ADHD or, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is mainly characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Essentially, a lack of attention or focus, an excess movement that does not fit the setting, and/or rash decisions seem to be made without much thought.
Based on the degree of Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, ADHD is diagnosed as one of three types – Inattentive type, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, and Combined type. Recent research by Skogli in 2013 has shown that girls are more likely to have inattentive type ADHD and boys are more likely to have Hyperactive/Impulsive type ADHD.
It is due to this that girls are underdiagnosed with ADHD. A typical case of ADHD tends to involve diagnosis of the disorder in childhood. Because of their loud and noticeable behavior, children with hyperactive and impulsive symptoms tend to be easier to identify and diagnose. However, it is inadvisable to diagnose yourself, if you think you have ADHD please approach a professional for a diagnosis. With that disclaimer, here are some symptoms of Inattentive ADHD.
According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), at least five of these symptoms must occur frequently (at least six months), to permit an Inattentive type ADHD diagnosis.
Failure to pay close attention to detail and makes careless mistakes regularly
This will be seen as missing details in work or turning in inaccurate work, sometimes this can manifest as never completing work that is assigned. This symptom while one of the most common, can be debilitating in both school and professional work settings.
Difficulty in paying attention during tasks or activities
This form of inattention could be misidentified as daydreaming. It’s when an individual has difficulty paying attention to a lecture or a conversation or even a book that they might be reading.
May not be paying attention when spoken to directly
Once again, misidentified as head in the clouds – this may be a kid in class who doesn’t pay attention, and the teacher has to try very hard to get them to answer a single question. Of course, ADHD isn’t as simple as that and for an inattentive type, this lack of attention would be there even without external stimuli like a window to look through.
Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish tasks
People with ADHD tend to start tasks and never follow through. They’re easily sidetracked and find it difficult to keep their focus on anything for too long. They may never do their laundry, their homework, or their workplace tasks.
Messy and disorganised
This symptom mostly refers to a lack of organization. It can be seen in people who have a lot of trouble keeping their things in order or are very bad with time management and are always late. It can also manifest in difficulty organizing instructions that are given in sequence, eg: directions like go left then right then left again.
Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort
Avoiding anything they find requires application of themselves for long periods. For children, this may be homework or schoolwork. For adults it may be preparing reports or budgets, reviewing lengthy papers.
Is constantly losing important things
Children with ADHD tend to misplace their possessions with startling regularity. This becomes especially prominent in the misplacing of important items like keys and jackets or shoes if they had to take them off. This can continue into adulthood and is quite frustrating.
For older children and adults this distraction may even be caused by their thoughts. But for children, it tends to be other things in their vicinity that spark up an alternate train of thought. Distraction tends to occur even during enjoyable activities, such as watching tv or talking to a friend.
Keeps forgetting to do things
Much like the constant forgetfulness of objects, there is also the repeated forgetfulness of duties, appointments, and responsibilities. Leading to difficulties sustaining friendships – forgetting to return calls or remembering to pay the bills.
The following criteria must also be met:
The majority of the symptoms must have been present before the age of 12.
They must also be present in two or more settings such as home and work or school.
Along with that, there must be clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with or reduce the quality of the individual’s daily functioning.
And finally, the symptoms must be unexplainable by any other disorder.