By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: April 27, 2023
What is ADHD? Understanding ADHD
The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is estimated to range from two to eleven percent of the population.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact number as the condition is likely underdiagnosed, leaving many people asking, “do I have ADHD?”
ADHD is a brain disorder. It responds well to medication and individual therapy treatment. When people with the condition receive a diagnosis in childhood, it opens the door to effective interventions. Most importantly, children with ADHD become adults with the condition.
There is no cure for this mental illness. And for those people asking themselves, “do I have ADHD or am I just lazy” they probably already know the answer. Because clearly, severe symptoms of ADHD have already led you to ask yourself, “do I have ADHD disorder.” Of course, your best route here is to review your symptoms with a professional dual diagnosis mental health treatment center. A modern behavioral mental health center can help ensure you do not fall victim to the pitfalls people suffer when they do not know about ADHD. Examples of these pitfalls include substance abuse to self-medicate or boost poor self-esteem.
Three Core Symptoms Characterize ADHD:
It’s typical to reach adulthood and question if your continued forgetfulness, distractibility, or carelessness might suggest undiagnosed ADHD because the symptoms might be subtle or misunderstood. These behaviors are caused by executive dysfunction in people with ADHD. Your organization, prioritization, and discipline are controlled by the executive functioning regions of the frontal cortex of your brain when it is functioning properly.
What about ADD?
In 1987, “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) was replaced with the more precise term “attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Since then, the term Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has been accepted in medicine.
Signs of ADHD in Adults
These are a few behaviors associated with the inattentive ADHD category:
- Making careless mistakes.
- Losing items and general forgetfulness.
- Easily distracted.
- Getting sidetracked and failing to finish tasks (even fun tasks such as video games or a TV series).
- The trouble with organizing tasks that include many steps.
On the hyperactive/impulsive side:
- Quick and strong emotional responses.
- Intense emotions that can look like overreactions.
- Fidgeting and restlessness.
- Talking excessively.
- Impulsiveness (seen in shopping decisions or with reckless driving).
Many people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder grow to dislike activities that irritate them. This can give the impression that you’re giving up easily without attempting.
The characteristics of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and those who have it are misrepresented by certain common beliefs. It is oversimplified to reduce ADHD to stereotypes because it is a complicated disorder.
Lots of People Are Disorganized
People could cite Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder as a justification for avoiding obligations or disobeying rules.
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As with a lot of medical issues, misdiagnosis is a possibility. However, this does not invalidate the experience of ADHD. On the contrary, years of studies have associated ADHD with fundamental differences in brains and behavior. You may compare ADHD symptoms to those of major depressive disorder; they are not specific to those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Even persons in good health might experience sadness, but depression affects people on a deeper level. ADHD functions similarly.
The combined presence, chronic nature, and severity make it an actual and challenging status.
ADHD Inattentive Type Statistics
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is very common. The subtypes of attention deficit disorders are found to have a different rates of prevalence in a group of individuals suffering from the disorders. There is some evidence that ADHD is more prevalent in the United States than in other developed countries.
It is found that inattentive ADHD is prevalent in about 18.3% of the total patients while hyperactive/impulsive and combined represent 8.3% and 70%, respectively.
2:1 male-to-female ratio
It is also found that inattentive ADHD is more common among the female population. The disorders (collectively) are found in a 2:1 male-to-female ratio as per different studies
3% to 6%
Inattentive ADHD is prevalent in around 3%-6% of the adult population
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
DSM-5 Inattentive ADHD Facts
Inattentive Type ADHD
Disorder Class: Neurodevelopmental Disorder
Inattentive ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention that interferes with functioning or development. DSM 5 is a resource that can be used by many different health professionals to assist in the diagnosis of mental health disorders.
Inattentive ADHD Treatment
Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.
Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD
For adult inattentive ADHD, at least five inattentive ADHD symptoms adults are required. The inattentive ADHD symptoms adults are not solely a manifestation of oppositional behavior, defiance, hostility, or failure to understand tasks or instructions.
a. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate).
b. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy reading)
c. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., the mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).
d. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked).
f. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (e.g., schoolwork or homework; for older adolescents and adults, preparing reports, completing forms, reviewing lengthy papers).
g. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
h. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (for older adolescents and adults, may include unrelated thoughts).
i. Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; for older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, and keeping appointments).
Source: NCBI – DSM-IV to DSM-5 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Comparison
Why Do People Confuse ADHD & Laziness?
Some medical professionals think that patients with ADHD are more susceptible to mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and others. They frequently struggle more to quit smoking and are more prone to smoke or use e-cigarettes. Additionally, those who struggle with untreated ADHD are more susceptible to developing drug dependencies. Additionally, their rates of arrest are more likely to be greater. Simply said, ADHD is a legitimate mental health condition. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can have major repercussions on a person’s career, social life, relationships, and general quality of life if it is not treated by an ADHD treatment program.
ADHD & Intelligence
Most ADHD sufferers, according to recent studies, are averagely intelligent. When compared to other members of the general population, people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have similar IQ levels. According to the study, those with ADHD who performed worse on IQ tests typically had additional health issues. These ailments include cognitive impairments of various kinds or learning problems.
Sometimes, people with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder perform less well in school than their classmates. This might be as a result of their inability to focus, keep organized, pay attention to details, or complete activities. They do not, however, have less intelligence as a result of their lower academic success. People with ADHD can succeed academically with the right management, coaching, and discipline at a mental health treatment program.
Types of ADHD
Depending on which symptoms are most prominent in the person, there are three different forms of ADHD :
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: The person finds it challenging to pay attention to details, plan and complete tasks, and follow directions or conversations. The individual gets easily sidetracked or overlooks small elements of daily activities.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The individual chatters a lot and fidgets. Long periods of inactivity, such as during meals or when completing homework, are challenging. Children that are younger may continually run, jump, or climb. The person is restless and struggles with impulse control. Someone speaks abruptly, takes objects from people, or interrupts others without warning. The person finds it challenging to follow instructions or wait their turn. Impulsiveness increases the likelihood of accidents and injury for some people.
- Combined Presentation: The person exhibits both of the aforementioned sorts of symptoms in equal measure.
The appearance may alter over time because the symptoms themselves can.
ADHD & Laziness are NOT the Same
It seems absurd to assume that people with ADHD are lazy. It is a hyperactive disorder, after all. How can individuals be lazy if they are hyper? The truth is that because of how quickly their minds move, persons with ADHD frequently come off as lackadaisical. People with ADHD struggle with focus prior to receiving a diagnosis. Although their brains are constantly working, they struggle to finish things on time. From the outside, it could seem that folks with ADHD are too indolent to complete their work. Actually, they have trouble focusing, which makes finishing tasks challenging.
Do I Have ADHD, or Am I just Lazy?
Knowing the link between ADHD and laziness, how do people respond to, “Do I have ADHD or am I just lazy?” In actuality, they require expert assistance to provide a response to this query. ADHD can only be identified by a physician. People can tell whether they are lazy or have the illness in a few specific situations. They must first examine their response to a crisis. The brain has to work harder in high-adrenaline conditions than it does in situations where attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is present. As a result, those who melt down under pressure might not have ADHD.
People then need to reflect on whether they are living up to their potential. They probably don’t have ADHD if they are satisfied with what they have accomplished. Unfortunately, despite reaching their objectives, those who suffer from this disease rarely feel as though they have accomplished much.
Do I have ADHD, or am I just lazy? When you ask yourself this, consider another question: does your difficulty concentrating come and go? If you said yes, then you don’t have ADHD. This disorder is present in your DNA. Because of that, people do not have Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder one minute and don’t the next.
Take a look at your family tree as well. Who else in your family suffers from ADHD? If not, there is a good likelihood that neither do you. Since the gene for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder exists, it is uncommon for only one member of a family to be affected.
Do I Have ADHD Quiz
Did you know it’s never too late to start an ADHD treatment program? Even adults benefit from entering into treatment at a residential treatment program. When you work with experts in the field, you receive help for the condition and any side effects. Possible modalities include:
- Substance abuse treatment that helps you quit using if you start to self-medicate
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which encourages you to switch out dysfunctional patterns with healthy coping skills
- Trauma treatment is a way to overcome adverse events of your childhood that still affect you
- Mindfulness and meditation training as a way to no longer feel lost and unable to belong
It is time to reach out for help if you need Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, addiction, or dual diagnosis treatment for addiction and a mental health disorder. You may not have gotten the care you needed as a child. Now is a great time to make up for that missed opportunity.
If you want to learn more about the signs and symptoms of Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder so you can stop wondering if you have ADHD, reach out for help from a treatment program. You will feel better once you have a diagnosis and understanding of your condition.
In addition, we work as an integrated team providing information to your questions such as, do I have ADHD? And other aspects of treatment. So make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and answer any of your questions.
Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.
How to Improve Mental Health? 8 Steps & Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Wellbeing Video
8 Steps for Mental Wellbeing & How To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace
- Staying Positive
- Practicing Gratitude
- Taking Care of Your Physical Health
- Connecting With Others
- Developing a Sense of Meaning and Purpose in Life
- Developing Coping Skills
- Relaxation Techniques
Search We Level Up FL Do I Have ADHD? Resources
 American Psychiatric Association (APA)– https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/
 What is ADHD? – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 NIMH – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness
 ‘Anxiety Disorders’ – National Institute Of Mental Health (Nimh.nih.gov)