Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common behavior disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD is usually identified during childhood, typically before the age of 12. Children's symptoms can improve over time, but they may last into adulthood.

Common symptoms

  • Inattentive and Distractible
    • Difficulty sustaining attention and easily distracted
    • Forgetful or frequently loses things
  • Impulsive and Hyperactive
    • Seems to be in constant motion, runs or climbs with no apparent goal except motion (more common in younger children)
    • Talks excessively and frequently interrupts others
    • Excessive fidgeting
    • Displays difficulty waiting their turn at school or in social games

Keep in mind that these symptoms may not always mean ADHD, so talk to your doctor or behavioral health specialist with any concerns.

Common types

  • Impulsive and Hyperactive Type
  • Inattentive and Distractible Type
  • Combined Type


For ADHD, treatment is based on:

  • Age
  • Extent and severity of symptoms
  • Tolerance for specific medications or therapies
  • Patient's preferences

Forms of treatment

  • Individual and Family Behavioral Treatments: These treatments include tools and techniques to improve behavior management by focusing on impulse control and organizational skills.
  • Medication for ADHD: Medications may have a role in helping to treat some of the core symptoms of ADHD. 

Some common examples are: 

  • Methylphenidate/Ritalin
  • Dextroamphetamine/Dexedrine
  • Adderall
  • Lisdexamfetamine/Vyvanse
  • Atomoxetine/Strattera

When medication is prescribed, it is recommended that you schedule a follow-up appointment with your prescriber within 30 days of starting the medication. Doing so will help your prescriber to monitor your medication's effectiveness and address any concerns regarding side effects.


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Talk to your doctor or behavioral health provider if you have any questions about depression. If you have questions about your coverage, please call the Member Service number on the front of your Blue Cross ID card