Confidential Psychiatric Services

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a condition which is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADD is most commonly diagnosed in young people. An estimated 9% of children between ages 3-17 have ADD. While ADD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it does not only affect children. An estimated 4% of adults have ADD. With treatment, most people with ADD can be successful in school, work and lead productive lives.

Symptoms

While some behaviors associated with ADD are normal, someone with ADD will have trouble controlling these behaviors and will show them much more frequently and for longer than 6 months. Signs of inattention include:

  • Becoming easily distracted and jumping from activity to activity.
  • Becoming bored with a task quickly.
  • Difficulty focusing attention or completing a single task or activity.
  • Trouble completing or turning in homework assignments.
  • Losing things such as school supplies or toys.
  • Not listening or paying attention when spoken to.
  • Daydreaming or wandering with lack of motivation.
  • Difficulty processing information quickly.
  • Struggling to follow directions.

Signs of hyperactivity may also exist with attention deficit disorder, in which case, it is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Signs of hyperactivity include:

  • Fidgeting and squirming, having trouble sitting sitll.
  • Non-stop talking.
  • Touching or playing with everything.
  • Difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Signs of impulsivity include:

  • Impatience.
  • Acting without regard for consequences, blurting things out.
  • Difficulty taking turns, waiting or sharing.

 

To read more about Add/ADHD visit NAMI.org.