What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

By Susan Boyer

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common chronic psychiatric conditions diagnosed in childhood. Although thought of as a child's condition, adult ADHD is not uncommon. The chronic nature of ADHD is revealed in its rates of persistence. Sixty to seventy percent of children diagnosed with ADHD still struggle with symptoms as adults.

The hallmark ADHD symptoms are inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity. These symptoms are frequently accompanied by physical or motor hyperactivity, often described as restlessness, fidgetiness, and the inability to sit still. The "inattentive" component refers not only to difficulty in focusing and sustaining attention appropriately, but also to a basic inability to match attention to the demands of the particular environment and to specific tasks.

The condition is also known as attention deficit disorder or ADD


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