Is it ADHD? Checklist of 18 Symptoms

Do you have ADHD? Use this checklist to understand common symptoms and test your own behavior before seeking a diagnosis.

ADD/ADHD Time Management ADDitude Magazine

If you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional for a diagnosis.

   
 

More ADHD Symptoms Information

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD, from DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association

ADHD Help: Recognizing Symptoms of Adult ADD from the World Health Organization


ADHD Symptoms

 
   

Have you noticed the following ADHD symptoms in yourself or your child? If they persist for at least six months to a degree that is disruptive to your life, you may have attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). If you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional for a diagnosis.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders checklist, at least six of the following ADHD symptoms often apply:

Inattention

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or

play activities.

  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).
  • Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  • Forgetful in daily activities.

At least six of the following signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity often apply:

Hyperactivity

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  • Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
  • Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor.”
  • Talks excessively.

Impulsivity

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  • Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed.
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

>> Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7.

>> Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).

>> There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

>> The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder, and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).

Learn more about common signs of ADHD in children.

This article comes from the August/September issue of ADDitude.


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