ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. He or she may also be restless and almost constantly active.

ADHD is not just a childhood disorder. Although the symptoms of ADHD begin in childhood, ADHD can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Even though hyperactivity tends to improve as a child becomes a teen, problems with inattention, disorganization, and poor impulse control often continue through the teen years and into adulthood.

People with ADHD show an ongoing pattern of three different types of symptoms:

  • Difficulty paying attention (inattention)
  • Being overactive (hyperactivity)
  • Acting without thinking (impulsivity)

These symptoms get in the way of functioning or development. People who have ADHD have combinations of these symptoms:

  • Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
  • Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
  • Seem to not listen when spoken to directly
  • Fail to not follow through on instructions, fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace, or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked
  • Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as doing tasks in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, keeping work organized, managing time, and meeting deadlines
  • Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers
  • Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
  • Become easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
  • Forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments

Signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity may include:

  • Fidgeting and squirming while seated
  • Getting up and moving around in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or in the office
  • Running or d+ashing around or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate, or, in teens and adults, often feeling restless
  • Being unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly
  • Being constantly in motion or “on the go,” or acting as if “driven by a motor”
  • Talking nonstop
  • Blurting out an answer before a question has been completed, finishing other people’s sentences, or speaking without waiting for a turn in conversation
  • Having trouble waiting his or her turn
  • Interrupting or intruding on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities
EgyptEnglish