ADHD Without Hyperactivity



Individuals diagnosed with ADHD without hyperactivity, or inattentive ADHD, are people who tend to drift and float on the edges of an environment. People who suffer from this problem do not have problems with hyperactivity, but instead have trouble with hypoactivity. Hypoactivity is the state of being extremely underactive, and it can be just as disabling as ADHY with hyperactivity.

Children and adults with inattentive ADD have difficulty moving from an impulse to an action, and they are very overstimulated by many environments they encounter. Also, people who suffer from this type of ADD can only do one thing at a time, and they will get overwhelmed if asked to do more.

With this particular type of ADD, one can get confused about how intelligent they are. Our society often equates intelligence with how quickly we can process things, but with ADD it often has to do with distractibility. Conflicting internal and external stimuli, issues with integrating ideas and a general fogginess tends to mask intelligence with inattentive ADD. On the opposite spectrum, just because a child or adult does well academically, it doesn't mean they do not have inattentive ADD. It just means they may not have a cognitive inefficiency problem, they spend more time than others on academics and work and they may have a family that is totally behind them.

In ADD without hyperactivity, the main thing you will notice is disorganization. A messy room, messy handwriting, a messy desk, etc. may be signs that an individuals is struggling with inattentive ADD. These problems must be chronic and severe to be considered.

Also, people with inattentive ADD tend to have problems socially. Because they have trouble making small talk and knowing the rules of social interaction, individuals suffering from this tend to withdraw. Others may see them as awkward and painfully shy, not knowing how to act around them.

Another problem that people with inattentive ADD may experience is getting burnt out easily. Being subject to overstimulating environments can be stressful and tiring to them, and by the end of the day they may be burnt. Inattentive ADDers often need a period of time to themselves each day to regroup and recharge.

An unfortunate fact about this type of ADD is that it is underdiagnosed. Because hypoactivity can be symptoms of so many other things, it is not the first thing that comes to mind by teachers, parents, even mental health professionals. Often times, depression and anxiety will be the first diagnosis given to an individual with inattentive ADD. An even more complicating factor is that inattentive ADDers tend to have anxiety and depression as a result of having ADD all their life. The road to unraveling an ADD diagnosis an becoming healthier and more productive is long and complex.


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