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Hyperactivity - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Management

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This article deals with the pieces of information about hyperactivity, an enthusiastic condition. Read below to get more details.

Written by

Dr. Karthika Rp

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi

Published At March 15, 2023
Reviewed AtJuly 11, 2023


Hyperactivity involves over-enthusiastic people who are not willing to remain in a place, are highly impulsive, and have excessive muscular movements. Hyperactivity usually evolves at school age and might decrease as the child grows up. It usually coexists with attention- deficit and hyperactivity disorder. There are many misconceptions that these people are lazy and less smart. That is not true because many people made footprints in their field despite attention deficit.

  • Michael Phelps- A famous American swimmer.

  • Karina Smirnoff- A professional dancer.

  • Adam Levine- A magazine writer and composer.

  • Emma Watson- A lead role in Harry Potter, advocate.

  • Lisa Ling- A journalist.

  • Jessica Mccabe- Actress and YouTuber.

  • Cammi Granato- Hockey player.

  • Channing Tatum- A dancer.

  • Howie Mandel- A stand-up comedian and show host.

  • Justin Timberlake- An actor and singer.

  • Simone Biles- Gymnast.

  • Solange Knowles- A singer.

What Is Meant by Hyperactivity?

Hyperactivity means boosting or overactive movement, impulsive acts, a shorter concentration span, and being readily distracted. Hyperactive behavior usually refers to unchanging activity, being easily diverted, impulsiveness, inability to focus, hostility, and similar manners.

Typical behaviors may include:

  • Constant moving.

  • Roaming.

  • Speaking too much.

  • Problem participating in quiet activities such as reading.

Hyperactivity is not easily explained. It often relies on the viewer. Behavior that seems extreme to one person may not seem extreme to another. But particular children, when analogized to others, are far more active. This can become a concern if it impedes school work or making friends.

Hyperactivity is often believed to be more of a problem for schools and parents than the child. But many hyperactive kids are down or even depressed. Hyperactive behavior may make a child a tease target or make it harder to bond with other children. Schoolwork may be more challenging. Hyperactive kids are often punished for their behavior. Excessive movement or hyperkinetic behavior often diminishes as the child grows older. It may disappear completely by adolescence.

What Are the Symptoms of Hyperactivity?

Hyperactivity children may have a problem focusing in school. They may also exhibit impulsive behaviors, such as:

  • Speaking out of turn.

  • Shouting things out.

  • Beating other students.

  • Trouble staying in their seat.

Grown-ups with hyperactivity may show the following symptoms:

  • Short concentration span.

  • Difficulty at work concentration.

  • Difficulty recalling names, numerals, or bits of information.

  • People who are distressed about experiencing hyperactivity might develop anxiety or depression.

  • In many cases, adults who undergo hyperactivity show signs of it as children.

Other symptoms of hyperactivity include the following:

  • Restless in their seats.

  • Run around when inappropriate.

  • Interrupt others during discussions.

  • Blurts out the answer before the question is done.

  • Needs help with waiting for their turn.

  • Lose the things necessary for their activities or tasks, such as pencils, wallets, books, tools, keys, eyeglasses, etc.

What Are the Causes of Hyperactivity?

Mental or physical conditions can cause hyperactivity. For example, conditions that affect the nervous system or thyroid may contribute.

The most common causes of hyperactivity are mentioned below:

  • ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).

  • Hyperthyroidism.

  • Brain disorders.

  • Nervous system disorders.

  • Psychological disorders.

  • Use of cocaine or methamphetamine (meth) or other stimulant drugs.

Some other risk factors include:

  • Genetics does play a major role.

  • Premature birth.

  • Exposure to smoking, alcohol, drug use, or environmental toxins during early childhood or by the mother during pregnancy.

  • Brain injuries.

What Is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is referred to as a behavioral condition that interferes with focus, self-control, functioning, and social skills. People with this condition have trouble with time management, dealing with emotions, remembering things, completing tasks, and controlling impulsive behavior.

Types of Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Type 1: Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder predominantly inattentive.

  • Type 2: Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder predominantly hyperactive-impulsive.

  • Type 3: Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder combined.

How to Diagnose Hyperactivity?

If a person is experiencing hyperactivity, speak with the doctor. The doctor may ask about symptoms, including when they began. They will ask about changes in overall health and medications people might be taking.

Answering these questions will help the doctor determine the type of hyperactivity children or adults experience. It will help them know if a new or existing condition or a side effect of medication causes hyperactivity. The doctor may also take a blood or urine sample to check the hormone levels. This will help them know if the patient has a hormonal imbalance. For example, a thyroid hormone imbalance may be inducing hyperactivity.

  • Getting a proper diagnosis to treat the hyperactivity condition effectively is necessary.

  • If the doctor thinks an underlying physical condition causes hyperactivity, they may prescribe medications to treat that condition.

  • A mental health condition may also cause hyperactivity. In that case, the doctor may refer the person to a mental health specialist. The specialist may suggest medication, therapy, or both

How Is Hyperactivity Treated?


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and talk therapy are usually used to treat hyperactivity.

  • CBT desires to change the patterns of thinking and behavior.

  • Talk therapy concerns discussing the symptoms with a therapist. The therapist can help the patient develop strategies to manage hyperactivity and reduce its effects. People with hyperactivity behavior need to take medicines to help control hyperactivity. These medications may be suggested to children or adults. They have a relaxing effect on individuals with ADHD.


Medications used to treat hyperactivity include:

  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin).

  • Lisdexamfetamine.

  • Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine (Adderall).

  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)

  • Methylphenidate.

Some of these medications may be habit-forming if used wrongly. The doctor or mental health professional will monitor the medication use. The doctor may also recommend patients avoid stimulants that may trigger symptoms. For example, they might encourage one to avoid caffeine and nicotine.


Hyperactivity may affect work, schooling, and emotional relationships. Hyperactivity may be a symptom of an underlying condition that requires treatment. If someone suspects the child is hyperactive, talk to the doctor. Depending on the cause, they might advise medication, therapy, or sometimes both. They might also refer the patient to a specialist for care. Treatment can help one control hyperactivity and limit its impacts on people's lives.

Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi
Dr. Vishal Anilkumar Gandhi



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