Inattentive ADHD, also known as ADHD-PI (ADHD – predominantly inattentive), may feel like a persistent difficulty in sustaining focus and attention on tasks and activities that are not inherently stimulating. People with this type of ADHD may often get lost in their own thoughts or fail to notice details, which can lead to mistakes or forgetfulness. They might struggle with organization, planning and time management. It can manifest itself as being easily distracted by external stimuli such as random noises, conversations or movement around them. The feeling of being constantly overwhelmed by everyday responsibilities is common among people with inattentive ADHD.
What are the symptoms of inattentive ADHD?
The symptoms of inattentive ADHD, also called ADHD-PI (Primarily Inattentive), include difficulty sustaining attention, forgetfulness, disorganization, procrastination, lack of motivation, and difficulty with follow-through on tasks. People with this type of ADHD may also have trouble staying focused during conversations or lectures and often make careless mistakes. They may struggle to complete tasks that require sustained mental effort and find it challenging to prioritize their work.
How is inattentive ADHD diagnosed?
Inattentive ADHD is typically diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional (such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker) who specializes in diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Diagnosis involves a comprehensive assessment which may include reviewing medical history, conducting interviews with the individual and their family members or partners, administering standardized rating scales that evaluate behavior and symptoms related to ADHD, and ruling out other potential causes of inattention such as anxiety or depression. There are no specific tests such as MRI scans or blood tests for measuring ADHD directly, but certain laboratory tests may be suggested to rule out other possible underlying conditions which might produce similar symptoms.
What causes inattentive ADHD?
The exact causes of inattentive ADHD are not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It may also involve an imbalance in certain chemicals in the brain, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine. Additionally, prenatal exposure to alcohol or tobacco smoke as well as premature birth or low birth weight may increase the risk of developing inattentive ADHD.
Are there effective treatments for inattentive ADHD?
There are several treatment options for inattentive ADHD, including medication and therapy. Stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin can be effective in improving attention and reducing symptoms of inattentive ADHD. Non-stimulant medications like Strattera may also be prescribed. In addition to medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals with inattentive ADHD develop strategies to improve their focus and manage distractions. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for an individual’s specific needs.
Can inattention be a symptom of other conditions besides ADHD?
Yes, inattention can also be a symptom of other conditions besides ADHD. Conditions like depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and certain medical conditions such as thyroid disorders or chronic pain can cause inattention.