What is ADHD?

October 7, 2022
What is ADHD?


  1. What is ADHD?
  2. Types of ADHD
  3. Symptoms of ADHD
  4. Causes
  5. Treatments
  6. Final Thoughts

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a chronic condition that includes attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental childhood disorders. Once diagnosed with ADHD it usually goes into adulthood but can be better managed with treatments. October is National ADHD Awareness Month, where the ADHD Association highlights the latest research and studies to reach more effective therapies. There have been a lot of improvements in ADHD research over the past decades since ADHD wasn’t even acknowledged as a mental disorder until the 1960s, and the name officially became ADHD in the 1980s. While we have advanced in our research, we still have a long way to go.

Types of ADHD

There are 3 main types of ADHD; impulsive/hyperactive type, inattentive and distractible type, and combined type.

Inattentive and Distractible ADHD: This type is characterized predominantly by distractibility without hyperactivity.

Impulsive/Hyperactive ADHD: This is the least common type of ADHD. This is characterized by impulsiveness and hyperactive behaviors but without inattention and distractibility.

Combined ADHD: This is the most common type of ADHD. It is characterized by both impulsiveness and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility. Just as the name states, it’s a combination of the two types above.

Symptoms of ADHD

While all children might have trouble focusing and behaving, children with ADHD do not grow out of these behaviors. Each child may experience symptoms very differently, but here is a list of the most common symptoms for the specific categories (for the Combined Type of ADHD both apply):


  • Short attention span
  • Forgetful and loses things easily
  • Unable to stick to tedious tasks
  • More challenging time listening and following instructions
  • The constant change in activities or tasks
  • Difficulty organizing tasks

Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness

  • Unable to sit still, especially in calm/quiet surroundings
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Hard time concentrating on tasks
  • Excessive physical movement
  • Excessive talking and talking over others
  • Interrupting others
  • Acting without thinking first
  • Little or no sense of danger


Since the discovery of ADHD has been in recent decades, we still do not know the causes. We have discovered that genes do play a big part and are more than likely passed down family lines. In addition to genetics, there are other possible risk factors:

  • Brain injury
  • Exposure to environmental risks at a young age
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery

While environmental factors could play a part in ADHD, it is not a cause of ADHD. Eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting styles, and social and environmental factors are not proven to cause ADHD, but they can worsen or better symptoms.


There is no cure for ADHD but there are treatments that could help. For children who are younger (4 to 5 years), behavior therapy seems to work best, especially with training the parents, too. This is the path most families take before turning to medication. Everyone is different so all children respond differently to certain treatments.

Staying healthy is a big part of treatment, too! Staying healthy is very important for every child but especially for children who have ADHD. Here are some things that can help lead a healthy lifestyle:

  • Developing healthy eating habits
  • Doing daily physical activity based on age
  • Limiting the amount of daily screen time
  • Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night

Final Thoughts

While much is still unknown about ADHD, we will keep working hard to find better treatments. Do you have ADHD or know anyone with ADHD? What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know down below!

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