Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity

Catharina Hartman tells about the characteristics of ADHD which belong to hyperactiveness and impulsiveness. A youngster tells about his experiences.
CHRIS: I often get told off, especially at school. My mum always says, Chris does first, then he thinks. I was doing really badly, especially in year three. One moment, I was standing on the chair. The next moment, I was on the table. And then the next moment, I was doing a handstand. I knew I wasn’t meant to do this. But my teachers still got mad at me anyway. I learned to exercise more control once I got older. But I still– I have many thoughts in my head, lots of ideas from one to another.
CATHARINA HARTMAN: The second group of ADHD problems are about hyperactivity, about being restless, very active, very noisy. Children with ADHD run around a lot, get up from the chair in class, or climb things. In other children, the hyperactivity takes another form, a less extreme form. But they still wobble in the chair, or tick on the table. Adolescents and adults with ADHD often feel restless. They find it’s very difficult to relax. Sitting still for longer periods of time, like in a meeting, can be very annoying for them.
CHRIS: I get distracted super, super fast. You can see that I’m restless now, with my wobbling. I want to jump of this chair every other second. I can’t persist doing things for a very long time. And it’s seriously annoying. Whenever I try something new, like a hobby, I always think this is it. But then I get frustrated, because I can’t manage it in one try. And then I get bored. And then I’m gone. This is just a problem that I haven’t solved yet.
CATHARINA HARTMAN: Impulsivity is also part of the second group of ADHD symptoms. Impulsivity is about acting without thinking through the consequences of your actions beforehand. When someone with ADHD sees something that might be fun, he or she might immediately go for it. New situations are always fun. So people with ADHD may often start new projects and never finished them. Impulsivity can also be dangerous, like immediately running after a ball that’s ended up on the road.

In this video Catherina Hartman gives examples of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Chris tells something about his hyperactivity and impulsivity problems.

This article is from the free online

Young People and Mental Health

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now