The definition of ADHD in the 1994 publication (which is the most recent ) of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) stated that it is a “Disruptive Behaviour Disorder” where unusually high levels of inattention, hyperactivity or a combination of both are constantly present in an individual and to such an extent that they inhibit what is considered to be the norm.
That may sound depressing, but don’t be alarmed. The official definition of ADHD sounds much worse than day to day realities of living with Adult ADHD actually are.
There are 3 types of ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type and Combined Type.
ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive Type: means it’s tricky for you to focus, but unlike your hyperactive-impulsive friends, you are able to be physically still. Some problems you experience are not appearing to be listening to others, being forgetful and disorganized, having difficulty staying on task and making careless errors despite your best intentions.
ADHD-Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: Paying attention is not a major problem for you. However, you act and speak before thinking, have lots of energy and when required to sit down you fidget and feel restless. You are known among your friends to talk lots.
ADHD-Combined Type: You have characteristics of the both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsivity type.
Although everyone experiences ADHD symptoms at times, someone with ADHD experience these behaviours to a greater extent and frequency.
Before being officially diagnosed with ADHD, the specialist carrying out your evaluation will want to find out the following:
- That the characteristics have been present for 6 months or more.
- The symptoms were present before you were 7 years old
- The traits effect your life in 2 or more settings
- and finally the symptoms aren’t due to another condition, such as bipolar disorder, sleep disorder or anxiety etc.