ADHD ABC|A is for ADHD: FAQ about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Have you been wondering, “Do I have ADHD?” or “Does my husband/child/wife have ADHD?” Let’s start with little FAQ about ADHD.

It’s especially for those of you adults who are 97.3% sure that you have it, but you haven’t been officially diagnosed by a medical professional yet.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders, affecting about 1-7% of the population. It’s characterized by significant problems of attention, impulsive actions, and behavior that are not age appropriate for the individual. To be diagnosed with the disorder, the symptoms must be present by ages six to twelve, and be present for at least six months. You can find a bunch of stuff from the National Institute of Mental Health on ADHD and its subtypes (mostly on ADHD in children).   Here’s more information Adult ADHD.

Is ADHD real? 

Yes. Next question.

What kinds of ADHD are there?

There are three main types of ADHD (some doctors say that there are even more):

  • ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type- mostly spacey, day dreaming, forgetful
  • ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: hyper, jumpy, impulsive, spontaneous
  • ADHD, Combined Type: This is the two for one meal deal, with a bevy of both hyperactive and inattentive types. This combo fun pack is what I got.  How about you?

Do I have ADHD? Can you tell me if I have ADHD?

I don’t know. All I know is I don’t play a doctor on TV. ADHD is a medical diagnosis that only doctors can provide. Check out this 30 second video with a short 5 question test by Dr. Daniel Amen and his wife, nurse Tana Amen.

Adult ADHDWhat does ADHD look like in adults?

It’s different than in kiddos.  With kids, it looks like spacing out in class, forgetting homework, getting up a lot in class and wandering around.  Adults will have a hard time paying attention in meetings at work, forget to pay bills,

Is ADHD heriditary?

It can be. Genetic and twin studies prove it. It can also be caused by environmental factors, prenatal exposure to drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco.

Do I have to take medication if I have ADHD?

Not necessarily. There are many ways of helping ADHD, although certain medications can be helpful. Exercise, diet, and supplements can also be useful. Talk over your concerns with your doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a “traditional” ADHD medication, like Adderall, Straterra, Vyvanse, or Ritalin, then don’t do it.  Be careful of quacks and quick fixes! There are unscrupulous grifters and “experts” out there who take advantage of an ADDer’s desperation.

Don’t more guys have ADHD than girls?

Nope. Boys tend to get diagnosed more as children. However, girls tend to be better at hiding disabilities, so they often don’t get diagnosed until they’re adults. (Hey, I didn’t find out until I was 30 years old!)

Can you get me some Adderall?

Absolutely not. I already told you–I don’t even play a doctor on TV.

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Nancy Carroll Written by:


  1. April 1, 2014

    I didn’t know there were subtypes of ADHD. Interesting. Thanks for the FAQ, Nancy.

  2. April 2, 2014

    Never thought I had ADHD but if you asked my family and friends, they’d probably put me into the inattentive category. As a writer, my body may be in the here and now, but my thoughts are almost always in my stories.

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