What is ADHD? Signs and Symptoms?

Ever feel like you just can’t focus? Maybe you fidget constantly or blur out answers before a question is even finished. Perhaps you struggle to stay organised or complete tasks that require sustained attention. These could be signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a common neurodevelopmental condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

While often diagnosed in childhood, ADHD can persist into adulthood and significantly impact daily life. Recognising the signs of ADHD is crucial for getting the right support and improving overall well-being.

At Capstone Medical Centre, we will explore ADHD, its different types, core symptoms, and how to identify potential signs. We’ll also discuss the importance of seeking professional help and the benefits of early diagnosis.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how a person processes information and regulates behaviour. It’s important to understand that ADHD isn’t a lack of intelligence or motivation but rather a difference in brain function.

Three main presentations of ADHD

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: This type is characterised by focus, attention, and organisation challenges. People with this presentation may daydream frequently, lose track of conversations, and struggle to complete tasks on time.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The main features of this presentation are excessive fidgeting, restlessness, and difficulty staying still. People with this presentation may also act impulsively, blurting out answers or interrupting others.
  • Combined Presentation: This is the most common type, including symptoms from inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Core Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD is characterised by a combination of three core symptoms:

1. Inattention: Difficulty focusing, easily distracted, forgetting instructions, losing belongings frequently.

Examples in daily life:

  • A child struggles to stay focused during class, daydreams often, and forgets homework assignments.
  • An adult may have difficulty following a conversation, get sidetracked while working on a project, or regularly misplace keys or phones.

2. Hyperactivity: Fidgeting, feeling restless, difficulty staying seated, excessive talking.

Examples in daily life:

  • A child squirms in their seat, taps their feet constantly, and has trouble sitting still during meals.
  • An adult paces around while on the phone, taps their pen excessively during meetings, and feels the need to constantly be doing something.

3. Impulsivity: Acting without thinking, interrupting others, blurting out answers before a question is finished.

Examples in daily life:

  • A child blurts out answers in class, grabs toys from other children without asking, and has difficulty waiting their turn.
  • An adult makes impulsive purchases, interrupts conversations, and struggles to plan ahead.

Might be interested in: Are depression and anxiety the same?

Normal Childhood Behavior vs. Potential Signs of ADHD

It’s important to remember that all children fidget or have trouble focusing sometimes. However, with ADHD, these behaviours are persistent, occur more frequently than expected for their age, and significantly impact their daily life.

Here’s a key distinction: 

Occasional forgetfulness or restlessness doesn’t necessarily indicate ADHD. But if these behaviours are constant and cause problems at school, home, or with friendships, it’s best to consult a mental health clinic for evaluation.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD manifests through a combination of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. These core symptoms can present differently in children and adults but can significantly impact daily life.


  • Difficulty focusing and paying attention in lectures, meetings, or conversations.
  • Frequent mistakes due to carelessness.
  • Difficulty completing tasks, especially those requiring sustained mental effort.
  • Difficulty organising tasks and activities.
  • Easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli.
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities (e.g., losing belongings, forgetting appointments).
  • Difficulty following through on instructions.
  • Daydreaming frequently.

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity:

  • Restlessness, feeling fidgety, or unable to stay seated.
  • Excessive talking.
  • Running or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate.
  • Difficulty engaging in quiet activities.
  • Bl blurted out answers before a question was finished.
  • Difficulty waiting for a turn.
  • Interrupting conversations or others’ activities.
  • Acting without thinking about the consequences.

By understanding these signs and symptoms, you can be more aware of potential ADHD and seek professional help if needed.

ADHD Diagnosis

If you suspect yourself or someone you know might have ADHD, seeking professional diagnosis and treatment is helpful. Early intervention can significantly improve quality of life and help individuals with ADHD reach their full potential.

ADHD diagnosis typically involves a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. The diagnostic process may involve a comprehensive assessment, including interviews, symptom checklists, and, potentially, cognitive testing.

Benefits of Early Diagnosis and Intervention

Early diagnosis of ADHD allows for prompt intervention, which can have numerous benefits. These include:

  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Enhanced organisation skills
  • Reduced impulsivity
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Better academic performance
  • Improved relationships with family, friends, and colleagues

Treatment Options for ADHD

There are various treatment options available for ADHD, and the most effective approach usually involves a combination of strategies. These may include:

  • Medication: Stimulant medication is a common treatment option for ADHD, particularly for the hyperactive-impulsive presentation. Other medications may also be used in conjunction with stimulants.
  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be a valuable tool for managing ADHD symptoms. CBT helps individuals develop coping mechanisms, improve organisation skills, and manage impulsivity.

Capstone Medical Centre Expertise

Here at Capstone Medical Centre, our team of experienced mental health professionals can provide comprehensive ADHD assessments and develop personalised treatment plans tailored to your individual needs. We understand the challenges of ADHD and are committed to helping you succeed.

ADHD is a treatable condition. With the right support and intervention, individuals with ADHD can lead fulfilling and productive lives.


ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental condition that can significantly impact a person’s ability to focus, stay organised, and control impulses. By understanding the signs and symptoms of ADHD, both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive presentations, you can be more aware of the potential challenges faced by individuals with ADHD.

Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for managing ADHD effectively. With the help of mental health professionals, individuals with ADHD can develop coping mechanisms, improve their overall well-being, and reach their full potential.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help at Capstone Mental Health Clinic. Talking to a doctor or mental health professional is the first step towards getting the right support and living a fulfilling life.


  • psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd
  • cdc.gov/adhd/about/index.html
  • webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-hyperactive-impulsive-type
  • markercontent.com/articles/fitness/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-171107