Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It’s sometimes still referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD), though this older name has fallen out of use in scientific literature.

The ADHD symptoms you experience help determine which disease specifier may be applied to your diagnosis. A specifier (sometimes called a type) is an additional description that mental health professionals use to describe the predominant ADHD symptoms you have.

Specifiers include:

  • predominantly inattentive
  • predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
  • combination

One reported ADHD symptom, overfocusing, is the subject of some controversy. Overfocusing is also known as hyperfocus. It refers to the ability to concentrate intently on a specific project or activity, often to the extent that other activities are neglected.

Research looking at this symptom is still limited, so its existence is mainly supported by reports from people living with ADHD and their loved ones.

ADHD is often characterized by inattentiveness, so the ability to focus on one thing for a significant period of time can seem to contradict what many people know about the condition. As a result, hyperfocus hasn’t yet been included in the criteria for diagnosing ADHD.

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