What is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a teen?

Teens with ADHD may struggle with the following problems:

  1. Having trouble paying attention in class
  2. Finding it hard to sit still
  3. Talking with others during class
  4. Getting bad grades
  5. Handing papers in late
  6. Losing papers
  7. Forgetting homework assignments
  8. Not listening to others
  9. Not following directions

Sometimes teens with ADHD think that they are not on the same playing field as others, but that is not true. ADHD does present many challenges for teens -- including difficulty concentrating, feeling driven by motor and impulsiveness. ADHD comes with gifts as well as challenges. If you can learn to find your gifts and interests you can use those to build your motivation and confidence.

Some gifts in teens with ADHD include:

  1. Creativity
  2. Emotional Sensitivity
  3. Excitability
  4. Wide-ranging curiosity
  5. Passion
  6. Sociability
  7. The need for change
  8. Quickness
  9. An innovative mind
  10. Emotional expressiveness
  11. The need for stimulation
  12. Imagination
  13. The need for activity
  14. Strong will
  15. Flexibility
  16. Dreaminess
  17. The ability to solve problems
  18. Vision
  19. A preference to create structure rather than following it
  20. A preference for learning by doing rather than listening


Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a learning disorder that develops when communication between neurons doesn’t exactly work the way it’d supposed to, so ADHD sufferers have a harder time concentrating and focusing on a given task. It’s as if the ADHD brain receives information but cannot process it and file it away efficiently. This constant barrage of daily stimuli is overwhelming to the person with ADHD. When the disorder seriously impairs learning, the doctor usually recommends a psychostimulant medication to help optimize performance and concentration.


YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.