Combinations and ADHD Symptoms — ADHD Tip O the Day 997

I’ve been “putting off” doing this post for years now because it’s confusing to me.  But it’s time, now or never.

Ever wonder why we ADHDers look so much alike?-Procrastination, distraction, impulsive, etc, but also we can look so different.

Well, we can blame it on genetics; so many different genes can contribute to ADHD so there are many different possible combinations of different genes with somewhat different effects.

Or we can blame it on the DSM, which says we can one of three different types, and combinations of different symptoms, that will qualify us for the official diagnosis- out of 16 possible symptoms, 5 of hyperactive or 5 of inattentive required for adults (6 for children)(you  have the mixed type if you qualify for both types. We all have some hyperactive or some inattentive symptoms, and most of us have some of both)

Or we can blame it on statistics.  Statistics are a booger.


Below is the formula for calculating the number of possible different combinations of a number of items (such as the symptoms in a list.)

For either the hyper active or inattentive types, there are 4368 possible combinations  (IF I did it right)

C = n!/r! (n-r)!

n =total number   r = number of each group  ! means factorial   (4! = 1 x 2 x 3 x 4)

n = 16  r = 5  for our diagnosis

To summarize, there are 4368 different groups of symptoms that can meet the criteria for ADHD diagnosis.

I am so glad to finally get this post done.  I welcome any corrections or other comments.



Wisdom from James Clear


combinations and permutations

Personal Notes O the Day:

Just a few more of these blogs; ADHD Tip O the Day1000 will be the last.  I’m pulling the best of them together in the next ADHD book and I might occasionally post a tip on my facebook page.

It’s hard to cut out things I like to do so I can have some free time, and it’s hard not to immediately find new ways to fill up the free time.  Working 0n it.

Quote O the Day:

There are three kinds of people, those who can count and those who can’t.


Who, me?


I just retired!

See, math isn’t so hard.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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6 Responses to Combinations and ADHD Symptoms — ADHD Tip O the Day 997

  1. Cindy Bahl says:

    Thanks for the post. I continue to refer people who were recently diagnosed to your blog. (Yes, I’ve warned them that you will soon stop posting but told them your past posts are a wealth of information for them to check out.)
    From what I know about ADHD (I’m not a professional on this stuff, but self-educated), it seems to me that there is still so much unknown about it. And it isn’t just the public that can have false beliefs about it or biases about it. I warn others to try to get someone who specializes in ADHD, if possible, because many therapists and so forth only know a bit. And some even still hold onto old myths about it that can be harmful to their patients.
    Sorry that you will stop posting. You are one of the best resources I know of and I feel lucky that I even found out about it. But totally understand that life needs to move on and there are only so many hours in the day. I just appreciate what you have posted and how much it has helped.
    Off topic to your post but related to ADHD… Yesterday I stumbled onto a recent article by a female adult writer about getting diagnosed well into her adulthood. What astounded me was just how much stuff she described that I didn’t realize could be related to executive function and such. To be honest, she was able to verbalize things that have always been true to me but I never could wrap my head around or express. One of many examples from her article is “body doubling”.
    I also follow a incredibly popular thread on Reddit for ADHD and last night shared with the link for the article. It very much resonated with several women in the group. But what surprised me (and maybe it shouldn’t have) was how many men spoke up, saying ‘thank you so much for posting this’ and how they feel like so many descriptions of men with ADHD don’t fit them since they tend to be inattentive. It just shows that not only does the psychology field still have a long ways to go when diagnosing and treating women with ADHD, but also men. I realized today that gender assumptions were hurting actually both genders! Vey eye-opening.
    Sorry for the long comment. I tend to go from being very quiet and never commenting to being very verbal! lol
    Here is that link in case you (or anyone else) is curious:
    Also, I don’t know how I missed it before but I didn’t realize you had a Facebook page! Saw in this post and have now followed it. Very cool that I’ll know when your next book is coming out! Good luck with your upcoming ventures!
    – Cindy


  2. Ken Powell says:

    Your maths is correct! That’s quite astonishing 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      ken – that number of possible combinations is astonishing or the fact that my math wass correct? probably both.
      thank you for comments and following
      best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Martha Puryear says:


    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

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