ADHD Inattentive Explained


A stereotype for individuals affected by ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is that they act consistently jumpy and fidgety. Misinformation portrays them as rambunctiously energetic and uncontrollable people, moving from one thing to the next. However, hyperactivity can be expressed in more than one way. In fact, there are multiple different types of ADHD, and this general stereotype does not apply to all of them.

The symptoms described above are those that commonly apply to predominantly hyper-active impulsive presentation or combine presentation of ADHD. These are two types of ADHD that are quite frequently seen among the neurodiverse. On the other hand, one type of ADHD that does not follow this stereotype is predominantly inattentive presentation, or attention-deficit ADHD.

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This type of ADHD is often overlooked as depression or anxiety, and very few of the affected receive proper treatment. The quiet symptoms and signs of inattentive ADHD are similar to these disorders and can be mistaken for other behaviors as well. However, thorough research and analyses reveal that predominantly inattentive ADHD is the most prevalent type of ADHD. It occurs in around 8.4% of children and 2.5 % of adults, mostly affecting younger individuals and children. In fact, a quarter of all children affected by ADHD who receive treatment in mental health centers have attention-deficit ADHD.


As the name of this type explains, those who have this condition have significant issues with inattention, but have few or no symptoms of physical hyperactivity. The symptoms include:


  1. Often failing to pay close attention to detail, making careless mistakes in school or work
  2. Often lacking organization in completing tasks and managing time
  3. Often experience spaciness, not seeming to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often failing to follow instructions
  5. Often procrastinating on work or schoolwork
  6. Often reluctant to complete tasks that require mental focus for a relatively long period of time
  7. Often misplacing possessions or necessary items to complete tasks and daily activities
  8. Often becoming easily distracted and off-topic


In order to make a formal diagnosis of inattentive ADHD, contact a mental health professional or a primary care provider. For children up to 16 years, if six or more of the symptoms above are present throughout a period of 6 months, a diagnosis should be considered. For adolescents 17 years or older and adults, if five or more of the symptoms above are present throughout the same amount of time, a diagnosis should be considered.


The symptoms of inattentive ADHD greatly affect one’s performance in work, school and relationships. One may have trouble remembering dates for work, family, or finances. Additionally, an individual affected might procrastinate on schoolwork, chores, or projects. Even when it comes to hobbies or entertainment, they might not be able to focus very well. Unfortunately, frequent mistakes can also be made in school or work. Inattentive ADHD can have serious consequences for an individual financially and relationship-wise if not addressed appropriately.


Living with attention-deficit ADHD can be difficult, but there are several ways to help manage it in everyday life. For example, extra effort for organization and planning can be applied. This breaks down complicated tasks into simpler, straightforward steps. Distractions can be eliminated and minimized, and goals and rewards can be set when progress is made. In addition, stress and focus should be managed. All adjustments to an affected individual’s lifestyle should be specific to their unique needs and circumstances.


In conclusion, inattentive ADHD is a common, existing type of ADHD that needs to be addressed properly. Its symptoms are not as noticable but still require care and attention. Lack of focus and attention to detail as well as trouble with organization are few of these symptoms. With appropriate management and treatment, affected individuals can successfully overcome the obstacles of attention-deficit ADHD and lead more achieving lives.