- inattention: getting distracted, having poor concentration and organizational skills
- impulsivity: interrupting, taking risks
- hyperactivity: never seeming to slow down, talking and fidgeting, difficulties staying on task
Everyone is different, so it’s common for two people to experience the same symptoms in different ways. For example, these behaviours are often different in boys and girls. Boys may be seen as more hyperactive, and girls may be quietly inattentive.
By adulthood, some of the childhood ADHD behaviours may be less problematic, or may present in a different way. However, other difficulties may become more apparent due to the increased level of responsibility of being an adult and the lower level of practical support received from others. Assessment of adult ADHD may be sensible if a large number of these behaviours occur together, every day, over a lengthy period of time and cause significant problems and disadvantage. Some adults will display a mostly “inattentive subtype”, others will have a “hyperactive/impulsive subtype”, while many will have a “combined subtype” involving inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behaviours. The diagnosis for ADHD in adults is usually highly complex and it is advisable for people who suspect themselves with this problem to seek professional help as early as possible.