ADHD 101 The Basics

ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurological disorder that impacts millions of people daily. ADHD can leave you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and for some people, at the worst end of the spectrum, hopeless.

ADHD affects children and adults in different ways. Like many neurological disorders, there are several different subtypes of ADHD. The most well-known subtype is ADHD-combined Type which is what the majority of people think of when they imagine someone with ADHD.

This article will go over some of the most common signs and symptoms of ADHD. It is important to note that, like most disorders, this article will not be able to cover every single symptom of ADHD. However, it will go over the basics and help you understand what you might experience if you have ADHD.

The Different Kinds of ADHD

As mentioned before, there are many different kinds of ADHD. However, there are three main types of ADHD, and each one has several subtypes.

ADHD-Combined Type

ADHD-Combined Type ADHD is the most common type, accounting for about 80% of cases. It is also the most well-known cause of a child’s ADHD diagnosis. In this subtype, an individual will have problems on the attention and concentration side and have issues with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors.

Informally, the term ADHD is often used to refer to this Type.

It is important to note that while children are diagnosed with ADHD-Combined Type in the majority of cases, this does not mean every child has symptoms of ADHD-Combined Type. The same is true for adults; they do not always have the symptoms of ADHD-Combined Type.

ADHD-Inattentive Type

ADHD-Inattentive Type is less common than ADHD-Combined Type and affects around 10% of people. It is usually associated with inattention, lack of concentration, and forgetfulness. This is also sometimes called “ADD” or ADHD-Attention Deficit Disorder.

ADHD-Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

ADHD-Hyperactive-Impulsive Type is the least common type of ADHD, accounting for only about 3% of cases. It is usually associated with a combination of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Common ADHD Symptoms

Like most conditions, It’s important to note that not every person with ADHD will have all of the same symptoms and that each person’s ADHD is different.

The following are some of the most common symptoms in all three types of ADHD:

Inattention and Concentration Problems

Inattention can be a core symptom of ADHD. People with ADHD often have trouble focusing on tasks, remembering things, and staying focused. Inattention and concentration problems can lead many people with ADHD to difficulties in everyday functioning.

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

Unlike the other two types, there is rarely any hyperactivity in ADHD-Inattentive Type, but many people with ADHD-Hyperactive-Impulsive Type have trouble with hyperactivity. This can lead to problems sitting still or paying attention.

Distractibility and daydreaming

Distractibility is generally a core symptom of ADHD, although not everyone will experience it. Some people with ADHD have trouble staying focused, especially on tedious tasks like studying or listening to a lecture. Distractibility can lead individuals with ADHD to problems in daily living.

Hypervigilance and over-arousal

Hypervigilance and over-arousal are common symptoms of ADHD, especially in people with ADHD-Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. Hypervigilance is a term used to describe people with ADHD who have a hard time staying calm and relaxed.

Excessive talking, fidgeting, or squirming

Excessive talking and fidgeting are common symptoms of ADHD, although not everyone will experience it. Some people with ADHD have trouble holding still and may fidget excessively or talk a lot. This can lead to people feeling uncomfortable around them.

Problems with executive functions

Executive functions are thinking and reasoning skills that help you control your thoughts and behavior. Unfortunately, executive functioning skills can be challenging for people with ADHD, which will likely impede their daily functioning.

Relationship Problems

Relationship problems are another less common symptom of ADHD. However, for some with ADHD, there may be issues with understanding and processing relationships. This can lead to problems in daily life, such as a lack of trust in others or having intimacy issues.

Diagnosing ADHD

If you think you or a loved one has ADHD, the first step is to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor or psychologist. A diagnosis of ADHD requires more than a self-diagnosis. To get a diagnosis, you will need to visit your doctor and answer a series of questions to determine whether or not you have ADHD. Psychological testing is also a valuable and essential aspect of the diagnostic process.

It is imperative that a diagnosis is made correctly, as self-diagnosing ADHD can lead to problems in getting proper treatment. This is because a lot of people who have ADHD have other disorders. Getting a correct diagnosis ensures that other conditions are ruled out or treated.

Click here to learn more about psychological testing services.

Do You Or A Loved One Have ADHD?

Don’t worry; a diagnosis of ADHD does not mean you can’t live a normal and fulfilling life. However, it does mean you will need some extra help to be successful in school, work, and life.

There are many options available to help treat ADHD. However, the type of treatment you need depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether you have other issues as well. In addition, some treatments may help with specific symptoms, but not others. As ADHD is a complex disorder, the best treatment plan will combine therapies from many different modalities.

Therapy is often considered the first-line non-stimulant treatment option for ADHD. Therapy for ADHD has many benefits including, but not limited to, helping you:

  • Improve your symptoms and the quality of your life.
  • Increase your ability to focus.
  • Concentrate and pay attention.
  • Manage your emotions better.
  • Understand that ADHD is something you can control.
  • Build on your strengths.
  • Increase your ability to self-regulate.
  • Improve Relationships.
  • Develop adaptive executive functioning skills/strategies.
  • And more!

At Washington Psychological Wellness, our clinicians are specifically trained to help you overcome your symptoms of ADHD. We understand that ADHD is a disorder that can be difficult to manage and that your symptoms will not go away overnight.

Washington Psychological Wellness offers long-term individual therapy for children and adults with ADHD, as well as more short-term therapy options. Together we will develop a customized treatment plan that will work for not only you but your family.

Contact us for a complimentary 15-minute consultation today and find out how therapy can help you with your ADHD symptoms!


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