ADHD, short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is often referred to by the older term ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

In the United States, approximately 8.7 million adults are estimated to have ADHD. Other statistics indicate a lifetime prevalence of 8.1% among U.S. adults aged 18 to 44, with about 4.4% of adults currently living with ADHD.

Individuals with ADHD experience differences in brain development and brain activity that influence their attention span, self-control, and ability to remain still. These factors can significantly impact a person's daily life, including their performance at home, school, and with interpersonal relationships.

At Telapsychiatry, our deep insight into ADD and ADHD lets us customize our treatment to your specific requirements.

ADHD Symptoms

While it's common for individuals to occasionally find it challenging to focus, remain still, follow instructions, or wait their turn, these difficulties are more visible and frequent in those with ADHD.

People with ADHD typically exhibit symptoms in one or more of the following areas:


Inattention involves challenges with keeping focus, staying on task, and concentrating. Behaviors of this include:

  • Failing to complete tasks
  • Overlooking crucial details
  • Difficulty adhering to instructions

Individuals with inattention might appear absent-minded or forgetful, often seeming lost in thought or daydreaming. They may also frequently misplace their belongings.


Impulsiveness is characterized by rapid actions without thinking beforehand. Characteristics of this behavior include:

  • Interrupting others
  • Physical behaviors like pushing or grabbing
  • Engaging in activities without permission
  • Taking items that do not belong to them
  • Behaving in potentially dangerous ways

Additionally, an impulsive individual might respond unreasonably to a triggering situation, often acting quickly without considering the consequences.


Hyperactivity in individuals often shows itself as a tendency to become easily bored, alongside descriptions of being fidgety and restless. This can be seen through:

  • Inability to sit still
  • Excessive movement
  • Struggles with remaining quiet when necessary
  • Inappropriate physical actions like climbing, jumping, or roughhousing in certain situations
  • Hasty completion of tasks leading to careless errors

It's vital to remember that impulsivity, restlessness, distractibility, and impatience are normal in young children. These characteristics by themselves do not indicate ADHD.

Children slowly acquire skills like attention, self-control, and appropriate activity levels as they grow, often with guidance from teachers and parents.

Concerns about ADHD arise when a child persistently struggles with attention, calming down, listening, and patience, showing little improvement in these areas over time.

Types of ADHD

Physicians use a structured system for diagnosing ADHD, but this official criteria might not fully encompass the everyday manifestations of ADHD.

Primary Hyperactive and Impulsive ADHD

The common perception of ADHD often involves a hyperactive child disrupting classrooms and homes. However, hyperactivity and impulsivity in ADHD can show itself in different ways:

  • Fidgeting: Individuals with hyperactive ADHD may constantly fidget, squirm in their seats, and often have trouble staying seated. Sitting still might be both mentally and physically challenging for them.
  • Restlessness: People with ADHD may show restlessness through continuous fidgeting, difficulty remaining seated, high energy, racing thoughts, and trouble focusing. This can also appear as impatience, excessive talking, and a fondness for energetic activities. The intensity of these symptoms varies and is typically uncontrollable.
  • Excessive talking: Someone with ADHD might talk constantly, not pausing for others to speak, making it hard to have balanced conversations.
  • Impulsive reactions: Impulsive behaviors are common, including interrupting others, blurting out information, or being quick to react to their anger.
  • Difficulty in taking turns: Waiting for their turn can be challenging in everyday interactions, leading to talking over others or joining conversations uninvited.
  • Perceived disruptiveness: Their actions, such as joining activities uninvited or participating in conversations that do not involve them, may be seen as disruptive by others.

Understanding these traits of hyperactivity and impulsivity is crucial for recognizing and addressing the needs of individuals with ADHD, which often extend beyond the stereotype of constant motion or interruptions.

Primarily Inattentive ADHD (formerly called ADD)

Individuals with inattentive ADHD may not be as noticeable because their symptoms are lessened compared to those of hyperactive and impulsive ADHD. However, treating inattentive ADHD is crucial, as it can affect a person's success and well-being.

  • Forgetfulness: People with ADHD might forget daily tasks like brushing their teeth and remembering appointments or assignments, which is a characteristic of inattentive ADHD and not intentional forgetfulness.
  • Distractibility: Individuals may find it hard to maintain focus, often getting lost in daydreams or engaging in unrelated activities, even in situations requiring attention.
  • Bermuda Triangle Syndrome: Essential items like keys, wallets, or phones are often misplaced, leading to a daily search.
  • Disorganization: Personal spaces often appear chaotic, with belongings like clothes, tools, or documents not stored properly, reflecting a struggle to maintain order.
  • Lack of follow-through: Starting projects or tasks with enthusiasm but often leaving them unfinished is common, such as initiating a hobby or work project and then moving on to something else.
  • Poor listening skills: Listening actively can be challenging, leading to zoning out during conversations and missing important information.
  • Short attention spans: Short attention spans are common, resulting in numerous incomplete tasks or projects in professional settings and personal life.

These traits are not just limited to children and can continue into adulthood, affecting various aspects of life for those with ADHD.

Combined-Type ADHD

In Combined-Type ADHD, individuals show a combination of both Primary Hyperactive and Impulsive ADHD as well as Primarily Inattentive ADHD. 

Prevalence and Diagnosis

ADHD is a common condition diagnosed through a series of tests and evaluations. This process covers a range of assessments to determine the presence of ADHD traits accurately.

In addition to the testing, we look at how a person behaves in different places, like home or school, to make sure the diagnosis is accurate. This careful process helps identify ADHD correctly for effective treatment.

ADHD Testing Overview

Testing for ADHD combines clinical evaluations with objective-based assessments. Psychiatrists play a key role in the diagnosis, conducting detailed interviews and overseeing testing.

Objective-Based Tests

These tests are crucial in supplementing the clinical interview. They include:

  • Conners continuous performance test third edition (CPT3): Focuses on attention-related tasks.
  • Test of variables of attention (TOVA-9): Assesses attention and impulsivity through visual or auditory stimuli.
  • Creyos cognitive testing: Evaluates various cognitive functions.
  • QbTest: An FDA-approved test that measures ADHD symptoms like activity, attention, and impulsivity.

Using these objective tests helps to give a complete, science-based evaluation of ADHD, making the diagnosis more accurate and trustworthy.

Subjective-Based Questionnaires

For an in-depth view, subjective questionnaires are used:

  • Vanderbilt ADHD diagnostic parent rating scale: Utilized for children, involving input from parents and teachers.
  • Adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS): Designed for adult ADHD assessment.

These questionnaires capture diverse perspectives on ADHD symptoms, providing valuable insights for child and adult assessments.

Conditions Coexisting with ADHD

Some people with ADHD also have other conditions or disorders, such as:

ADHD doesn’t mean someone will have another condition; however, about 60% of those with ADHD also have one or more co-existing mental health conditions.

Managing ADHD

Managing ADHD typically involves a treatment approach with different methods of intervention and support.


Medications play a crucial role in managing ADHD by increasing the brain's ability for attention, self-control, and reducing excessive activity. Stimulants, commonly prescribed for ADHD, have a calming effect on individuals with this condition. 

These medications aim to decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity while boosting focus. In certain cases, they can also be effective in enhancing physical coordination.

Approaches Through Therapy

For people with ADHD and their families, a set of supportive therapies can be beneficial:

  • Behavioral therapies and skills training: This includes tailored approaches like behavioral modification techniques, social skills enhancement, and specialized training and counseling.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): ABA therapy uses positive reinforcement to alter behaviors typically associated with ADHD, aiding in learning new responses and actions in various scenarios.
  • Expressive therapies: These therapies provide outlets for expressing emotions, which can lead to increased dopamine levels and improved focus and concentration.
  • Psychotherapy: This therapeutic approach allows individuals with ADHD to discuss their challenges, develop strategies for managing symptoms, and gain insight into their behavioral patterns.
  • Family therapy: Aimed at families, this therapy enhances understanding and support among parents and siblings, fostering a more supportive environment for managing life with ADHD.

Managing ADHD & ADD with Telapsychiatry

As the mental health landscape evolves, our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care remains the same.

We're here to support you through your journey toward improved mental well-being. Call us at 888-903-5505 or schedule an appointment online.

At Telapsychiatry, our commitment is to offer you thorough individualized care that meets your needs.

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