ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder – that means it is a disorder of brain development that affects behaviour. The symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADHD is diagnosed when these symptoms make life considerably more difficult on a social, academic or occupational level, although the presentation of ADHD is very variable, with different people affected in different ways.
ADHD was once considered to be a childhood disorder where symptoms reduced as you got older, but it is now known to continue into adulthood in more than half of people (studies estimate around 50–65% of people).
As you get older, the type of symptoms you experience may change. For example, you may feel less physically hyperactive or you may have learned to cope with some of your symptoms.
ADHD is slightly more often diagnosed in men compared with women.
Research suggests that around one in 30 adults have ADHD although this varies from country to country.