What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactitivy Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition characterized by restlessness, impulsive behaviour, and difficulty establishing or maintaining focus. It is usually diagnosed during childhood, and the symptoms tend to affect children more than adults. It is debatable whether this is a result of children outgrowing ADHD, or simply developing strategies to manage the symptoms. It should be noted that some individuals continue to be profoundly affected by ADHD during adulthood.



The Mayo Clinic describes three subtypes of ADHD.

  1. Predominantly inattentive – symptoms include the following:
  • The child has a tendency to make careless mistakes in schoolwork and tests
  • The child has trouble paying attention in class and struggles with tasks that take more than a few minutes to complete
  • The child is unable to repeat something that was said directly to him or her just moments previously
  • The child struggles with daily routines and organization, and frequently loses commonly used objects


  1. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive – symptoms include the following:
  • The child appears to be constantly moving – getting out of his or her seat, fidgeting, tapping hands or feet, jiggling knees
  • The child climbs or jumps on objects in spite of being repeatedly told not to
  • The child talks a lot, often abruptly changing the subject or interrupting
  • The child rarely engages in quiet activities, and may have trouble getting settled at bedtime


  1. Combined – the child displays symptoms from both subtypes listed above. This is the most common manifestation of ADHD.


The impact of ADHD

Children and adults with ADHD can be impacted in a variety of ways. The challenges are amplified by the fact that ADHD frequently coexists with other conditions, including learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Individuals with ADHD often struggle at school or work, which can result in academic delays, a sense of stagnation in the workplace, and poor relationships with teachers, peers or coworkers. Additionally, because of their impulsive motions, people with ADHD tend to have more accidents and suffer more injuries than their non-ADHD counterparts.

ADHD also comes with a social component: because individuals may have trouble being accepted by peers and adults, they can suffer a loss of self-esteem. This is often accompanied by substance abuse and delinquent behaviour.

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