Facts About ADD/ADHD
Hall Health: What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a condition that makes it difficult for people to control their attention and behavior. It usually appears before age seven. ADHD symptoms may create difficulties getting work done. Symptoms may also affect relationships with friends and family.
It is common to have a hard time focusing on schoolwork sometimes, or to occasionally be impulsive in decision making. These symptoms by themselves do not mean that you have ADHD.
What are the signs and symptoms of ADHD?
Although symptoms of the disorder vary by individual and can range from mild to severe, some of the most common signs are:
- Difficulty focusing in a variety of situations
- Problems getting organized
- Not listening when spoken to
- Having trouble sitting still or waiting in line
- Constantly interrupting others
Other behaviors related to ADHD are chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, difficulty organizing, difficulty controlling anger, impulsiveness, and substance abuse.
People with ADHD are easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment, cannot concentrate for long periods of time, are often restless, have a tendency to daydream, and may be slow to complete tasks.
Who is affected by ADHD?
Studies show that men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with ADHD, and that between 2 and 6% of the adult population has the disorder. At least one student in every classroom in the United States has been diagnosed with ADHD.
How can I tell if I have ADHD?
ADHD should only be diagnosed by an experienced and qualified professional such as an educational psychologist or a psychiatrist. Since the symptoms of ADHD are common to may other conditions, you should never self-diagnose. Instead, seek a comprehensive evaluation from a qualified professional. A comprehensive evaluation may include exploring personal and family medical history, and psychological testing. Hall Health Center is unable to perform ADHD evaluations. If you are in need of an evaluation, please see our page on ADHD Testing and Medication Resources.
*Improved concentration after taking a stimulant medicine DOES NOT mean that you have ADHD.
More information about ADHD can be found at:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Hall Health: Stimulant Medication Use for Treating ADHD
Authored by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic and HHC Guidelines Committee
Reviewed by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic and Hall Health Primary Care Clinic (GLC), April 2014