Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments


Among the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder features a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that interferes with functioning or development. Typically identified in childhood, symptoms of ADHD need to be evident across multiple settings and caregivers in order for the diagnosis to be confirmed.

More formally, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder requires the presence of symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or both. It is important to note that, in isolation, any of the characteristics of the disorder can be observed throughout typical childhood development. In order to meet criteria for ADHD, symptoms must be present for at least 6 months1 and significantly impact academic, social, and adaptive abilities. While individuals with ADHD are often impacted throughout their lives, symptoms can be managed with behavior therapy and/or medication.
Signs of ADHD

Types of ADHD

A common mental health condition where people experience regular, excessive anxiety. Unlike other anxiety disorders where fears are easily identified, people living with GAD have multiple fears or may be unable to identify specific causes of their anxiety.

A common condition that’s characterized by excessive fear of certain social situations and specific concerns of being negatively judged by others. Often, social anxiety leads to avoidance of these situations which negatively impacts a person’s ability to function and their quality of life.


Develops following a traumatic experience with symptoms including upsetting memories, avoidance of trauma reminders, and impairment of normal routines and functioning. Acute stress disorder is diagnosed when symptoms occur directly after the trauma but resolve within one month. Acute stress disorder is a diagnosis used to help clinicians flag people at risk of developing PTSD following a traumatic experience like an accident, injury, or assault. Early treatment may slow or stop this progression to PTSD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A mental health condition defined by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors ( (aka obsessions and compulsions). Those living with OCD experience intense anxiety about the nature of their obsessions and engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate their distress. Reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms is possible with therapy and/or medication.

A condition characterized by the intense fear of having another panic attack. Panic attacks feature extreme symptoms of anxiety that come on suddenly and generally last several minutes. Panic disorder leads to avoidant behavior which disrupts a person’s normal routine and daily life.

People feel an excessive and overwhelming amount of anxiety when separated, or when anticipating being separated, from a parent, spouse, child, etc. The level of anxiety experienced is not developmentally appropriate, is persistent, and can cause significant distress sometimes impairing social, school or work functioning. It is quite common and onset often occurs in children and adolescents. Treated with talk therapy and/or medication.

People experience intense anxiety in response to specific cues (people, places, things, or situations) that is excessive relative to the actual risk they face. Specific phobias are diagnosed when this fear or the resulting avoidance causes a significant distress or impairment in a person’s life. Phobias are treatable with exposure therapy, talk therapy, and/or medication.

The key differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks involve intensity, duration, and onset. Panic attacks bring on a sudden rush of emotional and physical changes so intense that many people believe something serious is happening physically. A panic attack usually has a distinct beginning and end and symptoms rarely last more than 30 minutes. Anxiety attacks may be more subtle and present with a slow build. Periods of high anxiety could last for hours or days with the beginning and end of the anxiety attack very difficult to define.

Treatment of ADHD

Behavior therapy has been identified over the last 20 years as being an evidence-based treatment for the symptoms of ADHD. Behavioral strategies, grounded in learning theory, includes a focus on procedures wherein parents and/or caregivers are trained to use specific strategies to increase desired behaviors (e.g., compliance, organization) and decrease undesirable behaviors (e.g., noncompliance, disruptions). Several meta-analyses over the last decade have established that behavioral treatments result in moderate to substantial improvement for children who engage in a variety of disruptive and noncompliant behaviors.These types of therapies can be provided by licensed psychologists, social workers, and counselors with the appropriate educational background and training.
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Other mental health disorders

Anxiety & Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety describes the reactions within our minds and bodies to situations that are stressful, dangerous, or create a sense of uncertainty. Nearly everyone experiences occasional feelings of anxiety – nervousness, worry, or fear. These feelings are typically triggered
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Depression: Types, Symptoms, & Treatments

Depression is a mood disorder that generally brings about sadness, but it can also influence a person’s energy, motivation, irritability, and overall well-being. It is one of the most powerful mental health conditions a person can endure.
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Bipolar Disorder: Types, Causes, & Treatments

Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is a genetically-based psychiatric disorder, which involves poorly regulated changes in brain chemistry resulting in extreme mood swings. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan...
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ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder requires the presence of symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or both.2 It is important to note that, in isolation, any of the characteristics of the disorder can be observed ...
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Schizophrenia: Symptoms & Treatments

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder marked by abnormalities in various areas of functioning. It is known as a psychotic disorder, which typically involves delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia can also impair motor...
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Psychological Traumatic-Stress Disorders

Psychological or emotional trauma can occur when one experiences an event (or several events) in which death, serious injury, or sexual assault, are threatened— or actually occur. A person can also be traumatized by hearing of these events happening to a loved one...
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We seek to ensure that all people with mental illness including people with past experiences of mental illness are supported by the association.