A Guide to ADHD

According to the CDC, ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. Although often first diagnosed in childhood, it often lasts into adulthood. There are many characteristics which are often commonly associated with ADHD, such as attention difficulties, impulsivity, hyper-activity, etc. However, there are many times these behaviors could be attributed to something else and there are often other signs of ADHD which can be easily missed. We've put together a quick guide on what to look out for and what ADHD is, and isn't. 

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a "disorder" of the brain, meaning it is an alternate way that the brain develops. It is also a mental health "disorder" often causing frustrating disruptions to one's life and to those around them. It is also a developmental disorder which translates to a mismatch in how a person's brain works, versus how we have structured our world. 

There are three types of ADHD:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive/Impulsive
  • Combined

Although inattention and hyperactivity are two of the most common symptoms associated with ADHD, there are other behaviors to look out for as well:

  • Disorganization
  • Losing things
  • Careless mistakes
  • Not listening
  • Not following through with tasks
  • Lack of endurance
  • Weak executive functioning skills

What is ADHD Not? 

Even with increased awareness of ADHD, there still can be a lot of confusion and stigma around it. Oftentimes, people with ADHD can be labeled as lazy, stupid, not hard-working, etc. But this is simply not the case. It is important to understand the layers of how ADHD affects someone's life in non-intentional ways.

Furthermore, common characteristics that are attributed to ADHD could actually be a sign of something else. These signs, might be ADHD, but could be caused by other factors such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Context 

This is why it can be complicated to diagnose ADHD properly and a full evaluation is highly recommended. 

Want to learn more about ADHD and hear from an expert in the field? Our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Jordan Wright, speaks at length about what to look out for and what ADHD is and isn't a recent webinar hosted by Parallel. To watch this webinar and learn more, click here.

Author

Reviewer

Dr. Jordan Wright
Chief Clinical Officer

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