According to the DSM-IV (20) and the most recent DSM-5 criteria (19) that is the cornerstone for diagnosing mental illnesses, ADHD is divided to two subtypes as following and should have:
I. Either A or B:
- Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is inappropriate for developmental level:
Predominantly Inattention subtype:
1.Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
2.Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
3.Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
4.Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
5.Often has trouble organizing activities.
6.Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
7.Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
8.Often is often easily distracted.
9.Often is forgetful in daily activities.
- Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:
Predominantly Hyperactivity/Impulsive Subtype:
1.Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat when sitting still are expected.
2.Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
3Often excessively runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
4.Often has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly.
5.Often is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”.
6.Often talks excessively.
7.Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
8.Often has trouble waiting one’s turn.
9.Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).
- Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 12 years (changed from age 7 in DSM-IV) (20).
- Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).
- There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.
- The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).
But unfortunately the list of DSM is not complete and missing some symptoms, observed in clinical practice and some detail that you could read more about in the book “ADHD:Revisited” available at Amazon, Kindle books.