ADD in Teens

Symptoms of ADD in Teens

Unable to sit still, trouble with staying focused, short attention span—does this sound like someone you know? If so, you’re not alone. The ADD Resource Center reports that 6.4 million children and teens in America test positive for Attention Deficit Disorder, also referred to as ADD. Studies show that 5% of children worldwide experience this disorder. As one of the most common disorders in the United States, it’s worth taking the time to understand the underlying causes, symptoms, and possible treatments for ADD. Take a look at these residential centers for teens.

If your teen suffers from one or several of the symptoms of ADD, it may be worth having a discussion with them and considering treatment options. But how do you know? Unlike a broken leg or the flu, the symptoms and effects of ADD can be challenging to identify. ADD in teens can look different for each individual. ADD also affects girls and boys differently; therefore, it can be difficult to determine the symptoms of ADD accurately. Below, we walk through some of the most common signs and detail some of the impacts of living with ADD. It’s also important to understand that ADD does not have a cure. Currently, there is no prescription or procedure that will simply make ADD go away. Instead, what your teen can gain from ADD treatment is skills and strategies for success. Countless teens go on to great success and fulfilling lives with ADD—what’s most important is providing them with the tools and knowledge to understand their diagnosis and work toward success living with ADD.


Ever feel like you’re speaking to a brick wall? While this can be common for anyone with a teenager, it can also be a clear sign of ADD. Inattentiveness, or the lack of attention and ability to be easily distracted, is one of the most common symptoms of ADD. Inattentiveness can take many forms and shapes, especially for teens in school or other organized activities. Some signs of inattentiveness include: having a short attention span, the inability to stick to one task, unable to complete assignments and goals, difficulty with organization, and the failure to carry out instructions or repeat information.


Although young people always seem to be bursting with energy, teens with ADD often suffer from excessive amounts of energy and activity, making it difficult for them to stay focused. Hyperactivity, as a medical symptom of ADD, can be understood as a state of being unusually or excessively active. Signs of hyperactivity include, but are not entirely limited to, some of the following symptoms: becoming distracted, constantly moving, having trouble sitting down or staying in one place, and even aggressive behavior. The primary issue with hyperactivity is that it can often lead to poor performance in school, sports, or other activities that require planned organization and focus. Hyperactivity can also make it difficult for teens to succeed in their social interactions and make friends as they struggle to stay in the present moment.


Impulsivity can be understood as the tendency to act quickly and without fully thinking things through. While this happens for all of us from time to time, impulsivity, as a symptom of ADD in teens, can lead to accidents, poor decision making, and missed opportunities. Impulsivity can impact a wide range of actions. From making small decisions, like what to buy at the grocery store, to more important ones, like answers on a test or during a job interview, impulsive behavior can lead to rash, and poorly planned, decisions, which can have lasting effects on your teen’s life and social progress. In extreme circumstances, impulsivity can even reduce one’s awareness of danger and dangerous situations, making one unable to accurately assess how safe a situation or activity may be.


While not direct symptoms of ADD, many severe conditions have been linked to children and teens with ADD. As a result, many of the traditional symptoms of ADD may also be signs of other acute conditions. One of the most common is depression, where your teen may find it challenging to connect with others and find fulfillment in activities they once enjoyed. This can be associated with ADD as hyperactivity and inattentiveness can often make it more difficult for them to perform well in school, work well with others, and make friends. Anxiety disorder is another common condition linked to ADD. Teens with anxiety disorders worry excessively about daily tasks and activities and can become easily overwhelmed, especially during social occasions. Anxiety can even lead to physical effects, such as sweating, dizziness, and an excessively rapid heartbeat.


While some symptoms, such as hyperactivity, may diminish as teens grow older, many of the symptoms prove to remain. If left untreated, ADD in teens can have severe and long-term effects on their lives. Good grades, finding employment they enjoy, working well with others, and making meaningful connections with friends can all be hampered by ADD if left untreated. Dropping out of school is common for many teens with ADD. Some will continually suffer from learning problems as a result of ADD. Some may even experience periods of anxiety or depression. Most of these symptoms, however, can be alleviated if ADD treatment from licensed professionals is sought out.


Having a teen diagnosed with ADD is not the end of the world. In fact, seeking professional help is the all-important first step to providing your teen with the resources they need. It can often be difficult to know what types of signs or habits really signify an ADD diagnosis. Some symptoms, such as hyperactivity, are common in most children and teens but are much more acute and severe in those with ADD. Seeking information and assistance can help you better understand this common disorder, and if needed, find the tools and strategies your teen will need to help them reach their full potential. Find a residential mental health facilities for teens today.

Similar Posts