ADHD may appear differently in adults than it does in children.
In most individuals with ADHD, symptoms of motoric hyperactivity become less obvious in adolescence and adulthood, but difficulties with restlessness, inattention, poor planning, and impulsivity persist.
— American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5®)
ADHD symptoms and DSM-5® diagnostic criteria for ADHD in adults.
ADHD is characterized as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, individuals must meet the following criteria adapted from the DSM-5®:
- Five or more symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity must have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities.
ADHD symptoms of inattention
- Makes careless mistakes/lacks attention to detail
- Lacks sustained attention
- Poor listener
- Fails to follow through on tasks and instructions
- Exhibits poor organization
- Avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Loses things necessary for tasks/activities
- Easily distracted (may include unrelated thoughts)
- Forgetful in daily activities
ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity
- Fidgets with or taps hands/feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
- Experiences feelings of restlessness
- Has difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly
- Is “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”
- Talks excessively Blurts out answers
- Has difficulty waiting their turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others
DSM-5® diagnostic criteria for ADHD in adults (cont.)
- Several inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years
- Several inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive symptoms must be present in 2 or more settings (e.g., at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities)
- There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, academic, or occupational functioning.
- Symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, personality disorder, substance intoxication or withdrawal)
These are not the complete diagnostic criteria.
Diagnosis should be based on a complete history and evaluation of the patient. Call Us Today.