So, there are many questions we are asking ourselves of different conditions that are arising more and more every day, and in saying this that some are not clinically diagnosed or defined properly through the DSM-5 manual that most clinical professionals use.  So, the question is really what is the definition of ADHD?  This is my understanding of what ADHD is after being diagnosed with it you can view my diagnosis story on my channel or you can click here which will take you to this video.



ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and describes the unique structure of your brain.
A significant number of New Zealanders have ADHD, and for those of you who do, have many positive characteristics which are experienced alongside some challenges. Researchers who are passionate about ADHD have been helping to increase our knowledge and understanding of what makes ADHD unique. It’s now clearly understood that the frontal lobe (prefrontal cortex to be specific) in the ADHD brain develops or matures at a slower rate. Generally, maturing is slowed by approximately three years in developing children and adolescents. Yet, to be honest with you there is a bit of an overlap between autism and ADHD.




The frontal lobe is responsible for:

  • filtering and controlling attention
  • behaviour
  • emotion
  • energy or motor control
  • judgment, and
  • executive functioning – which includes your ability to plan and organize.


As the development of the frontal lobe is slower and less mature than “typical” development it means the “neurodevelopmental delay” to the prefrontal cortex makes automatically controlling and filtering attention, behaviors, emotions, etc so much harder. This means your ADHD brain has to work much harder to control aspects that come naturally to others the same age, and this is the nature of the “disordered” part. It’s also the reason why you experience significant fatigue by the end of the school or workday. This doesn’t, by any means, make you less than your peers, however, but rather does make you different in terms of your developmental trajectory.



Under the general understanding/diagnosis of ADHD, individuals usually fit into one of three different “subtypes” or groups. This is because even with a diagnosis of ADHD, it’s recognised that within ADHD everyone is different. However, there are commonalities that help to provide an understanding of the more specific features of each type.

The ADHD subtypes are as follows:

Predominantly Inattentive ADHD:


This subtype tends to be more prevalent in:

  • girls
  • those who have encountered a head injury to the frontal lobe, and
  • those also on the Autistic Spectrum (ASD).

The main characteristics include control of attention, focus, and concentration. Some impulsivity, behavioral and emotional hyperactivity and executive dysfunction are often also experienced but to a much lesser degree.




ADHD predominantly
​Hyperactive and Impulsive Predominantly Hyperactive and Impulsive ADHD:


This is the most well-known subtype of ADHD as childhood hyperactivity (including inappropriately high activity levels such as running, climbing, moving around) is more obvious, as is impulsive actions – which can lead to trouble with authority and peers.
In adolescence and adults, as the brain matures, so too does the control level and the hyperactivity turns from major movement to more minor restlessness and fidgeting.The main characteristics include an under control of behaviour, activity (hyperactivity is sped up activity levels that are not lessened appropriately in given situations), and acting on impulses without controlling these with thinking before acting.
Inattentiveness and executive dysfunction are often also present, though generally to a lesser extent

 Predominantly Combined ADHD


​The main characteristics include an under-control of attention, behaviour, activity, and impulses.

They are all present in fairly equal measures.

The common areas affected and behaviours/symptoms of ADHD are:

Inattentive behaviour

Easily distracted

Difficulties maintaining attention/ focus (especially when bored)

Daydreams or off-task

Makes silly mistakes

Trouble switching between tasks, getting lost

Difficulty keeping track or remembering instructions

Hyperactive behaviour

Constant activity



Difficulty sitting still

Trouble switching off/ sleeping

Talks excessively

Impulsive behaviour

Acting without thinking

Interrupting people

Accident-prone as not thinking before doing

Blurts out answers/ secrets

Doesn’t mean to do or say all the things done

​Rushes into things

Emotional impulsivity

Big, raw, and sudden emotions

Once calm it’s over and as though nothing happened

Easily upset, angry or afraid

Easily frustrated or annoyed

Hard to calm down

​Self-soothing is difficult

Executive functioning

Losing things

​Not knowing what they’re doing and when

​Trouble organising thoughts onto paper

​Poor sense of time

​Often late

​Doesn’t mentally rehearse before entering new situations


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