It differs from the other two subtypes of ADHD in that hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms are reduced or absent. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation is roughly twice as common in adult men as in adult women.
ADHD is characterized by two main categories of symptoms:
- Inattention, which refers to difficulty paying attention to and carefully completing a given task, particularly in situations that require continued concentration or mental effort.
- Hyperactivity-impulsivity, which means having an unusually high level of activity and difficulty inhibiting impulses. Motor symptoms of hyperactivity may be less prominent in adulthood, but difficulties persist with restlessness and impulsivity.
The Predominantly Inattentive Presentation of ADHD is diagnosed if five or more symptoms of inattention, and less than five symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, have been present for the past six months:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes on schoolwork or other activities
- Often has difficulty holding attention on tasks or play activities
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores
- Often has difficulty with organization
- Often avoids or dislikes tasks that require continued mental effort
- Often loses necessary materials
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
In order to meet criteria for ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, five or more of these symptoms must be present in adults. These symptoms must be present for at least six months and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level. Additionally, the following conditions must be met:
- Several symptoms were present before age 12
- Several symptoms are present in two or more settings, such as at work, home, and in social interactions
- Symptoms clearly interfere with or reduce the quality of the individual’s work or social functioning
- Symptoms are not better explained by another psychiatric condition (for example, an anxiety or mood disorder) or occur only during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder
Adults with ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation may also show some symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity. However, adults may have fewer than five hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms to meet criteria for the Predominantly Inattentive Presentation. Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity include the following:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
- Often feel restless
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly
- Is often "on the go" acting as if "driven by a motor"
- Often talks excessively
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed
- Often has trouble waiting his/her turn
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)