ADHD Defined

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a genetic, hereditary neurobiological deficit of the nervous system. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of "misplaced" attention and/or hyperactivity / impulsivity that occurs in all life spheres, most notably in academic, occupational, and social settings.

ADHD Defined


DSM-V, the official diagnostic manual

DSM-V, the official diagnostic manual for psychiatrists and psychologists, sets very specific criteria for diagnosign ADD/ADHD to distinguish between ADHD and other or co-morbid conditions.


Not an official classification of ADD / ADHD

This is not the official classification of ADD or ADHD, but an "easy reference" of ADD / ADHD, by Christopher Green (1997). It is also important to note that since then, much research has been done and have broadened our perspective and understanding of ADD and ADHD.a.


Do we outgrow ADD/ADHD?

Many from the older generation believed that ADHD will be outgrown during the adolescence and adult life. It is now generally accepted that ADD/ADHD is prevalent in adults (Wender, 2001; Kessler 2005, Barkley).


Research done by Russel Barkley

Not much research has been done on adult ADHD in the past. Many was of the opinion that it can and will be outgrown in adulthood. Recently, Russel Barkley (PhD) has conduct extensive research on adult ADHD. 


Is it really an attention deficit?

Barkley has made very conclusive remarks on exactly what is it that is affecting our lives. By analysing the executive functions that humans need to attend to life and its challenges, to do and direct actions, we use Executive Functions. ADHD has a deficit in the five executive functions due to the neuro-biological disorder.


Coupled with inattention, this type presents itself in unlimited energy levels.

The problem is that those energy can not be focused productively. ADHDers with hyperactivity as the predominant type, often do 101 things but completes (sometimes accomplishes) not that much. In adulthood this hyperactivity can change in hypo activity and even lethargy.


People with attention deficit have a weakness in concentrating on one single issue at a time.

Some even say that ADHD is not about having attention deficit, but having too much attention. All external stimuli will get the same attention. People should be able to differentiate between stimuli and distinguish which stimuli are important for the task at hand. This ADHD hasn't got that executive control to retain information long enough to be reinforced and saved in long-term memory.

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