Combined physical hyperactivity and mental restlessness were formally studied as early as 1798. Our understanding of ADD and ADHD and terminology used to describe them have changed a lot since then. By 1968, research had separated ADHD into two brain type disorders: ADHD and ADD without hyperactivity.
In 1987, the conditions were regrouped back into the same category of ADHD and given three different sub-types: Combined Type, Predominantly Inattentive Type, and Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. The sub-types help show that each ADHD brain is unique and its symptoms vary in individual cases. For example, about one-third of people diagnosed with ADHD do not exhibit the hyperactive or overactive symptoms, according to statistics gathered by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
ADHD Signs and Symptoms
According to Russell A. Barkley, author of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis, “those with ADHD are commonly observed as having chronic difficulties with inattention and/or impulsivity-hyperactivity.”
In Delivered from Distraction, Edward Hallowell, MD and John Ratey, MD summarize that “the core symptoms of ADD are excessive distractibility, impulsivity, and restlessness.”
While the key characteristics of the ADHD brain type include distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, other signs and symptoms of ADHD include:
- The three main signs of distraction, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity must be excessive enough that they significantly affect at least two main areas of a person’s life (such as school, work, home, or social life).
- An observation of these symptoms before age 7.
- The symptoms must be observable long-term.
- The symptoms must be persistent and continuous – they do not come and go.
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Inattention to detail that leads to careless mistakes.
- Difficulty devoting short or long term attention to tasks.
- Often seems like the person not listening or paying attention when addressed directly.
- Fails to follow directions or follow through on assignments.
- Habitually loses or misplaces items.
- Often restless, fidgety, or squirmy.
- Excessive talking, interrupting, or talking out of turn.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD recently or decades ago, or if you suspect you have this unique brain type, the information age makes it easier to have ADHD information and support at your fingertips.
ClearView recommends the following ADHD/ADD Resources, Research, and Support Websites for Adult ADHD:
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association: http://www.add.org/
- ADHD Coaches Association: http://www.adhdcoaches.org/
- Inside ADHD: http://www.InsideADHD.org
- ADDitude Magazine: http://www.additudemag.com
- ADDvance: http://www.addvance.com
- National Center for Learning Disabilities: http://www.ncld.org
- ADHD Allies Facebook Community: http://www.facebook.com/ADHDAllies
- ADHD Book Club: http://www.adhdbookclub.com/