Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD or ADD is characterized by a majority of the following symptoms being
present in either category (inattention or hyperactivity).
These symptoms need to manifest themselves in a manner
and degree which is inconsistent with the child's current developmental
level. That is, the child's behavior is significantly more inattentive or hyperactive
than that of his or her peers of a similar age.
Symptoms of Inattention:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless
mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to
finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to
oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that
require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
- Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g.,
toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
- Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
Symptoms of Hyperactivity:
- Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which
remaining seated is expected
- Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it
is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to
subjective feelings of restlessness)
- Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities
- Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
- Often talks excessively
Symptoms of Impulsivity:
- Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Often has difficulty awaiting turn
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into
conversations or games)
Symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months. Some of
these symptoms need to have been present as a child, at 7 years old
or younger. The symptoms also must exist in at least two separate
settings (for example, at school and at home). The symptoms should
be creating significant impairment in social, academic or
occupational functioning or relationships.
Criteria summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual
of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
« Disorders Index
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on
15 Jan 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy.
-- Sigmund Freud