In the most recent variant of the DSM, the DSM-V, these subtypes are now called “presentations”. Researchers also determined that individuals frequently switch from one subtype to the next. For instance, in pre-school, a child can present as predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and lose most of the teenage hyperarousal to suit the predominantly inattentive appearance. In college and adulthood, the same person can transfer to the combined presentation.

The subtypes were mostly focused on overt behavioural symptoms and less obvious symptoms such as mental dysregulation, cognitive patterns, and problems with sleep were overlooked. The distinguishing characteristics of ADHD was imperfectly captured by behavioural symptoms. In study and diagnosis, non-behavioral aspects are increasingly known.

The Symptoms of Each ADHD Subtype

In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM-V), which describes nine symptoms that indicate that ADHD is predominantly inattentive and nine that indicate that ADHD is predominantly hyperactive / impulsive, the symptoms of ADHD are spelled out. A child can be diagnosed with ADHD only if, from one of the lists below, he or she has at least six of the nine symptoms and if the symptoms have been evident in two or more settings for at least six months.