What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting both children (8.4%) and adults (2.5%). ADHD is often first identified in school-age children, and it is more common among boys than girls. Those who struggle with ADHD may experience an inability to keep focus and may exhibit excessive movement or take hasty actions without thinking. 

There are three types of ADHD: inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, or combined type. 


How do I know if I have ADHD?

To be diagnosed with the inattentive type, a person must exhibit six (or five for people over 17 years) of the following symptoms frequently:

  • Doesn’t pay attention to details or makes careless mistakes. 
  • Is easily distracted.
  • Has problems staying focused.
  • Does not seem to listen in conversation.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and doesn’t complete work, often starting things and not finishing.
  • Has difficulty being organized.
  • Avoids or dislikes things that require focused and sustained attention. 
  • Often loses things.
  • Forgets daily tasks.


To be diagnosed with the hyperactive/impulsive type, a person must exhibit six (or five for people over 17 years) of the following symptoms frequently:

  • Talks too much.
  • Fidgets, taps, or squirms.
  • Cannot stay seated. 
  • Blurts out an answer before a question has been finished (for instance may finish people’s sentences, can’t wait to speak in conversations).
  • Has difficulty waiting for their turn.
  • Cannot control oneself to not run or climb when it is inappropriate.
  • Cannot play or do activities quietly.
  • Always on the go.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others.


What is causing my ADHD?

The causes of ADHD are currently unknown. Genetics are believed to play a role. Other factors that can contribute include being born prematurely, sustaining a brain injury, and the mother smoking or using alcohol or being under extreme stress during the pregnancy.


What treatment is available for ADHD?

ADHD can be well managed with a combination of these two treatments:

  • Medications: medications available for ADHD fall into two categories: stimulants and non-stimulants. These are highly effective treatments but which require careful monitoring, particularly with children and teens. 
  • Behavioral therapy: this form of therapy emphasizes managing ADHD symptoms. For children this involves teaching parents and teachers how to respond to certain behaviors, offering positive feedback for positive ones and consequences for negative ones. This helps with behavior control. For adults, behavioral therapy oftentimes focuses on developing behavioral strategies to improve skills (e.g. organizational). 


If you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD, consider making an appointment and speaking with one of our licensed providers.

Health is just one appointment away. Take the next step today.