What is ADHD?

“It’s very busy in my head. Is it ADHD?

When I lose my socks, I notice I cannot concentrate enough to find them. Do I have ADHD?”
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder characterised by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

The prevalence of ADHD among children worldwide is estimated at 5%* and at present it is estimated to affect 2% of the total world's population**. As the illness can often result in disruptive behaviour in the classroom, it is often first identified at school.

Although ADHD is generally considered a childhood disorder, it is now known that approximately two thirds of children affected with ADHD symptoms can carry the condition into adolescence and then adulthood.

*Polanczyk, G et al (2007), The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD: A systematic Review and Metaregression Analysis, AM J Psychiatry 2007; 164:942-948 **Using DSM-IV criteria

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