A comprehensive list of symptoms associated with ADHD-R. Barkley

In ADHD on Thursday, 6 September 2012 at 10:16

I wanted to attach a comprehensive list of symptoms associated with ADHD.  I find in my work that people always have a list in their heads of what ADHD IS and IS NOT and will attribute or misattribute certain symptoms to “prove” their point that their child does or does not have ADHD.  I hear parents tell me all the time things such as, “My kid CAN’T have ADHD.  He can sit and play on his computer ALL day.”  At any rate, I have found Barkley’s list (below) a great resource to elucidate parents and teachers.

Comprehensive List of Symptoms and Difficulties Noted in Adults Diagnosed with ADHD

1. Find it difficult to tolerate waiting; impatient

2. Make decisions impulsively

3. Unable to inhibit my reactions or responses to events or others

4. Have difficulty stopping my activities or behavior when I should do so

5. Have difficulty changing my behavior when I am given feedback about my mistakes

6. Easily distracted by irrelevant thoughts when I must concentrate on something

7. Prone to daydreaming when I should be concentrating on something

8. Procrastinate or put off doing things until the last minute

9. Make impulsive comments to others

10. Likely to take short cuts in my work and not do all that I am supposed to do

11. Likely to skip out on work early if its boring or hard to do

12. Can’t seem to defer gratification or to put off doing things that are rewarding now so as to work for a later goal

13. Likely to do things without considering the consequences for doing them

14. Change my plans at the last minute on a whim or last-minute impulse

15. Start a project or task without reading or listening to directions carefully

16. Poor sense of time

17. Waste or mismanage my time

18. Fail to consider past relevant events or past personal experiences before responding to situations

19. Do not think about the future as much as others of my age seem to do

20. Not prepared for work or assigned tasks

21. Fail to meet deadlines for assignments

22. Have trouble planning ahead or preparing for upcoming events

23. Forget to do things I am supposed to do

24. Have difficulties with mental arithmetic

25. Not able to comprehend what I read as well as I should be able to do; have to reread material to get its meaning

26. Can’t seem to remember what I previously heard or read about

27. Can’t seem to accomplish the goals I set for myself

28. Late for work or scheduled appointments

29. Trouble organizing my thoughts or thinking clearly

30. Not aware of things I say or do

31. Can’t seem to hold in mind things I need to remember to do

32. Have difficulty being objective about things that affect me

33. Find it hard to take other people’s perspectives about a problem or situation

34. Have difficulty keeping in mind the purpose or goal of my activities

35. Forget the point I was trying to make when talking to others

36. When shown something complicated to do, cannot keep the information in mind so as to imitate or do it correctly

37. Give poor attention to details in my work

38. Find it difficult to keep track of several activities at once

39. Can’t seem to get things done unless there is an immediate deadline

40. Dislike work or school activities where I must think more than usual

41. Have difficulty judging how much time it will take to do something or get somewhere 42. Have trouble motivating myself to start work

43. Quick to get angry or become upset

44. Easily frustrated

45. Overreact emotionally

46. Have difficulty motivating myself to stick with my work and get it done

47. Can’t seem to persist at things I do not find interesting

48. Do not put as much effort into my work as I should or as others are able to do

49. Have trouble staying alert or awake in boring situations

50. Easily excited by activities going on around me

51. Not motivated to prepare in advance for things I know I am supposed to do

52. Can’t seem to sustain my concentration on reading, paperwork, lectures, or work

53. Easily bored

54. Others tell me I am lazy or unmotivated

55. Have to depend on others to help me get my work done

56. Things must have an immediate payoff for me or I do not seem to get them done

57. Have trouble completing one activity before starting a new one

58. Have difficulty resisting the urge to do something fun or more interesting when I am supposed to be working

59. Can’t seem to sustain friendships or close relationships as long as other people

60. Inconsistent in the quality or quantity of my work performance

61. Don’t seem to worry about future events as much as others

62. Don’t think about or talk things over with myself before doing something

63. Unable to work as well as others without supervision or frequent instruction

64. Have trouble doing what I tell myself to do

65. Poor follow-through on promises or commitments I may make to others

66. Lack self-discipline

67. Have difficulty using sound judgment in problem situations or when under stress

68. Trouble following the rules in a situation

69. Not very flexible in my behavior or approach to a situation; overly rigid in how I like things done

70. Have trouble organizing my thoughts

71. Have difficulties saying what I want to say

72. Unable to come up with or invent as many solutions to problems as others seem to do 73. Often at a loss for words when I want to explain something to others

74. Have trouble putting my thoughts down in writing as well or as quickly as others

75. Feel I am not as creative or inventive as others of my level of intelligence

76. In trying to accomplish goals or assignments, find I am not able to think of as many ways of doing things as others

77. Have trouble learning new or complex activities as well as others

78. Have difficulty explaining things in their proper order or sequence

79. Can’t seem to get to the point of my explanations as quickly as others

80. Have trouble doing things in their proper order or sequence

81. Unable to “think on my feet” or respond as effectively as others to unexpected events 82. Clumsy; not as coordinated in my movements as others

83. Poor or sloppy handwriting

84. Have difficulty arranging or doing my work by its priority or importance; can’t “prioritize” well

85. Slower to react to unexpected events

86. Get silly, clown around, or act foolishly when I should be serious

87. Can’t seem to remember things I have done or places I have been as well as others seem to do

88. Accident prone

89. More likely to drive a motor vehicle much faster than others (excessive speeding)

90. Have difficulties managing my money or credit cards

91. I am less able to recall events from my childhood compared to others



Barkley, Russell A. (2011-04-04). Taking Charge of Adult ADHD (Kindle Locations 5356-5369). Guilford Press. Kindle   Edition.

  1. great web site here
    i think i missed thanking you for following the strategies blog.
    hope it will be useful to you. so thanks

  2. […] link: extremely extensive all encompassing list of ADD or ADHD symptoms from Barkley clikhere Share this:PrintEmailTwitterPinterestMoreDiggStumbleUponFacebookRedditLinkedInTumblrLike […]

  3. […] A comprehensive list of symptoms associated with ADHD-R. Barkley. […]

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