To diagnose a patient with attention deficit disorder, a mental health professional must perform psychological testing. Three types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are cited by the National Institute of Health: primarily inattentive ADHD, primarily hyperactive-impulsive ADHD and combined ADHD.
Attention deficit disorder is another name for the primarily inattentive subtype of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Common symptoms of the primarily inattentive subtype of ADHD include being easily distracted, exhibiting poor listening skills, excessive daydreaming, boredom and difficulty following instructions, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. ADD is most commonly diagnosed during a person's childhood and may persist into adolescence and adulthood.
While behaviors similar to ADHD are relatively normal, children suffering from ADHD exhibit these traits in a more pronounced fashion. ADHD inattentive type is differentiated from the hyperactive-impulsive variant by the types of problem behaviors, states the National Institute of Mental Health. Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD manifests as hyperactive behaviors such as fidgeting, constant motion and difficulty performing calm, quiet tasks and impulsive behaviors such as impatience, having difficulty waiting and making inappropriate comments. Combined ADHD involves a combination of inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive characteristics.
ADD and ADHD often cause noticeable problems at school, at work or at home, according to WebMD. While there is currently no cure available for ADHD or ADD, there are treatments available for the symptoms.