The Inattentive Sub-type of ADHD 2018-08-16T15:20:53-04:00

Thank you for taking the Are You TotallyADD? quiz!

How accurate is this Quiz?

This quiz is based on the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual V and the World Health Organization’s Adult Self-Reporting Scale (DSM-5).

These are the core symptoms.  If you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) you’ll probably score high.  But you may score high if you have a different health issue or life is stressful.

ADHD is ongoing and impairing, in several areas of life. Not, “I’m overwhelmed at my job.” Or, “I’ve been in a fog since my divorce.”

A full and proper diagnosis requires a doctor who understands ADHD/ADD.
NOTE: You may not have all the symptoms. Every person is different.

Who Created This Quiz?

Hi, I’m Rick Green, creator of the award-winning PBS program ADD & Loving It?!, and

Your answers suggest you may have: The Inattentive Subtype of ADHD.

Some call it ADD for short. People who have the Inattentive Subtype struggle with Attention & Focus. They may be Forgetful, Daydreamers, Sensitive, Lateral Thinkers, and Easily Overwhelmed by emotion or noisy situations.

How can I suddenly have ADHD at my age?

Great question.  How can we live for decades with this mindset and not know?  Well, the symptoms of ADHD are not exotic.  Everyone struggles with distractions, poor memory, focus, restlessness, and impulsivity…. now and then.  However, when the symptoms are constant and impairing you, it’s a disorder.  Because ADHD is highly heritable, you may have been this way since childhood.  It’s all you’ve known, so you assumed life is this difficult for everyone.  It isn’t!

4 Things You Need To Know

  1.  ADHD is NOT a lack of effort, intelligence, or character.
  2.  It is NOT caused by diet, TV, or bad parents.
  3.  It’s NOT new. Doctors were describing symptoms of what we now call ADHD back in the 1700 and 1800s!
  4.  ADHD is treatable.  In the right situation we can soar.


(Don’t worry. It’s not Rocket Science.)

  • ADHD is not an illness–you can cure an illness.  ADHD is ongoing.  It is a Neuro-Developmental Disorder.  And it’s complex.
  • Part of the problem seems to be low levels of two neuro-transmitters, Dopamine and Norepinephrine, chemicals that carry messages around the brain.  If you don’t have enough, the messages don’t get through.
  • There is a strong genetic factor to ADHD/ADD.  Over 20 suspect genes have been identified since 1999.  (No wonder it runs in families.)  If one parent has ADHD/ADHD, each child has a 30-40% chance of having it as well.
  • New brain imaging technology such as MRI’s have shown real differences in the structure of ADHD brains, and in how they work.
  • The good news? Our brains can change, forming new connections, at any age. This ability is called Neuro-plasticity. It means there’s much that can be done to diminish the symptoms and make life easier and more rewarding.

So what exactly is going on with me?

One perspective on ADHD sees the brain as being ‘half-asleep.’  Another perspective sees this as a brain that is ‘reward deficient.’  We may requiremore stimulation to get engaged and motivated.  And yet, when we find  something that interests us, we can be unstoppable.  That’s called Hyper-focus.

A newer perspective that I think best captures the scope of this disorder is to see ADHD as a problem with Executive Functions.  What does that mean?! Well, what do Executives at a big company do? They handle:  Long-Term Planning. Managing Time & Costs. Consistency. Organizing. Setting Goals. Following Standard Procedures.
Sticking to Schedules & Routines. Tracking Progress. Checking Details. Seeing Projects Through to Completion.

And these are usually NOT our strengths. Often, quite the opposite.

Doesn’t everyone forget stuff, lose things, make mistakes, procrastinate, or feel overwhelmed?

Yes.  Everyone does… now and then.  But, remember, when these are FREQUENT and ONGOING problems that impair you in several areas of
life, (despite your best intentions) then it make sense to view it as a Disorder and actually deal with it.


You can reduce the severity of the symptoms and make life better.

Costs, Risks and Downside

Numerous studies have shown that people with undiagnosed & untreated ADHD suffer:

  • 2 times the risk of divorce.1 Lower levels of marital happiness .2
  • 2 – 3 times the risk of being expelled3, dropping out of school4, plus lower self esteem, more emotional/social problems, underachieving at school5
  • 2 – 4 times the rate of bankruptcy, being fired, frequent job changes, being unemployed, being under-employed 6
  • 2 times the rate of being arrested. 9 times more likely to be incarcerated 7
  • 7 times the rate of multiple-car accidents8, 2.5 X more speeding violations9
  • 3 times cost drug claims & work loss10, 2 X cost of annual medical care11
  • 2 – 4 X more sexual partners, teen pregnancies, STDs, tested for AIDS12
  • Earning $8,900 to $15,400 less than your non-ADHD peers13
  • 3 times the rate of Substance Abuse Disorders14
  • 3 times the rate of Attempted Suicide15
  • Self-medicating with high-risk behaviors: extreme sports, sex, gambling.

REMEMBER: These are the rates for untreated ADHD/ADD. Once you have a proper diagnosis, and begin using ADHD-friendly tools and strategies everything changes16. Do nothing and nothing changes.

What can I do about it? Is there a cure? Am I doomed?

Doomed? Not at all! One study found that a Holistic, or Multi-Modal plan that draws upon a number of tools & strategies can reduce core symptoms by 75%.

Many adults with ADHD/ADD are leaders in the arts, show biz, sports, high-tech, and sales.  Often intuitive and sensitive, they become wonderful teachers, therapists, journalists, or counselors.

The first step is EDUCATION. You want to understand what ADHD is. As you learn more, and it feels like, “This is me,” talk to your doctor about getting a proper diagnosis, ideally from a specialist who understands ADHD. (Not all doctors do.)

In the meantime, try some ADHD-Strategies and see if they help.

Successful Adults With ADHD

Sir Richard Branson, Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea
Swimmer Michael Phelps, Cycling champion Greg Lemond
Jet Blue Founder David Neeleman, Naomi Judd
Justin Timberlake, Cher
Green Day’s Billy Armstrong, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine
Zooey Deschanel, Jim Carrey
Will Smith, Chef Jamie Oliver
Broadcaster Terry Bradshaw, Baseball player Andre Torres
… and many more

You Oughta Know

70% of people with ADHD/ADD also have a second disorder.
The most common are: Learning Disorders, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, O.C.D., and Substance Abuse.
Secnik K et al, 2005, Barkley et al 1996, Biederman et al 1993; Murphy & Barkley 1996

Tools, Supports, Resources, Tips & Tricks

• To learn more about Adult ADD watch our short introductory videos.
• You’ll find 36 great strategies that we love and use ourselves in: ADD & Mastering It! (As seen on PBS!)

Check Out Our Full Length Videos Featuring Dozens of Top Experts On


Bear In Mind

  • ADHD is complex. Everyone has a unique combination of symptoms.
  • Your blend of symptoms is unique to you.
  • So the combination of tools and strategies that you use will be unique to your situation.

I’m In Shock!

Living with undiagnosed ADHD/ADD can leave you feeling like a failure. No wonder!
You had no idea something was undermining your best intentions. Discovering that a hidden saboteur has been sabotaging you can trigger a
tornado of Anger, Regret, & Sadness, but also Relief, Hope, & Excitement.

For expert advice in how to move forward, check out Now You Tell Me?!!