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Published on February 09, 2018

girl looking bored in class

Shy and Withdrawn Teens May Have ADHD Inattentive Type

By Tony Sorensen, LP, PsyD

The people most likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are the ones who get in trouble at home and at work.

For school-aged children who face this condition, they may act out, drawing attention to themselves with unruly behavior. In many cases, those who face this issue get help through a combination of counseling and medication.

But there’s another type of this disorder called ADHD Inattentive Type. This condition often is overlooked by parents, teachers and co-workers, and therefore, health care professional often do not diagnose it until the person is older. Sometimes, individuals with ADHD Inattentive Type will be mischaracterized as shy or withdrawn. But like the more familiar ADHD, this condition can be diagnosed and treated effectively.

Typical signs of this form of ADHD include leaving work unfinished and a general disinterest in the classroom. Students with this challenge know answers – they are often intelligent – but often will fail to recall it when their teachers call on them. In many cases, the condition gets in the way, and affects their grades and the quality of their work.

Social issues are another way that people with ADHD Inattentive Type show signs of the disorder. They may not engage well in group settings, and they don’t seem to listen when someone asks them to do something. This can lead to difficulty following directions.

Many people with this disorder don’t follow or understand social interactions, and since they are easily distracted, it makes it difficult for them to track conversations and engage. Their actions may offend others, or make folks angry, and that can lead the person with ADHD Inattentive Type to withdraw. They feel like they should just give up with social connections because it’s usually a struggle.

The root of this disorder is a difference in how their brain process information. Organizational issues and struggles with completing tasks will show up, and in many cases, homework or responsibilities that don’t interest them are pushed aside. Patients who have this condition instead dive deeply into hobbies or interests that they see as rewarding and stimulating.

While challenging to detect and understand, ADHD – Inattentive Type is treatable and with the persistent support of family, friends, educators and behavioral health professionals. People who face it can overcome their issues and have more-rewarding experiences.

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