Learn to Recognize the ADHD Symptoms

A child or adult with ADHD symptoms may be hyperactive, have a sleeping disorder, anxiety symptoms, depression symptoms or even bad behavior. There are many symptoms that one may or may not have. If the individual has any other disorders, in addition to ADHD, they may have symptoms that are not associated to ADHD.

I am going to provide information on ADHD symptoms commonly seen. This does not constitute a diagnosis. I just wanted to mention this to make sure that there is not any confusion.

Ok, on to the information you are asking about.

There are criteria that the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) gives to diagnose ADHD by trained professionals.

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Check out My visual ADHD analogy that will help explain how ADHD affects people.

It says that 6 or more of these symptoms in each of the two sections should be seen for at least six months. They should be disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level.

I separated each of these symptoms to their own page with additional information and experiences. I know you will benefit greatly from the combined information.

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

I. Either Section 1 or 2

It says that 6 or more of these ADHD symptoms in each of the two sections should be seen for at least six months. These symptoms are the same or could be a little different for children and adults. Also the same for men, women, girls and boys.


Now, I do know that there may be some differences. GuidanceResources.com says that the way ADHD affects girls is different then boys. They state,

"A study highlighted in the August 2001 issue of The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter details how they differ. Girls with ADHD:

Report significantly more depression, anxiety, distress and poor teacher relationships than their peers;

Have more trouble with cognitive tasks and school-achievement tasks than their non-ADHD peers;

Have more anxiety, distress and depression than boys with ADHD; and Have more trouble with vocabulary than boys with ADHD."

When I look at this statement, there only seems to be 1 time where they compare girls ADHD Symptoms with boys and that is in the last statement. Maybe they compare boys with their peers and now out of that comparison they are comparing girls with their peers and relating it to boys? They don't say, so I don't know.

Maybe boys with the similar ADHD Symptoms as the girls don't get diagnosed very well either because of the non hyperactivity? I don't know.

They do say that girls with ADHD are less disruptive at home and at school so they go undiagnosed (ADHD Symptoms not as visible as a child bouncing off the walls). It seems that the more we try to learn about all of this the harder it becomes.

I have seen Adult Men and Women have the same symptoms as children boys and girls. I have seen hyperactive girls as well as boys, and the same with adults. I also have seen girls that are quiet, shy, and reserved, as well as adults and boys. As you can see, it is very difficult to really determine which "group" to put your situation into.

The other thing that comes into play is hormones and physical makeup. Women are way different than men and relate to themselves and others differently. So that throws in new variables.

You just have to know all the types of ADHD Symptoms to look for. That is how you will know.

Section 1:


Section 2:



Based on the criteria given by the DSM-IV-TR, three types of ADHD are presented.

  • ADHD, Combined Type: Combination of section 1 and 2 criteria met. (This is me)
  • ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: Take a guess...You got it, section 1 criteria is met. This is the non hyperactive type.
  • ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive Impulsive Type: Only 1 option left. Section 2. This one has hyperactive problems but seems able to pay attention and focus.

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7.

III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).

IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).

If you have any questions fill out the form below with your question or comment or story that you would like to share.

TJ Chambers

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