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ADHD, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder

ADHD is defined by early-onset (before age 12) of persistent (six months or longer) symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that aren’t according to development, causing impairment of normal functioning in a minimum of two settings, particularly home and school. It’s the foremost common psychiatric disorder in children, mostly in school-age boys.

Generally, the diagnosis of ADHD is predicated on the presentation of impairing levels of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, ADHD can present with different symptoms like mood swings, irritability, emotional dysregulation, low frustration tolerance, sleep problems, low self-esteem, and making the diagnosis difficult due to overlapping with mood disorders and personality disorders.


ADHD onset usually begins before the age of 12 years, with a prevalence of 1.7% to 16%. ADHD follows a chronic and unremitting course that persists into adulthood in half the cases. The hyperactive-impulsive type is related to trajectories of improvement, while the inattentive type is usually related to adverse outcomes. Hyperactive ADHD is more prevalent in men, while inattentive ADHD type is more common in girls. The severity and persistence of ADHD during development are related to adult criminal and antisocial behaviors.

Clinical picture:

  • Hyperactivity in ADHD is characterized by talkativeness, restlessness, fidgeting, thanks to lack of inhibition (but could also be sometimes redirected), engaging in risky behaviors (without being conscious of the consequences); the hyperactivity is present all day and may worsen when prolonged attention or on-task behavior is predicted, especially in structured activities.

  • In children with ADHD, attention difficulties, resistance to completing homework, and poor concentration often interfere with academic achievement