Inattention is a common symptom of ADHD and consists of difficulty paying attention, becoming quickly bored with tasks, failing to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities. It can also involve difficulty sustaining focus on tasks or activities and effectively switching between different activities.
Hyperactivity is characterized by overactive behavior, including frequent fidgeting, talking excessively, and having difficulty staying seated for long periods of time. It can also involve excessive physical movement or impulsively starting conversations with others.
Impulsivity involves acting without thinking about the consequences first and often leads to making poor decisions or doing things without considering potential risks involved. This can include difficulty waiting their turn in line, blurting out answers before questions have been asked or completed, and interrupting other people’s activities or conversations.
4. Difficulty Sustaining Attention
When evaluating a patient for ADHD using the DSM checklist, clinicians should consider whether the patient experiences difficulty sustaining attention for an extended period of time. This could include having trouble focusing on activities or tasks for more than a few minutes at a time, and being easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or activities.
5. Easily Distracted or Forgetful
The DSM ADHD checklist also evaluates for symptoms related to forgetfulness and distraction, such as frequently misplacing objects, forgetting appointments or commitments, and having difficulty remembering details of conversations and other events.
6. Disorganized Behavior
Disorganized behavior is another indicator of ADHD and includes difficulty following instructions, completing tasks in a timely manner, staying organized, managing multiple tasks simultaneously and transitioning between different activities quickly.
7. Problems with Task Completion
Patients with ADHD often have difficulty completing tasks, forgetting steps in the process or avoiding tasks they find challenging. This can lead to procrastination and a lack of motivation, making it difficult to complete schoolwork, work projects or household chores.
8. Poor Time Management Skills
Lastly, poor time management skills are common in those with ADHD and can include losing track of time easily, having difficulty prioritizing tasks, failing to meet deadlines, and not taking breaks when necessary. This can make it hard to plan activities in advance or keep up with responsibilities.