What is ADHD?

What is ADHD?


For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms must occur in more than one setting (home, school and/or social situations) and cause dysfunction. Symptoms must also have started before the age of 12 and continue for at least six months.

Children with ADHD have trouble understanding the concept of cause and effect. For example, it’s difficult for them to understand that if they start their homework now, they will be finished in time to watch their favorite show.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

Many people with ADHD don’t realize they have the condition. They may have a difficult time keeping track of tasks or remembering appointments, which can lead to problems at work or in relationships. They may also struggle with restlessness, and find it hard to sit still or do quiet activities, such as homework or hobbies. They may have trouble waiting their turn or interrupting others in conversation, and they often act impulsively. They may have trouble controlling their emotions, and are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as running in front of traffic.

Children with ADHD symptoms typically get diagnosed by a pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or qualified mental health professional. They usually identify the disorder by observing and analyzing a child’s behavior. They may also ask parents or teachers to describe their child’s behavior in different settings and circumstances. In addition, they may perform a physical examination and psychoeducational testing.

Boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis of hyperactive/impulsive type ADHD than girls. This is thought to be because they display classic hyperactivity and impulsivity more than girls, which makes it easier to recognize their symptoms. However, it is also important to consider other factors, such as genetics and environmental influences.

Types of ADHD

ADHD affects people of all ages. It may have an initial diagnosis in childhood, but symptoms often persist into adulthood and can cause trouble at work or school. ADHD is a chronic condition, so treatment is important to help people manage their symptoms and live happy lives.

Symptoms of ADHD vary by person, but most people with ADHD have trouble paying attention and following directions. They may also have problems controlling their behavior and making decisions. They might also get into trouble with their family, friends or teachers. There are three main types of ADHD: combined presentation, predominantly impulsive/hyperactive and predominantly inattentive. The type of ADHD a doctor diagnoses depends on which symptoms are most frequent.

Usually, the more symptoms a person has, the more severe their ADHD is. It is more common for children to be diagnosed with the hyperactive/impulsive type of ADHD, but it can happen to adults too. To be diagnosed with a type of ADHD, a person must have at least six symptoms that cause them problems in daily life. Symptoms must be present for at least 6 months and be difficult to control. Symptoms must be present in more than one setting, like at home and school.

Causes of ADHD

The exact cause of ADHD isn’t known, but researchers know that genes play a major role. ADHD tends to run in families, and twin and family studies show that children are more likely to have ADHD if one or both of their parents have it. Research also suggests that certain environmental factors increase a child’s risk of developing ADHD. These include smoking and drug use by the mother during pregnancy, birth complications such as low birth weight or premature delivery, exposure to toxins before birth, and certain foods and chemicals that may be present in a person’s environment.

People with ADHD often have co-existing mental health disorders, especially oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, anxiety disorders such as phobias and generalized anxiety disorder, depression, Tourette syndrome and tic disorders, and substance abuse. In some cases, ADHD symptoms are more severe when these other conditions are present.

Most children with ADHD continue to have symptoms into adolescence and adulthood. These can lead to problems at school and work, trouble with relationships and a sense of frustration and failure that contributes to feelings of low self-esteem. They’re more prone to eating disorders as well. They may struggle to find jobs and maintain relationships, and are more likely to be involved with unstable lifestyles that involve drugs and alcohol.

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

For many people, the first step in getting a diagnosis is talking to their doctor. The process can be daunting. There are a lot of appointments, questions and tests. It’s important to remember that these aren’t meant to be intimidating. The goal is to help you find a treatment plan that works for you.

In order to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, symptoms must have occurred for at least six months and be noticeable in more than one setting. This includes school, home and work. They must also be disruptive to your life. You may be asked to participate in an interview with a mental health professional or a physician who specializes in ADHD. This interview will involve answering questionnaires and describing your symptoms. In addition, the healthcare provider will likely examine you for other conditions that could explain your symptoms or coexist with them, like depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and food intolerances.

For adults, receiving a diagnosis of ADHD can be extremely liberating. They can realize that the problems they face weren’t their own fault, and they can take steps to improve their lives. For parents, the diagnosis can be a relief to know that they’re not just failing their children or bad parenting. It’s a condition that can be managed with the right treatment and support.

Treatsments for ADHD

A person with ADHD can live a full life with proper identification and treatment. Untreated, however, the symptoms can lead to school failure and family stress, depression and problems with relationships, substance abuse, and a variety of other behavioral and health issues.

Treatment for ADHD usually includes medications and behavior therapy. Medications for ADHD are typically stimulants that increase the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which help improve attention and reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. Doctors monitor bodily reactions to find the right medication and dose for each individual.

Behavioral therapy can teach people with ADHD new organizational strategies to make it easier for them to do what they need to do. The therapist can also teach them skills to handle frustration and anger, such as resolving thinking distortions that cause negative moods.

Adults with ADHD may have trouble keeping a job or maintaining good relationships because of poor time management, forgetfulness and impulsiveness. Therapy that teaches adults how to manage their symptoms and communicate better with co-workers, supervisors and teachers can help them improve their work performance and social life. In addition, a healthy diet and dietary supplements can also be helpful for some people with ADHD.

ADHD in Adults

Symptoms of ADHD in adults may appear different than in children. But they can cause problems in school, work, and personal life. Without treatment, adults can struggle with low self-esteem, relationships, and work or money problems. They can also have trouble meeting deadlines or following health regimens, which can lead to poor physical and mental health.

Adults with untreated ADHD can suffer from a variety of emotional problems, including depression and feelings of being worthless. They often feel that other people are calling them lazy, irresponsible, or stupid for their inability to keep up with daily tasks. They may also have difficulty managing their finances because they frequently misplace paperwork or forget to pay bills.

Symptoms of ADHD in adults can also include a tendency to lose track of time, leading to missed appointments or last-minute reschedules. They can also have trouble focusing on one task at a time, or even in the current conversation they’re having. Some people with ADHD have a comorbid diagnosis, meaning they also have other psychiatric or learning disorders like anxiety and depression. These conditions can overlap and worsen symptoms of ADHD, but they can be managed with medication and therapy.

ADHD Medication

Medications can help improve symptoms and make life easier for people with ADHD. But they don’t cure the disorder, and everyone responds differently to medication. Some people may need to try several different types and doses before finding a medication that works for them.

Stimulants are the most common medications used to treat ADHD. They increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which helps boost concentration and control impulses. They come in two forms, immediate-release and long-acting. Short-acting stimulants work quickly and last about four hours. But the effect wears off between doses. Long-acting stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Ritalin SR), dextroamphetamine (Adderall IR), atomoxetine (Strattera), and lisdexamfetamine (Concerta), work over a longer time, lasting about 12 hours.

Nonstimulant medications, such as Strattera and Qelbree, are also approved by the FDA to treat ADHD. They are in a class of antidepressants called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These increase levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical that passes messages between cells. But they don’t reduce impulsivity or hyperactivity like stimulants do. They also have a lower risk of side effects, such as insomnia or appetite suppression. They are available in capsule form and can be taken once or twice a day.

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