ADHD/ADD Signs and Symptoms

A person with ADHD/ADD may have some or all of the following symptoms

ADHD symbol conceptua;l design isolated on white background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symbol conceptual design

ADHD/ADD

  • Difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school, or work or activities; producing work that is often messy and careless.
  • Easily distracted and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks by noises or other things that other people tend to overlook.
  • Inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities.
  • Difficulty finishing schoolwork, paperwork, projects or performing tasks that require concentration.
  • Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another.
  • Procrastination
  • Disorganized work habits
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities (for example; missing appointments, forgetting to get or eat lunch or other meals, etc..)
  • Failure to complete tasks such as homework, chores, shopping, projects etc..
  • Frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one’s mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
  • When talking to someone, forgetting what it is that you were saying mid-sentence.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Always moving, shaking or rocking back and forth. Pretty much always in motion.
  • Fidgeting and feeling jittery
  • Impatience
  • Answering a person’s question(s) before they even finished asking the question(s).

Common Early Warning Signs of Mania or Hypomania

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The list below is of common early warning signs that may help you recall the changes you experience when a manic/hypomanic episode is about to occur.  If you find it difficult to identify your early warning signs, you might discuss this with a trusted friend, family member, therapist or doctor. They can give you helpful feedback about what changes they notice in your behavior when you are in or beginning an episode of elevated mood.

Some of the most frequent early warning signs of mania have been found to be less sleep and increased activity.

Here are some examples of common early warning signs of elevated mood:

Changes in behaviour

  • –  more focused on goals and projects
    – start more new things, projects or plans at one time
    – making lots of new friends
    – more energy
    – more activity
    – more outgoing
    – disagree more with others
    – talk faster/more talkative
    – speech may be louder
    – changes in sleep – sleeping less than usual but not feeling tired, waking during the night, staying up later than       normal

Changes in feelings

  • – lots more energy
    – feel more self-confident and self-assured than usual
    – feeling like you can do anything
    – an increase in sex drive (hypersexuality)
    – irritable
    – anxious
    – feeling very important and special
    – feelings of euphoria and elation

Changes in thoughts and perception

  • – colors may seem brighter and more intense
    – lots of new ideas, projects, goals and plans
    – thoughts of being more attractive to others
    – experience hallucinations or delusions (in mania only)

Common Early Warning Signs of Depression

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The list below of common early warning signs might help you think of the changes in your mood that you may notice. If you find it difficult to identify your early warning signs, you might consider discussing it with a trusted friend, family member, or your doctor. This may be helpful for gathering feedback about any changes they may notice.

Common Early Warning Signs of Depression

Changes in behaviour

  • withdraw from others
  • don’t go out as much
  • don’t answer your phone
  • hard to get up in morning
  • changes to sleep pattern such as hard to get to sleep, waking in middle of night and having problems returning to sleep, getting up out of bed later than usual, sleeping more than usual, taking naps during the day.
  • harder to get going
  • changes in appetite

Changes in feelings

  • feeling slow and sluggish
  • feeling hopeless and/or helpless
  • feeling down and sad
  • feelings of guilt and/or self blame
  • having little or no interest in sex
  • feeling tired
  • feelings of agitation
  • feeling irritable
  • feeling numb
  • feeling like you just can’t be bothered or  get motivated
  • not interested in things that you usually love or like to do
  • not able to enjoy things as much

Changes in thoughts

  • thinking is slowed and more difficult
  • hard to concentrate
  • self talk is critical and blaming
  • difficult to think things through and make decisions
  • lots of worrying thoughts
  • thoughts that repeat over and over again
  • thoughts of self harm
  • thoughts are negative about self, others or future