Inattention is the lack of focus when focus on a given event or situation is required. Inattention is a hallmark feature of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can affect adults as well as children and teens. Inattention in ADHD is often accompanied by symptoms such as restlessness, problems doing quiet activities, problems with executive function, talking excessively, and fidgeting. Inattention can also occur due to external factors such as distractions as well as situations of emotional stress, anxiety, conflict, anger, or other mood changes. Inattention can also be related to medical problems that interfere with an individual's cognitive function, such as stroke or dementia. Inattention can be seen in typical young children and is classified as a disorder only when present to excess and accompanied by problems with normal function. Depression and related conditions can cause mood changes that may include lack of attention and interest in normal daily activities.
Other causes of inattention
- Simple Distraction
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
A Visual Guide to Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Learn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms,...
ADHD in Children: Understanding, Discipline and Better Parenting
ADHD is a common disorder seen in children. Parents can learn tips and techniques to teach children life skills, coping...
ADHD/ADD in Adults: Symptoms & Treatments in Pictures
Most people don't associate adults with the term ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but it is a common disorder in...
Adult ADHD Quiz
What are the symptoms of adult ADHD? Take this quiz to learn what it means for an adult to suffer from ADHD and what can be done...
Adult ADHD: Organization and Time-Management Tips in Pictures
Learn daily living tips for adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). If you have ADHD or you just need to get...
Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms & Early Diagnosis
Memory loss and confusion can be signs of normal aging, but also warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. The early stages of...
Alzheimers Disease Quiz: Stages, Symptoms & Signs
Take the Alzheimer's Quiz to discover some of the mysteries behind this cognitive disorder. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments,...
Childhood ADHD Quiz: Test, Symptoms & Medication
Find out causes, symptoms, and treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a widespread behavioral condition...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication
Know when you or someone else is depressed. Get information on depression symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types...
Managing Concentration Killers: Smartphones, Social Media, and More
Finding it hard to concentrate? If you lack focus and attention, it may be internet addiction or the negative effects of social...
Parkinson's Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Treatment
Discover the symptoms, causes, stages, and treatment options for Parkinson's disease. Learn more about the stages of Parkinson's...
Physical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Depression can cause physical problems such as insomnia, chest pain, fatigue, headaches, and more. Learn the signs of depression...
Stress Quiz: Test Your Emotional IQ
Stress creeps into everyone's life at one time or another, while some people will suffer from poorly managed chronic stress. If...
Stroke Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
What Are the Symptoms of ADHD in Kids? Tests, Medication
What is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? Learn to recognize ADHD symptoms in children.
What Happens After a Stroke? Signs, Symptoms, Types
What is a stroke? Learn about the different types of stroke, as well as many symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness,...
Causes of Inattention
13 Tips for Parenting a Teen With ADHD
Parenting a teenager who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Parents can use specific strategies to help their teen cope with school and homework. Special care should be taken to help an ADHD teen drive safely and avoid alcohol and drug use.
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
About 2%-6% of adults have ADHD, a common behavioral problem. Symptoms include impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Treatment may involve ADHD education, attending a support group, skills training, and medication.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Teens
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in teens is a disruption of neurocognitive functioning. Genetics contribute to ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD in teens include inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or a combination of these. Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy, medication, or alternative therapies.
Bipolar Disorder in Children, Teens, and Adults
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
Dementia is defined as a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. There are several different types of dementia, including cortical, subcortical, progressive, primary, and secondary dementias. Other conditions and medication reactions can also cause dementia. Dementia is diagnosed based on a certain set of criteria. Treatment for dementia is generally focused on the symptoms of the disease.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Drug Abuse and Addiction
Drug abuse and addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
How Do They Test for ADHD in Adults?
Doctors may conduct several tests to detect attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. Learn about how ADHD in adults is diagnosed.
Parenting a Child With ADHD
ADHD is a behavioral condition with characteristics that include hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Parenting a child with ADHD presents a variety of challenges. Treatment options for children with ADHD include medication and behavioral therapy.
Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurological disease characterized by a fixed inexpressive face, a tremor at rest, slowing of voluntary movements, a gait with short accelerating steps, peculiar posture and muscle weakness, caused by degeneration of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, and by low production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most patients are over 50, but at least 10 percent are under 40.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include tiredness, fatigue, depression, irritability, body aches, poor sleep, and overeating.
Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic or severe stress can be harmful to your health. Learn what happens in your body when you are stressed and how you can manage your response.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking, or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
What Is ADHD in Children?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes the following symptoms in children: excessive activity, problems concentrating, and difficulty controlling impulses. Stimulant medications are the most common medication used to treat ADHD.