Presenting symptoms will vary from person to person. There are 3 sub-types of ADHD and the symptoms will appear according to the subtype diagnosis. The subtypes are: Inattentive type, Hyperactive/Impulsive type and Combined type. We will list those most commonly seen in children and those seen in adults.
Children with Hyperactive/Impulsive subtype talk excessively, are fidgety (have trouble remaining seated), noisy, blurt out answers before being chosen, have difficulty waiting to respond or waiting their turn, and behave as if driven by a motor. It is common to find an extensive disciplinary history in school and social difficulties with peers. Most of these children are very accident prone.
Adults with Hyperactive/Impulsive subtype also tend to talk excessively or speak without thinking. They commonly act without thinking, always on the move, prone to impulsive sexual behavior, often involved in the criminal justice system, have social problems, frequently facing disciplinary action or termination at work and are often financially overwhelmed due to impulsive spending and poor money management.
Children with Inattentive Type often Fail to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes. They have difficulty sustaining attention and appear to not listen or follow through with instructions. They are forgetful, frequently loose important items such as homework and money, easily distracted and unorganized. Due to poor time management, these children are often late turning it exams, homework and school projects.
Adults with Inattentive subtype are also unorganized and forgetful. Time management is often a big problem including chronic lateness and procrastination. Missing important deadlines is common as is losing important items such as keys, wallet and purse. They have difficulty sustaining attention, focus and perseverance through tedious activity such as writing reports for work or paying bills. Difficulty keeping up with conversations or not paying attention when spoken to is common. As a result, relationships with employers, instructors, peers and romantic interest are often troublesome.
Adults and children with Combined Type display both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive subtype symptoms. These symptoms often lead to social anxiety, generalized anxiety and depression. Many adult ADHD symptoms seem to fade as they get older. However, it is more likely that individual learn to compensate and hide their symptoms as they get older.
There are more symptoms that can be listed but the above listed gives us an idea of what it’s like to have ADHD. ADHD presents with more than just symptoms, but a range of social, educational and occupational problems as well. Furthermore, ADHD frequently presents with co-occurring psychological disorders such as Substance Abuse/Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, OCD Tics and Tourette syndrome. Medical treatment, coaching and counseling should bring about a significant reduction in the symptoms o these disorders. It is important, however, to address Addiction before beginning treatment for ADHD.