Symptoms of ADHD

We’re all distracted at times but that doesn’t mean we have ADHD. Look out for these symptoms.


Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!


We’re all distracted at times but that doesn’t mean we have ADHD. Like all psychological illnesses, ADHD falls at the far extreme of a spectrum of behaviors. A diagnosis of adult ADHD currently requires that at least six inattention symptoms and six hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms be present for a minimum of six months, with harmful effects on social, academic, or work activities. New diagnostic guidelines coming in May 2013 will only require three inattention symptoms and four hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms for a diagnosis.

Inattention Symptoms
• You fail to pay close attention to details or make careless mistakes.
• You often have trouble remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or while reading.
• When spoken to directly, your mind seems elsewhere even in the absence of any apparent distraction.
• You often do not follow through on instructions and fail to finish work or chores.
• You often have difficulty organizing tasks and activities, so you fail to meet deadlines.
• You often avoid, dislike, or are reluctant to undertake tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as preparing reports or completing forms.
• You often lose things you need for tasks, such as books, wallet, paperwork, or cell phone.
• You are often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
• You are often forgetful in daily activities such as running errands, returning calls, paying bills, and keeping appointments.

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Symptoms
• You often fidget with or tap your hands or feet, or squirm while seated.
• You often get up when remaining seated is expected, such as at work.
• You often run around where it is inappropriate.
• You are often unable to quietly engage in leisure activities, such as reading or gardening.
• You are often unable or uncomfortable sitting still for an extended time, as in restaurants or meetings.
• You often talk excessively.
• You often blurt out an answer before a question has been completed, finish other people’s sentences, or cannot wait your turn in conversation.
• You often have trouble waiting your turn, such as in line at a bank or store.
• You often interrupt others by butting into conversations or activities.

More on ADHD from the Post:
“If It’s Boring, I’m Done!”
ADHD: Living in Overdrive
Identifying ADHD

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *