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ADHD: Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

Hyperactive ADHD in adults
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed



Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.Read more

Inability to control impulses, forgetfulness, difficulty prioritizing, impatience, and mood swings can be just personality traits. However, sometimes they can also mean the person has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The probability rises if these symptoms occur in childhood and continue till adulthood.

Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD in adults is a disorder causing a person to exhibit difficulty paying attention, acting without thinking (impulsive behavior), and becoming abnormally active (hyperactivity).

Due to its destructive nature, this disorder can cause many problems in an adult’s life, leading to relationship issues, poor work performance, and low self-esteem.

Usually, many people who have ADHD don’t know that they have it. Nonetheless, it is essential to note that ADHD in adults is a fairly common condition, with a prevalence rate of 4.4% [1*] in patients aged 18 to 44.

ADHD symptoms may be mild but still bring difficulties. Consult with a professional if you suppose you have ADHD symptoms.

Symptoms of Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD

ADHD hyperactivity symptoms tend to be fewer at one age; thus, adults with ADHD will present with fewer clinical signs of ADHD than children. As such, adults who have hyperactive ADHD may be unaware that they suffer from this disorder.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD hyperactivity and ADHD impulsivity in adults [2*] include the following:

  • Difficulty controlling impulses.
  • Inattentiveness during conversations.
  • Poor attention span.
  • Difficulty starting to perform assigned tasks.
  • Variable degrees of disorganization.
  • Psychiatric comorbidities.
  • A reduced ability to stay on tasks that require sustained mental effort.

ADHD: Inattentive Vs. Hyperactive Types

All types of ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders that affect one’s functioning and development. Still, it is vital to understand the various subtypes of ADHD to carry out the right course of treatment.

Doctors use set criteria to diagnose and distinguish the two types of ADHD (inattentive and hyperactive), as listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [3*] (DSM-5).

According to it, inattentive ADHD makes a person distracted. They also have trouble focusing when conducting strenuous mental activities. Additionally, a person with inattentive ADHD is constantly forgetful and has problems following instructions, such as the duties assigned to them in the workplace.

On the other hand, a person with hyperactive ADHD is always in a state of heightened activity. It leads to fidgeting, squirming when sitting down, or continuous tapping of their hands.

A person with hyperactive ADHD is usually very talkative and, more often than not, likes interrupting others and intruding on people’s conversations.

A certified mental health expert at MEDvidi will check your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and come up with a personalized treatment plan.

What Causes Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD in Adults?

Scientists have yet to find the cause of ADHD in adults. Primarily, hyperactive-impulsive ADHD in adults occurs from heritability disorders such as defects of specific genes. Studies have shown that the implication of the genes SLC6A3 and DRD4 [4*] that code for the transportation, formation, and conversion of dopamine can cause ADHD. Dopamine is a hormone that deals with instigating feelings of pleasure and motivation.

Besides genetics, the following can cause ADHD hyperactive-impulsive [5*] :

  • Brain injury
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • A diet that contains a lot of sugar
  • Alcohol and drug use
Medication for impulse control in ADHD

ADHD Treatment

After the doctor has diagnosed the patient with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, they develop a treatment plan depending on their symptoms, So; each treatment differs from one patient to the other.

The doctor may combine two or more treatment methods depending on the severity of the ADHD. Some of the options are explained below.

At MEDvidi, you can get an ADHD prescription online after a consultation with a mental health professional.

Medical Treatment

Medicines are usually the first line of treatment as they are best in reducing the symptoms of ADHD. The following drugs work best in treating ADHD [6*] :

  • Stimulants: despite their name, stimulant drugs are the best medication for impulsivity and for treating ADHD. These medicines can improve one’s thinking ability and increase their attention span. Examples include Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine, Dexmethylphenidate, Lisdexamfetamine, and Serdexmethylphenidate.
  • Non-stimulants: medical drugs like Strattera, Atomoxetine, and Viloxazine are vital medications for impulse control in ADHD. However, compared to stimulants, these ADHD medications usually take a longer time to take effect. People generally use them as a second line of treatment for patients who are intolerant to stimulant drugs.
  • High blood pressure medication: the doctor can prescribe these medications to control hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms in ADHD. Examples include Clonidine and Guanfacine.
  • Antidepressants: Fluoxetine, Bupropion, and other antidepressants treat anxiety disorders and can also help relieve ADHD impulsive symptoms when used with stimulant drugs.

Psychosocial Treatment

This treatment uses different psychotherapy approaches to resolve problems caused by predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, such as poor time management, social failures, and disorganization. These psychotherapy modalities [7*] include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: involves performing self-meditation and various self-control strategies. It helps to relieve hyperactive ADHD in adults, improving the patient’s organizational skills, self-esteem, and environmental awareness.
  • Family and Marital therapy: it is a type of therapy meant to help adults with ADHD undergoing unsuccessful marriages and family functionalities. Family therapy will help the patient with ADHD be a good listener and reduce their forgetfulness as well as make both spouses better understand how to deal with the display of ADHD symptoms.

In Conclusion

Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is more common among children than adults. Still, there is a possibility of having this type of ADHD in adulthood too. Contact MEDvidi online clinic to get your symptoms checked by a professional and receive a legit diagnosis and personalized treatment plans for ADHD that will work for you. Sign up and complete a free symptoms screening to get started!


7 sources
  1. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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  2. Adult ADHD. (2006)
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  3. DSM-5 Changes: Implications for Child Serious Emotional Disturbance Internet. (2016)
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  4. Dopamine genes and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a review. (2003)
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  5. What is ADHD?
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  6. Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. (2008)
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  7. Non-drug treatments for adult ADHD. (2022)
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed



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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.