What Is ADHD?

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ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurobehavioral disorder that is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. People with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, may be hyperactive or restless, and may act impulsively. These symptoms of ADHD occur in 2 or more settings, such as at work, at school, and/or in social settings. ADHD starts in childhood, but can continue in adolescence and adulthood.

An estimated 11% (6.4 million) of US school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD in their lifetime.* Additionally, an estimated 4.4% of adults have ADHD in the US. When applied to the full US adult population aged 18 and over, approximately 10.5 million adults are estimated to have ADHD in the US. Only a qualified health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

It is also important to understand what ADHD is not.

*Based on the 2011/12 National Survey of Children’s Health, in which parents were asked if a health care practitioner had ever told them their child had ADD or ADHD

Based on the National Comorbidity Survey Replication of 3199 adults aged 18 to 44 years conducted from 2001 to 2003