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Are All ADHDers Hyper?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So, most people assume that to have ADHD, you must be high energy all the time.

In reality, you can have ADHD and show very few stereotypically hyper symptoms. That is, some ADHDers show little-to-no climbing, fidgeting, or constant moving.

Let's explore some possible reasons.

  1. They have ADHD, predominantly inattentive type.

  2. They have non-stereotypical hyperactive traits.

  3. They are masking.

  4. They've gotten older and are less hyperactive.


1. Predominantly Inattentive Type ADHD

ADHD can be categorized into three types: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, and combined presentation. Individuals with predominantly inattentive ADHD often struggle with focusing, following through on tasks, and staying organized, but they may not display overt hyperactivity. This type of ADHD can sometimes be overlooked because the symptoms are less disruptive and less noticeable to others.

2. Non-Stereotypical Hyperactive Traits

Hyperactivity doesn't always manifest in physical movement. It can also appear as internal restlessness, excessive talking, impulsivity, or a constant flow of thoughts. People with ADHD might not fidget or move constantly, but they could experience an internal sense of agitation or be easily distracted by their racing thoughts.

3. Masking

Masking is a coping mechanism where individuals hide their symptoms to blend in or avoid stigma. People with ADHD might consciously suppress their hyperactive behaviors to meet social expectations or to avoid being judged. This can be particularly common in settings like school or work, where hyperactive behavior might be frowned upon. Women may also be more likely to mask!

4. Changes with Age

ADHD symptoms can change over time. Children who exhibit hyperactive behaviors might become less physically active as they grow older. However, the core challenges of ADHD, such as difficulties with attention and executive function, often persist. Adults with ADHD might still feel an internal sense of restlessness but have learned strategies to manage their behavior more effectively in public.


ADHD is a complex condition. Not everyone with ADHD is super hyper, and it's important to recognize the different ways it can show up. Whether it's through being more inattentive, having less obvious hyper traits, masking their symptoms, or simply changing as they get older, people with ADHD experience a wide range of behaviors that go beyond what we typically think of as hyperactivity.

By broadening our understanding of ADHD, we can better support those who live with it and create more inclusive environments that recognize and accommodate their needs.

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