ADHD Symptoms

Initial Superficial Symptoms
The following list of symptoms are those seen by parents often looking for answers as to the cause and more importantly solution. ADHD may well be relevant for anyone showing the following aspects:

  • Poor understanding of the passage of time or time management;
  • Struggles to be motivated;
  • Poor working memory and often forgets things;
  • Impulsiveness or Hyperactivity (often coined "always on the move");
  • Difficulty in sitting still;
  • Poor emotion management;
  • Poor Planning and Problem Solving or Organisation Skills;
  • Any Learning Difficulties;
  • Poor Discipline;
  • Attention deficit or inattention;
  • Repetitive behaviour;
  • Struggles with changes of any kind;
  • Shy, Day dreaming and easily confused;
  • Problems taking turns or queuing;
  • Talks excessively or hardly speaks;

NB:  We will soon produce a diagnosis information and help area on this website.

Detailed and Actual Symptoms
There are many documents including those on which provide the diagnostic symptoms for ADHD.  The World Health Authority is about to launch DSM-V which is the documentation for the diagnosis of ADHD.  The following information is not intended to go against any diagnosis system but rather explain the key aspects which those with ADHD actually have difficulty with.

It needs to be noted that ADHD investigations have allowed the opportunity to isolate the actual symptoms of ADHD and not symptoms of other conditions however closely related.  Discoveries from brain scans have shown that ADHD is incorrectly named is is actually a form of Executive Function Disorder.  As a Neurodevelopmental condition it is affected by a number of DNA variations.  Currently 20 different genomes are being investigated as being related to the variation seen in ADHD.

As a Neurological condition caused by Neurodevelopmental aspects dictated by DNA variations it is clear that the condition is not caused by poor parenting, bad diet or any other environmental aspect.  Often such ideas were born from the naming of a condition and the subsequent diagnosis of individuals which statistically made it look like there was a sudden epidemic.  The reality is if you go from a position of not testing the populous and then do so you will turn a previously undiagnosed group of individuals into a diagnosed group but have not increased the numbers coping with the problem.  Numbers with the condition effectively have not changed but rather you have begun to recognise the problem.

Top Neurologists and Psychiatrists are arguing that ADHD could be described as the "diabetes of the brain" and in many ways that analogy is helpful in explaining many  aspects of the condition, its treatment and the importance it holds within it's field.  This is a condition which is serious and deserves proper recognition, understanding and training.

The brain scans have shown clearly that ADHD is actually an Executive Function Disorder which in turn is requiring the books on understanding how the brain works to be effectively re-written.  Neurology is now one of the most exciting areas of science providing many new findings producing the need to rethink neurology.

ADHD needs much more study and current findings although allowing for a greater simplification of understanding of how the condition works has highlighted that there is more than one type of ADHD and these other areas such a SCT need to be studied further and understood to the same level as some core areas of ADHD.

In summary ADHD is an executive function control disorder not a knowledge disorder such as Autism which shows many similar symptoms.  Because of this ADHD has often been misunderstood and misrepresented.

As such the following functions are effected:

  • Inhibition
  • Verbal Working Memory
  • Non-Verbal Working Memory (e.g. Visual Working Memory)
  • Emotions
  • Planning and Problem Solving

By disrupting Executive Function and Self Regulation ADHD effects:

  • Self-restrain or inhibit behaviour, thoughts, words, emotions;
  • Self-management of time; anticipate and prepare for the future;
  • Self-organize and problem solve across time;
  • Self-motivate across time;
  • Self-regulate emotions across time;

This causes individuals and especially children to present a number of key symptoms.

Executive Function - CPU of the Brain
The executive function is run by the Pre-Frontal Cortex area of the brain and is the central processing unit which makes a human being unique.  It controls everything including emotions, social interaction, reading, writing, creativity and that one can describe as uniquely human.  It is the section of the brain that is not needed for survival and so no animal has this section.  Effectively everything that makes humans human is the opposite of what is required for survival.  That said it is vital for survival in human society !

Un-moderated Emotions
Often ADHD people can be considered to be unemotional but in realty they are very emotional people.  This can result in two extremes.  When younger the individual is likely to show all types of emotion without restraint or control.  Additionally fear and anger are much strong emotions and are processed by the brain much more quickly and so are the hardest to control.  As the individual gets older they may well eventually shut down the emotions as they cannot cope with controlling them and logically remove them entirely.  Medication of various types have been shown to unlock the emotions again resulting in the problem of the individual returning to the state they had avoided.

Overall it is these uncontrolled emotions which often cause situations which society determines as "bad behaviour" and "anti-social in nature".  This is however an over simplification of the issues.

ADHD people know how to behave and they wish to behave however due to the lack of control provided normally by the Pre-Frontal Cortex they find themselves behaving in ways the regret afterwards but have little ability to control themselves.  It has been seen on numerous occasions that someone else can create the instructions for them to cease their behaviour and affect the way in which the ADHDer is behaving.  Overall many people can misinterpret the individual as deliberately carrying out these problem behaviours, due to the presence of knowledge of how to behave.

Time Blindness Disorder
Due to the problem of internal time regulation in the ADHD brain the individual is unable to anticipate properly the passage of time.  They can often believe time is running faster or slower than it actually is depending on the activity they are involved in.  Lack of activity results in the individual believing time is travelling much faster than it is, and high levels of activity result in the individual believing time is moving slowly.  This stops them from appropriately planning and controlling activities based on time.  They can be shocked by an event happening which they had fully anticipated but had not realised time had indeed travelled. Equally be extremely impatient and unable to stand in ques.

The result is the inability to organise appropriately, plan for the future and execute any plans they may have created.  This is one of the most problematic aspects faced by Adults with ADHD.

Self Motivation Disorder
Self motivation is extremely important in allowing someone to start a task, run the task and ultimately fulfil it.  ADHD'ers are unable to do this and so many tasks are voided and those started are not completed.  Activities such Games Consoles do not require motivation as they provide all the motivation stimulus required; but rather the problem becomes the inability to motivate in order to stop the activity.   The symptom therefore seen is an individual who is unable to concentrate on task, unable to complete tasks, and even unable to pull themselves away from tasks.  On occasions adults with ADHD can seem to have the benefit of working long hours and carrying out tasks over longer timelines leaving colleagues unable to keep up; but in reality this is a significant problem as the individual is unable to break free and regulate other needs such as food and drink intake and relationships etc which can be negatively affected as a consequence.

Memory Recall Problems
The individual with ADHD has a very well mapped memory system and many have been found to be able to memorise vast quantities of information and even others having photographic memories.  The problem they however struggle with the the ability to control working memory and memory recall.  Working memory is vitally important to carry out tasks which rely on regular memory recall such as talking, reading, writing, and problem solving etc.  Many are known to have poor short term memory recall seemingly unable to remember anything that has been asked of them in the past 10 minutes.  In contrary their long term memory recalls can be very effective and accurate; however they often lack the ability to control the quantity of information that is recalled.  Such an occurrences causes situations in which the individual either cannot recall facts such as people's names or facts which they know they possess or alternatively they are able to recall the facts and end up boring the listener with endless recounted information often irrelevant to the initial conversations.

Condition of Extremes
We find the best way to explain ADHD is that it is a condition of extremes.  They possess the normal personality characteristics to everyone else in society but due to the inability to control key aspects result in have extremes of each of those personality traits.  For example it is normal for a human being to talk, but an ADHD individual will either talk non-stop or not at all.  Likewise they can talk very quickly or even extremely slowly in contrast.

No Two the Same
Due to the massive complexity of the developing brain and the uniqueness of the individual there is no two people with ADHD who show the exact same symptoms or problems.  What they possess is a shared cause but it will result in a unique way determined literally by personality.


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