What is Hyperactivity?

What is Hyperactivity?

Hyperactivity is the state of excess activity and might be manifested by fidgeting, jumping, nervousness, or inability to sit still.  Hyperactivity is a common symptom of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

To define what is hyperactivity can be difficult because it is a very subjective behavior.  What might seem excessive to one person might look completely normal to another person.  Behaviors commonly associated with hyperactivity include:

  • constant activity
  • easily distractibility
  • impulsivity
  • inability to concentrate
  • aggressiveness
  • anxiety or depression (usually from bullying or trouble with school)
  • trouble following directions
  • fidgeting, squirming, not sitting even when instructed

Individuals with ADHD will also display difficulty concentrating or participating in quiet activities.  Hyperactivity from ADHD differs from normal child activity in that it interferes with school, work, and relationships.  Hyperactivity is also a symptom that must be present for six months or more in order for a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it must be present across all areas of a person's life, including home, school, work, and within the community.

Hyperactivity often makes a child susceptible to bullying, and making friendships can be hard for children with ADHD.  Additionally, since children with what is hyperactivity often have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or finishing tasks, they are frequently punished for their hyperactivity by teachers and parents.

While hyperactivity is most commonly associated with ADHD, individuals might also have difficulty with a brain or nervous system disorder, emotional disorder, or hyperthyroidism.  During an assessment for hyperactivity, a doctor will check for other causes of the behavior.

Hyperactivity from ADHD is treated through medications that help increase attention and concentration and reduce impulsiveness.  Family and individual counseling, as well as therapies such as occupational and music therapy, can also help with what is hyperactivity.  Behavioral therapy is a component of this individual therapy that has proven to be very effective for hyperactivity.

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Written by: Candice Evans See other articles by Candice Evans
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