Everything You Need to Know About ADHD
ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a mental disorder that can cause impulsive behaviours and unusual levels of hyperactivity. People with ADHD may also have trouble concentrating on a single task or sitting still for a long time. Many people experience a lack of attention and changes in their energy levels. For a person with ADHD, it happens more often as compared to people who don't have ADHD. It can drastically impact their routine, work, and study habits. However, ADHD in adults and children is a common mental health condition.
A broad range of behaviours is associated with ADHD symptoms. Some of the common are:
- Forget completing tasks
- Trouble focusing on tasks
- Interrupt people while they talk
Signs and symptoms can be specific to diverse aspects of ADHD, such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. A person who is facing hyperactivity and impulsivity may:
- Talk excessively
- Find it difficult to wait for their turn
- Find it trouble to remain seated, for example, in class
Someone who is having trouble focusing might:
- Lose items more often
- Have difficulty managing routine tasks
- Distracted by little things happening around
- Make mistakes or miss important details while working or studying
- Find it difficult to concentrate while reading or holding a conversation
Types of ADHD
To make ADHD diagnosis more accurate, the American Psychological Association (APA) has divided ADHD into three types. These types are predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactivity-impulsive, and a combination of both.
People with this type of ADHD have difficulty focusing, completing tasks, and following instructions. Research recommends this type of ADHD in women is more common. Researchers also say that many children with inattentive ADHD may not get proper treatment because they don’t tend to disturb the classroom.
People with this type of ADHD show hyperactive and impulsive behaviour that can include:
- Not being able to wait for their turn
- Interrupting others when they’re talking or doing something
Although inattention is less of a concern in this type of ADHD, people may still find it difficult to concentrate on different tasks.
This is the most common type of ADHD. People with this type of ADHD show both hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. These include an inability to focus, an above-average energy level, and a tendency toward impulsiveness.
Despite how common ADHD is, researchers and doctors are still unsure about the actual causes of ADHD. It is considered to have neurological origins. Genetics may also play an imperative role.
Research recommends that a drop in dopamine is a factor in ADHD. Dopamine is a chemical that transfers signals from one nerve to another. It plays an imperative role in triggering movements and emotional responses. Some other causes of ADHD are smoking during pregnancy.
ADHD Diagnosis and Testing
There is no single and specific test to diagnose that you or your child has ADHD. To make an ADHD diagnosis, a doctor will evaluate symptoms if you or your child has had over six months. Your doctor will assemble information from family members and teachers and may use the checklist to review symptoms. They will also conduct a physical exam to check for health problems.
If you suspect your child has ADHD, consult with a doctor immediately. For your child, you can meet their school counsellors. To make the assessment, give your doctor or counsellor notes and observations about you or your child.
If they suspect signs and symptoms of ADHD, they may refer you or your child to ADHD specialists. Based on the diagnosis, they may also recommend making an appointment with a neurologist or psychiatrist.
ADHD treatment includes behavioural therapies, medication, or both as per need. Therapy types are psychotherapy or talk therapy. With this therapy, you or your child can easily discuss how ADHD affects your life and ways to manage it. Another therapy used for ADHD treatment is behavioural therapy. It can help you or your child learn how to manage your behaviour.
Medication can also be beneficial for people with ADHD. These medications are formulated to affect brain chemicals in a way that helps you control your actions and impulses better. These medications include atomoxetine (Strattera) and some antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin).
Tips for Coping with ADHD
If you or your child have ADHD, a schedule with structure and expectations may be helpful. For adults, different ways to help you stay organized involve:
- Preparing lists
- Keeping a calendar
- Setting reminders
For children, it can be beneficial to concentrate on completing homework assignments and keeping everyday items, such as backpacks and toys.
For children and adults with ADHD, an untreated disorder can significantly impact your lifestyle. It can affect work, school, and relationships. Treatment is essential to alleviate the ADHD effects. Remember that many people with ADHD enjoy successful lives, and some even appreciate the advantages of the condition.
If you suspect you or your child may have ADHD, your primary step should be consulting with a doctor in the first place. They can help evaluate whether you or your child has ADHD. Your doctor can help you with a treatment plan to manage the symptoms and live well with ADHD.