ADHD Symptoms

Learn about the different symptoms of ADHD

  • Symptoms of Inattention

  • Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details (Examples: overlooking or missing details or handing in work that is inaccurate)
  • Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks or while playing (Examples: difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy readings)
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction)
  • Often fails to follow through on instructions, chores or duties in the workplace(Example: starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (Examples: messy, disorganized work; poor time management; fails to meet deadlines)
  • Often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort like preparing reports, completing forms or reviewing lengthy papers
  • Often loses things like tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses or mobile phones
  • Often easily distracted by other things including unrelated thoughts
  • Often forgetful in daily activities such as running errands, returning calls, paying bills and keeping appointments
  • Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

  • Often fidgets with or taps hands and feet or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected (Examples: leaves their place in the office or other workplace or in other situations that require remaining seated)
  • Often runs or climbs where it is inappropriate or feels restless (In adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless)
  • Often unable to participate in leisure activities quietly
  • Often acts as if “on the go" or “driven by a motor” (Examples: is unable or uncomfortable being still for an extended time, as in meetings or restaurants)
  • Often talks excessively
  • Often blurts out an answer before a question has been fully asked (Examples: completes people’s sentences, cannot wait for next turn in conversation)
  • Often has difficulty waiting their turn, for example while waiting in line
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (Examples: butts into conversations, games or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission; may intrude into or take over what others are doing

This is not a diagnostic tool. These symptoms are not the only criteria for diagnosing ADHD. Only a doctor or other trained health professional can diagnose ADHD.

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