Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a condition that impacts people’s behavior. People who have ADHD can appear restless, they may act on impulse, and they can have difficulty concentrating.
We have a tendency to associate ADHD with children because symptoms are usually noticed at an early age. However, it is possible to be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult too.
Traditionally, most cases are diagnosed in children between the ages of six and 12-years-old. They tend to become more noticeable when circumstances change, for example, when a child starts a new school.
Below, we reveal more about ADHD in both adults and children. This will allow you to get a better understanding of this condition and how to cope with it.
What causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, yet the condition often runs in families. It is also worth noting that there is some research that shows potential differences in the brains of people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when compared with those not having the condition.
Other factors that could possibly have a role in ADHD include the following:
- Alcohol, drug abuse, or smoking during pregnancy
- Having a low birth weight
- Being born prematurely, i.e. before the 37th week of pregnancy
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can occur in individuals of any intellectual ability. However, it is more common in those with learning difficulties.
The symptoms of ADHD
We’ll start by taking a look at the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Symptoms are hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, or a mixture of the two.
A child with ADHD:
- Interrupts others
- Blurts out answers
- Has trouble waiting for their turn
- Is always “on the go” as if “driven by a motor”
- Talks excessively
- Is always moving, such as climbing on things or running
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Does not stay seated
- Often bounces, fidgets, or squirms when sitting
A child with ADHD:
- Tends to daydream
- Often loses things
- Does not enjoy doing things that require staying still
- organizing daily tasks is difficult
- Forgets about daily activities
- Is inattentive and makes careless mistakes
- Appears to not listen
- Does not finish tasks or does not follow directions
- Is distracted easily
Symptoms of ADHD in adults
As a person gets older, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms frequently change. They can include:
- Relationship issues
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating when reading
- Often bored
- Easily frustrated
- Difficulty staying organized
- Substance addiction or misuse
- Trouble controlling anger
- Issues at work
- Low self-esteem
- Forgetting things or often being late
Treatment for ADHD
Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes the condition less of an issue in terms of daily life, offering relief from many of the symptoms.
Therapy or medicine are used to treat ADHD, and most people find that a combination of both is best. A specialist, such as a psychiatrist or pediatrician, will usually arrange treatment, yet your GP may monitor the condition.
Medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
There are five major types of medicine licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They include guanfacine, atomoxetine, dexamfetamine, lisdexamfetamine, and methylphenidate.
These medicines do not offer a permanent cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet they may alleviate symptoms. Additionally, they may help you to practice and learn new skills, feel calmer, be less impulsive, and concentrate better.
Some medicines are taken on a daily basis, whereas others are taken on school days only. Frequently it is advisable to take a treatment break to determine whether or not the medication is still required.
If you are not diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder until adulthood, a specialist and GP will discuss which therapies and medicines are the most appropriate for you.
If you or your little one are prescribed any of the medicines mentioned, you typically are given a small dose to begin with, and then it is increased gradually based on your needs and reaction to the medication.
Aside from taking medication, there are a number of therapies that are helpful in terms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment amongst adults, teenagers, and children. Therapy is also helpful when treating other issues, such as anxiety or conduct disorders, which can often accompany ADHD.
Some of the different therapies used include:
- Behavior therapy – This type of therapy offers support for caretakers of children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and can sometimes include parents and teachers. This therapy usually includes behavior management, which uses a reward system to encourage your child to control their symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – This is a type of talking therapy that can be beneficial in terms of managing your issues by changing the way that you behave and think.
- Psychoeducation – In this therapy, you or your little one are encouraged to discuss attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and its impact. It helps those who have been diagnosed with ADHD make sense of their condition.
- Social skills training – This involves your child participating in role-play situations and it aims to teach them about behaving in social situations by learning how their behavior impacts others.
Final words on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
So there you have it: some of the major considerations to know about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We hope that this helps you to get a better understanding of this condition. If you suspect that you or your child have ADHD, the best thing to do is book an appointment with your GP and they will be able to run some tests to determine whether or not this is the case.