affecting approximately 10% of the population worldwide. People are often surprised to learn that it also affects at least 4.4% of adults as well.  The three types of ADHD are hyperactive and impulsive,  inattentive, and combined type (hyperactive and inattentive).  Symptoms are different in each person, ranging from mild to severe, leading to variability in skills and maturity levels.

ADHD In Kids

Many parents think that their child has ADHD at one time or another. Little ones are extremely active, can’t sit still and barely have an attention span. But a true diagnosis goes beyond these common behaviors. The ADHD child has these traits to the extreme and they often get in the way of learning, friendships and home life. When the symptoms happen in various settings, over a long period of time, it’s possible your child has ADHD.


ADHD In Adults

You’re probably not going to see a hyperactive adult bouncing around the office because ADHD is most often subtler in grown ups. You might become easily distracted by external noises and activity, have difficulty focusing on a task or unable to complete tasks, or not be an effective listener.  Adults with ADHD can have trouble keeping jobs and managing finances, struggle in relationships, and often suffer from feelings of embarrassment, frustration, hopelessness and disappointment.

Common ADHD Characteristics:

  • Unaware of time and deadlines

  • Thinking in terms of  “black and white” or “all or nothing”

  • Poor self-awareness and low self-esteem

  • Trouble maintaining friendships

  • Often feeling bored

  • Identifying as an underachiever

  • Trouble transitioning between situations

  • Appearing disorganized

  • Needing constant approval from others

  • Difficulty learning from past experiences

  • Inability to see other perspectives

  • Easily distracted (either being multi-focused or unfocused)

  • Difficulty paying attention

  • Physical and/or mental restlessness

  • Poor judgment

  • Always procrastinating

  • Lacking impulse control (blurting things out in conversation, etc.)

  • Need for immediate gratification

  • Losing things

  • Trouble maintaining close relationships

  • Poor self-regulation

  • Issues managing money and keeping a job

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Poor social skills

  • Negative self talk

  • Executive Function Deficits

People with ADHD can be extremely successful, happy and fulfilled. Yet, without proper diagnosis and treatment, ADHD can have very serious consequences, including difficulties at school and/or work, depression and anxiety, relational difficulties, or even substance abuse.  With a clear diagnosis and the proper interventions, anyone can start on a path to living successfully with ADHD.

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