ADHD is diagnosed after a person has shown some or all of the symptoms on a regular basis for more than six months, in more than one setting.
In children, symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Many children with ADHD are in constant motion, squirm and fidget, make careless mistakes, often lose things, do not seem to listen, are easily distracted, and do not finish tasks.
A complete medical history will screen for other conditions that may affect a child’s behavior, such as recent major life changes (such as divorce, a death in the family, or a recent move), undetected seizures, thyroid problems, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, and lead toxicity.
In adults, in addition to symptoms of inattention and/or impulsiveness, adults with ADHD may experience chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, poor organizational skills, low self-esteem, employment problems, short temper, difficulty finishing a task, unthinking and immediate response, difficulty controlling behavior, or restlessness.
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