What does attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) look like?

Characteristics of ADHD include the following:

 Inattention  Hyperactivity-impulsivity
  • Not paying attention to detail and making careless mistakes
  • Losing concentration and becoming distracted
  • Not listening
  • Difficulties completing activities
  • Problems with organisation
  • Avoiding tasks that involve mental effort
  • Losing things
  • Being forgetful
  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Often getting up when seated
  • Moving about at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble completing activities quietly
  • Talking excessively or out of turn
  • Interrupting

What is ADHD?

There are three forms of attention deficit disorder:

  1. Combined presentation
    Criteria for both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity are met.
  2. Predominantly inattentive presentation
    Criteria for inattention but not hyperactivity-impulsivity are met.
  3. Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation
    Criteria for hyperactivity-impulsivity but not inattention are met.

As you can see, you do not have to be hyperactive to have ADHD.

What does an assessment involve?

  • Information is gathered from:
    – Screening questionnaires (completed by the client and someone who knew them in childhood).
    – A client’s GP.
    – School reports if available.
  • A decision is then made about whether to conduct a diagnostic interview.
  • The diagnostic interview involves the collection of further background information and the completion of the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults (DIVA).
  • It is usually possible to determine whether or not a client has ADHD on the day of an assessment.
  • A detailed report is produced explaining the findings of the assessment and providing recommendations.


Please note that if you wish to explore the option of drug therapy, it may be more straightforward if you consulted with a psychiatrist who could assess you and prescribe medication.


Further information about ADHD in adults is available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder-UK.

Call Louise on 07702 797484

Louise Hilliar is a Chartered Psychologist based near Bristol who provides assessments for ADHD. Please contact Louise if you would like further details.