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Insight into the Symptoms of Adolescent ADD and ADHD

written by: DulceCorazon • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 12/14/2010

Some symptoms of adolescent ADD and ADHD do not actually differ all that much from how most teenagers act. One way of spotting ADD and ADHD problems in teens is for parents and teachers to pay close attention to those adolescents who seem to be showing attention deficit behaviors persistently.

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    Overview

    Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are behavior disorders which are mostly diagnosed in children. ADD is often characterized by symptoms of short attention span, while ADHD children often show inattention as well as hyperactivity. Spotting signs of ADD and ADHD in adolescents, however, can sometimes be a little difficult. This is because some characteristics shown by many normal adolescents and the symptoms of ADD and ADHD may seem similar if one does not really pay any close attention to them. This is why parents with teenagers who keep having persistent problems in school and at home are encouraged to understand the different signs and symptoms of adolescent ADD and ADHD.

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    Hyperactivity, Impulsivity and Inattention

    Being hyperactive usually means that the teenager cannot stay in one place for long. Impulsivity often makes an adolescent do things they want to do without thinking first, and inattention is a lack of focus. These behaviors are often exhibited by most teens, and can be attributed to their reactions to the challenges of being teenagers. But when these behaviors are persistent and affect studies and relationships with others, parents and teachers may need to consider having their child evaluated to see if there is something else going on here.

    Impulsive activities that teens may engage in include performing dangerous stunts, taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Some teens with ADD/ADHD may also often forget to do or bring their assignments to school; some may frequently lose or misplace their books, while others may fidget a lot. They may also often interrupt while others are talking. Most of these teens with symptoms of adolescent ADD and ADHD are also very talkative.

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    Anxiety and Mood Changes

    Teens generally change their moods as quick as a flash, but sensing drastic mood changes that may seem abnormal can be signs of ADD or ADHD in teens. Frequent anxiety may also be an indication of the disorder. Some of these teenagers may become withdrawn and have difficulty forming meaningful relationships with others.

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    Distractibility and Poor Concentration

    Distractibility is frequently associated with inattention and poor concentration. Teens who are easily distracted cannot keep their focus on the things that they are supposed to be doing. In most cases, their studies are compromised and their grades fall. They also don't often pay close attention to details, and may have poor organizational and studying skills compared to other children of the same age.

    Because the symptoms of adolescent ADD and ADHD often vary between individuals, a healthcare professional who specializes in managing children and teens with behavior problems is vital to make the diagnosis and to suggest a course of action.

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    References

    What Signs Indicate Your Child Has ADHD?: http://www.4-adhd.com/signs-adhd.html

    ADHD Guide: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-overview

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site610/mainpageS610P0.html

    Born to Explore! The Other Side of ADD: http://borntoexplore.org/whatisadd.htm