ADHD at a Glance
7 Mar 2023
Sep 8, 2023
What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD is typically a lifelong condition, but often ADHD traits are less extreme in adulthood. This can be because of lifestyle choices and the development of coping mechanisms throughout someones life.
Types of ADHD
ADHD is often separated into three types - inattentive, hyperactive, or combined type. The type of ADHD someone has is determined by the traits they have.
Bear in mind that everyone experiences ADHD differently so the symptoms will vary for everyone. Some people may only experience traits of inattentiveness or hyperactivity, while others may experience both (combined type).
There is much more research into ADHD in children, so symptoms in adults are less established. Symptoms of ADHD in adults can be different to symptoms in children and are often more subtle. For example, adults with ADHD are less likely to experience traits of hyperactivity. Adults may also have developed strategies or made certain lifestyle choices to help with any symptoms.
Symptoms of ADHD in adults
While ADHD is associated with many strengths such as creativity and spontaneity, the symptoms used to diagnose ADHD often focus on the difficulties often associated with ADHD. These symptoms include:
Lack of attention to detail or makes careless mistakes
Difficulty sustaining attention
Starts task before finishing others
Often loses or misplaces things
Interrupts others or speaks out of turn
Impatient, irritable, or has a quick temper
Poor stress management
Difficulty regulating emotions
The cause of ADHD is not well understood though the condition has genetic links and often runs in families. The risk factors associated with ADHD include premature birth, epilepsy and head injuries in the womb or later in life.
While we don’t know the exact reason why the brains of people with ADHD work differently, some studies have suggested that certain areas of the brain are a different size to people without ADHD. Other studies suggest that there may be different levels of neurotransmitters in the brain.
👩🎨 Creativity: studies have shown that people with ADHD typically have higher levels of original creative thinking, creative achievements, and idea generation than people without ADHD. 🧠 Hyperfocus: people with ADHD sometimes experience long periods of intense focus, especially when something captures their interest. 👨💻 Entrepreneurship: some of the traits of ADHD make people particularly drawn to and successful at entrepreneurship. 🏃♀️ High energy: some people with ADHD have high levels of energy that can be channelled into sports or performance. 🗣 Conversational ability: often, people with ADHD are talkative and process their multiple streams of thought aloud, making them engaging conversationalists. 🤸♂️ Flexibility: people with ADHD are often spontaneous and adaptable, making them well-suited for fast-paced or dynamic environments.
➡️ Organisation: some people with ADHD might need to use a diary or reminders to help them stay organised. ➡️ Maintaining attention: some people with ADHD need to be in a distraction-free environment to really focus on important tasks. ➡️ Forgetfulness: some people with ADHD use timers or visual reminders to help them remember things they might forget. ➡️ Restlessness: some people with ADHD might struggle to sit still for long periods of time or figit frequently. ➡️ Mood swings or irritability: some people with ADHD might experience mood swings or become irritable more frequently than people without ADHD.