Managing ADHD symptoms

ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder. ADHD is characterised by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity patterns that can interfere with daily functioning and development.


The symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person but generally fall into three main categories:

  • Inattention: Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty sustaining attention, are easily distracted, and may frequently make careless mistakes. They may struggle with organising tasks and activities, often losing things and forgetting instructions or deadlines.
  • Hyperactivity manifests as excessive restlessness, fidgeting, and difficulty remaining seated or quiet for extended periods. Children with hyperactivity may appear constantly 'on the go' and have difficulty engaging in activities quietly.
  • Impulsivity: Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking or considering the consequences. People with ADHD may have trouble waiting their turn, may frequently interrupt others, and might engage in risky or impulsive behaviours without feeling the potential outcomes.

It's important to note that the specific symptoms and their severity can vary widely among individuals with ADHD. For example, some may primarily exhibit symptoms of inattention, while others may predominantly display hyperactivity and impulsivity. Therefore, a diagnosis of ADHD is typically made based on a comprehensive evaluation that considers the presence of symptoms in multiple settings and the impairment caused by these symptoms.

ADHD is a complex disorder with various factors contributing to its development, including genetic and environmental influences. Therefore, it is commonly treated with a multimodal approach that may include behavioural therapy, educational interventions, and in some cases, medication.

Suppose you or someone you know is experiencing attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity difficulties. In that case, consulting with a medical or mental health professional for proper evaluation and guidance is recommended.

What sort of symptoms do we associate with ADHD?

ADHD is associated with various symptoms impacting different areas of a person's life. These symptoms are generally categorised into the above-mentioned three groups: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Here are some common symptoms associated with each category.


  • Difficulty sustaining attention on tasks or activities.
  • Being easily distracted by external stimuli.
  • Making careless mistakes or overlooking details.
  • Difficulty organising tasks and activities.
  • Frequently losing or misplacing items necessary for tasks.
  • Forgetfulness, both in short-term memory and long-term planning.
  • Difficulty following instructions or completing assignments.


  • Constant restlessness and fidgeting.
  • Difficulty remaining seated or staying still for extended periods.
  • Inability to engage in quiet activities or play quietly.
  • Being 'on the go' or feeling driven by a motor.
  • Excessive talking or interrupting others during conversations.


  • Acting without thinking or considering the consequences.
  • Difficulty waiting for one's turn or waiting in line.
  • Interrupting or intruding on others' activities or conversations.
  • Impatience and problem with delayed gratification.
  • Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviours without considering the potential harm.

Not everyone with ADHD will exhibit all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Additionally, the specific symptoms experienced can change over time as individuals develop and mature.

It's also worth mentioning that ADHD symptoms must be persistent, pervasive, and significantly interfere with a person's functioning and development to meet the diagnostic criteria. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified medical or mental health professional can be useful in determining if ADHD is present and differentiating it from other possible causes of similar symptoms.

Can counselling be helpful with ADHD?

Yes, counselling can be beneficial for individuals with ADHD. While medication and behavioural interventions are commonly used to treat ADHD, counselling can play a crucial role in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of the disorder. Here are some ways in which counselling can be helpful:

Emotional support

Counselling provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals with ADHD can discuss their feelings, frustrations, and challenges associated with the disorder. It allows them to express their emotions, develop coping strategies, and better understand themselves.

Self-esteem and self-confidence

Many individuals with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy due to their difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Counselling can help individuals build a positive self-image, improve self-esteem, and develop strategies to manage and overcome challenges related to ADHD.

Coping skills and strategies

Counselling can help individuals learn and develop effective coping skills and strategies to manage their ADHD symptoms. This may include techniques for improving focus and attention, organisation skills, time management, and problem-solving strategies.

Education and understanding

Counselling sessions can provide valuable education and information about ADHD, including its nature, symptoms, and impact on various aspects of life. Understanding the disorder can help individuals and their families develop realistic expectations and find effective ways to accommodate and manage symptoms.

Relationship and social skills

ADHD can impact relationships and social interactions. Counselling can address communication, social skills, and relationship challenges, helping individuals develop healthier patterns of interaction and improve their interpersonal relationships.

Goal setting and motivation

Many individuals with ADHD struggle with setting and achieving goals due to difficulties with focus, organisation, and time management. Counselling can assist individuals in setting realistic goals, breaking them down into manageable steps, and finding motivation and strategies to stay on track.

It's important to note that counselling approaches may vary, and the specific techniques used will depend on the individual's needs and preferences. Working with a qualified mental health professional with experience treating ADHD can provide the most effective support and guidance.

Can Hope Therapy and Counselling Services help with your ADHD?

Hope has an extensive team of counsellors, many of which have immediate availability. So if you are looking for a Therapist experienced in supporting your ADHD, simply get in touch to learn more.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services, Offering Counselling, CBT, Hypnotherapy, EMDR & Mindfulness.
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3

Ian Stockbridge is the founder and lead counsellor at Hope Therapy and Counselling Services. 

As an experienced Counsellor, Ian recognised a huge societal need for therapeutic services that were often not being met. As such the 'Hope Agency'was born and its counselling team now offers counselling and therapeutic support throughout the UK.

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