Hyperactivity refers to inappropriate or excessive activity for a
person's age or situation. Hyperactivity is not always a continuous behaviour,
as is often assumed. A person who has
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with
hyperactivity as the main symptom may only sometimes be overactive. If a person
has the primarily inattentive type of ADHD, he or she may even seem less active
Children may have more obvious symptoms of hyperactivity than teens
and adults. Children whose main symptom is hyperactivity seem to be "on the go"
much of the time or act as if "driven by a motor." Behaviour may range from
subtle to extreme. For example, a child may squirm in his or her chair at
times, and then at other times be completely unable to stay seated. Children
with hyperactivity also frequently climb and run around when it is not
Hyperactivity may be less obvious as people with ADHD mature, but
they usually still struggle with symptoms. For example, teens and adults may be
fidgety. Some adults say they feel restless even when they do not show it.
Some symptoms are common in all age groups, such as talking
excessively or having difficulty doing quiet activities.
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ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics