Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
A Brief Introduction to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can exhibit characteristics of inattention in addition to displays of hyperactivity and impulsivity, or individuals can exhibit behaviors of one or the other, as in either inattention or hyperactivity and impulsivity. There is a list of symptoms that present in the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis, however, it is important to note that for this diagnosis to be arrived at these symptoms cannot be a result of behavioral defiance or caused by natural and expected psycho-social development. As well, the presenting symptoms cannot be a result of substance use, prescribed medication, another medical condition, or another mental illness.
What Are the Different Types of Clinical ADHD?
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, details three types of clinical Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Other Specified Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Unspecified Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
What are the Symptoms of ADHD?
The following symptoms for individuals presenting with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder must be experienced for at least six months and the severity must clearly and negatively impact regular social, academic, or occupational functioning. The symptoms can be present in either the Inattention category or the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity category, or both. Other criteria to be considered for an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis are that the symptomology is evident in the individual prior to 12 years of age and that the symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsivity are evident across various settings, such as in the home, in the educational setting, in varied social settings, or in the occupational setting. Because of the trouble or difficulty performing the tasks that require attention or impulse control, the individual may show signs of reluctance, resistance, defiance, or avoidant of the tasks.
To be considered for the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, evidence of symptoms in the individual cannot be otherwise attributed to developmental delays, issues with understanding the directions or instructions, or be emanating from a free-will choice to be hostile or uncooperative. As well, the symptoms cannot be a result of another mental disorder, including but not limited to psychosis, mood disorders, or personality disorder. The symptomology is the same for children and adults, however, for individuals age 17 and above, they must meet five of the following symptoms to be considered for an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis, whereas, children under age 17 must experience six of the following symptoms to meet criterion for an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis:
Symptoms of Inattention
- The individual makes careless mistakes and produces inaccurate work based on an intention to details
- The individual has difficulty with maintaining focus and attention on a given assignment or even within leisure activities
- The individual shows inattentive listening skills
- The individual shows failure to follow through, follow instructions, or complete tasks
- The individual has difficulty with procedurals, organization, time-management, and ordering their belongings
- The individual has trouble with engaged attention toward a concerted mental effort, as in reading, schoolwork, or homework; or preparing and reviewing lengthy reports or documents
- The individual displays disorganization with the result of standard, daily items often misplaced or lost
- The individual shows consistent distractibility by external stimulus or internal stimulus, as in one’s own thoughts
- The individual shows forgetfulness in following through with daily tasks, obligations, and appointments
Symptoms of Hyperactivity or Impulsivity
- The individual is prone to fidgeting, tapping, squirming, or otherwise inability to settle hands, feet, or in one’s body
- The individual has an inability to stay seated when that is the expectation of the social, occupational, or educational setting
- The individual exhibits bursts of physicality when the expectation is otherwise: for adults this could be a feeling of restlessness; for children this could be the act of running or climbing when it is inappropriate to do so
- The individual is audible in play or leisure when the expectation is otherwise
- The individual exhibits constant movement when the expectation is otherwise, for example, not sitting in a situation where being seated is the expressed expectation.
- The individual is verbally verbose, as in incessant talking
- The individual misses customary conversational cues, such as taking turns talking, waiting until questions are asked to answer, or not interrupting
- The individual shows difficulty with patience, such as waiting in line
- The individual shows disregard for situations that are in progress and little awareness of how their behavior is disruptive, for example, interrupting conversations, using other people’s things without asking, or joining in preexisting activities without asking.
Silicon Beach Treatment Center
At Silicon Beach Treatment Center, our task when treating any area of client suffering is to identify the nature of your experience with it, explore the underlying causes, and work together to usher in resiliency, foster a more hopeful outlook, and restore equilibrium. Our caring, trained professionals will work diligently to bring you the support, interventions, and treatment you need.
Please note, the information on this page is based on the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, however, it is in no way exhaustive on the subject of each disorder discussed. This text is not intended to be the basis of self-diagnosis of any disorder. Only a trained mental health provider can provide you with an accurate diagnosis based on a myriad of factors and details specific to your particular case.