ADHD | Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Understand what ADHD is, the 3 types or presentations of this disorder in adults along with their symptoms. Read this article to find the resources you need to reduce stress as you work on coping with the difficulties of ADHD.

An Overview

An overview of ADHD is needed on a site such as this one. In order to discuss mental health, we must cover the fundamentals. Some disorders and conditions are more prevalent than others. As a result, it's not uncommon to have one or more disorders at the same time.

Many mental disorders are thought to be ADHD because they share symptoms and vice versa. However, by understanding which of our challenges are manageable and which are not, we can work toward finding the right care, and ultimately the right treatment plan.

Please use the links provided within the articles to gain an understanding of topics on their own and the differences when combined.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a combination of three behaviors witnessed over the course of time. People with ADHD exhibit the following behaviors consistently:

Inattention- Tasks requiring focused attention will be a source of frustration.

Hyperactivity- When compared to their peers, a person with ADHD will have excessive amounts of energy.

Impulsiveness- Taking action on the fly without taking the time to consider the outcome or consequences of their actions.

The 3 Types of ADHD

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation- This type of ADHD makes keeping track of tasks and following through nearly impossible for the person.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation- Results in a somewhat anxious personality. The person will display impulsive behavior. May come off as rude due to lack of control. May be accident prone.

Combined Presentation- A combination of the symptoms listed above create the third type.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in adults

ADHD typically develops in childhood and may persist into adulthood. As a result, adults with ADHD may experience low self-esteem, which may cause difficulties in the social and relational arenas of their lives.

Difficulty with Emotional Regulation

Faced with the frustration of dealing with an inability to perform necessary tasks efficiently or uphold social norms. Adults with ADHD may also find it difficult to control their emotions. This can look like:

  • Reacting impulsively to mood swings

  • Bouts of depression and anxiety

  • A history of substance abuse or addiction

  • Problems maintaining healthy close relationships

Decreased Performance

Inclined toward inattentiveness adults with ADHD are prone to forgetfulness. If an individual displays the Predominantly Inattentive Presentation staying organized and following through at work can be a challenge. The constant need for simulation creates a personality that is easily distracted when bored. Basic tasks such as reading, and desk work may present a challenge.

Diagnosis of ADHD in Adults

If these symptoms persist, becoming increasingly restrictive, it may be time to seek help. ADHD evaluations should always be performed by a licensed mental health professional or a physician. Evaluations screen patients paying attention to the criteria set forth in the DSM-5 for diagnosis of children with ADHD. The exception being, teens over the age of 17 and adults only need to meet 5 of the 6 criteria for diagnosis. For detailed information on the diagnosis of ADHD in adults, please visit the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) website found here.


The treatment of ADHD should be overseen by a medical professional. If a treatment plan is put in place, stimulants may be prescribed to assist with concentration and the completion of daily tasks. Common prescriptions include Dextroamphetamine (Adderall), Methylphenidate (Ritalin), and Atomoxetine (Strattera).

Pharmaceutical drugs have their place in our world and lives. They help millions of people feel their best everyday. If you would like to continue researching the most common prescriptions for adults with ADHD please visit WebMD's article on the topic for an exhaustive list. You will also find the details and precautionary measures for each drug.

Resources: ADHD Non-Profits

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

ADHD Foundation: Mental Health, Education, and Training

Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC)

ServicesThe American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders

(APSARD)ADHD World Federation: From Child to Adult Disorder

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