ADHD symptoms arise from executive dysfunction, and emotional dysregulation is often considered a core symptom. In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance.
Although people with ADHD struggle to focus on tasks they are not particularly interested in completing, they are often able to maintain an unusually prolonged and intense level of attention for tasks they do find interesting or rewarding; this is known as hyperfocus.
Multiple symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity can negatively impact occupational, academic or social functioning. Typically, these tend to be most apparent in environments with structure or which require self-control. Symptoms are generally from the following clusters:
Excessive motor activity; struggles to sit still, often leaving their seat; prefers to run about; in younger children, will fidget when attempting to sit still; in adolescents and adults, a sense of physical restlessness or discomfort with being quiet and still.
Talks too much; struggles to quietly engage in activities.
Blurts out answers or comments; struggles to wait their turn in conversation, games, or activities; will interrupt or intrude on conversations or games.
A lack of forethought or consideration of consequences when making decisions or taking action, instead tending to act immediately (e.g., physically dangerous behaviours including reckless driving; impulsive decisions).
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