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What are the symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD symptoms appear as an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Everyone can have behaviours like these from time to time, but for people with ADHD, these symptoms can affect all parts of daily life—at home, socially, and at school or work.

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Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms
  • Fidgeting or squirming
  • Has trouble remaining seated
  • Has trouble waiting or taking turns
  • Grabbing someone else's belongings
  • Talks nonstop
  • Runs around or climbs a lot (in children); extreme restlessness (in adults)
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Inattentive symptoms
  • Has a hard time paying attention
  • Does not pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Does not appear to listen
  • Has trouble with organization
  • Struggles to follow through with instructions
  • Loses things
  • Is easily distracted
As people with ADHD grow older, their symptoms may go away, change, or take on different forms.

Did you know...

Depending on the symptoms, ADHD is divided into three types.

Diagram - Hyperactive-impulsive Combined Inattentive
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Types of ADHD

Are there different types of ADHD?

Venn Diagram - Hyperactive-impulsive vs. Inattentive

Some people have more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, others have more symptoms of inattentiveness, and some have symptoms from both categories. Depending on the symptoms, ADHD is divided into the following three types:

If you think you or your child might have ADHD, your doctor is a great person to talk to. To get ready for your appointment, it might be helpful to make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you have had and problems they have caused
    (e.g., trouble at work, school, or in relationships; trouble with the law; trouble driving safely; etc.)
  • Important information about yourself and any major changes in your life
    (e.g., changing schools, losing or changing jobs, divorce, etc.)
  • All medications you are taking including vitamins, herbs or supplements
  • Any questions you have for your doctor
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