Common Symptoms of ADHD

What are common symptoms?

ADHD symptoms appear as an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. It is important to note that while we may all feel the symptoms of ADHD from time to time (e.g., being easily distracted, forgetful, not paying attention), it doesn’t mean we have ADHD. People diagnosed with ADHD have more of these symptoms, they’ve had them since childhood, they occur more frequently, and these symptoms interfere with their daily life.

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)

Symptoms of

  • 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 change or take on different forms.

The three types of ADHD

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, your child, or a loved one might have ADHD, talk to your doctor. To prepare for your appointment, it might be helpful to make a list of:
  • Any symptoms you’ve noticed and problems they may have caused (e.g., trouble at work, school, or in relationships; trouble with the law; motor vehicle accidents; etc.)
  • Any major changes in your/your loved one’s life (e.g., changing schools, losing or changing jobs, divorce, etc.)
  • All medications you/your loved one are taking including vitamins, herbs or supplements
  • Any questions you have for your doctor

It might also be helpful to gather report cards (for children) or performance reviews (for adults) to assist in the diagnostic evaluation.


There are many myths associated with ADHD. It is important to separate fact from fiction so that we can better understand what people with ADHD are truly experiencing. The more we understand, the better we can help them.




It may seem like everyone has ADHD these days, but in fact, the prevalence of ADHD has actually remained the same for the past 30 years.