An Overview of ADHD

An Overview of ADHD

Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Have you ever felt difficult in paying attention? And do you feel that you constantly interrupt others? If your answer is yes you might be suffering from ADHD- attention- deficit disorder. It is better to accept your flaws and find cure for it. 

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a disorder that is related to our consciousness. Person face difficulty to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. The person feels restless and find himself/herself constantly active. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder in which the person feels hyperactive and may be unable to control his/her impulses. The person sometimes faces trouble in paying attention. It is commonly seen in children and teenagers. If not controlled, it may continue till adulthood. It is the most common mental disorder in children. It is more common in boys than girls. It generally begins at school where children find it difficult to pay attention. Such behavior interferes with school life and it is very important to create awareness of ADHD so that people can make affords towards it. 

In adults it is generally seen that they find difficulty in time managing, setting goals, being organized etc. I know a lot of you guys are thinking, you are unorganized and might be suffering from ADHD. But it might not be severe in your case. 

People with ADHD may also suffer from low self-esteem, addicted, problems with relationships, etc. 

Causes of ADHD

Although an exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood but there are many combinations of factors that can cause ADHD. According to national institute of mental health- NIMH and national institute of health- NIH and various studies by many researchers suggests that ADHD may be caused by genetic as well as non-genetic factors. Genetic can be due to interaction between genes and environment. It can be inherited from parents. It is generally seen that children with ADHD is inherited from parents. Non-genetic factors such as cigarette smoking, drug abuse, drug use during pregnancy, alcohol consumption, exposure to environment toxins like high level of lead in environment, low birth weight, brain injuries and many other factors.

Scientist has also found that ADHD brains of people suffering from ADHD is different from normal person’s brain. People with ADHD has certain areas of brain smaller and certain larger from the normal picture. People with ADHD may also have imbalanced neurotransmitters. 

People who are at risk generally

Certain group of people are generally more prone to ADHD such as: – 

  • Premature babies (before 37thweek of pregnancy)
  • Low birthweight babies
  • People with brain damage
  • People with epilepsy

List of Warning signs and symptoms

People with ADHD show symptoms given below: –

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactive
  • Impulsivity

Other symptoms: –

  • People with ADHD make careless mistakes
  • Overlook on everything
  • Miss details
  • Have problem sustaining attention
  • Don’t listen when spoken directly
  • Fail to follow instructions
  • Don’t finish his/her work on time
  • Lose focus very quickly
  • Get sidetracked
  • Unorganized
  • Not good at managing time
  • Never meet deadlines
  • Avoid work such as school homework, preparing reports, completing forms, etc.
  • Loss things easily like cellphone, pencil, pen, eyeglasses, etc.
  • Distracted easily with unrelated thoughts.
  • Forgetful in daily duties
  • Fidgeting while sitting still
  • Feeling restless
  • Unable to engage in hobbies
  • Constantly in motion
  • Talking nonstop
  • Speaking without waiting
  • Interrupting others, etc.

Although having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you are suffering from ADHD. There are many mental problems which may lead to these symptoms like depression, anxieties, etc. if you are still not sure if you have ADHD or not, you must consult a mental health professional like psychiatrist or psychologist or pediatrician, etc.

Treatment for ADHD

There is not as such cure for ADHD but it can be reduced by medicines, awareness, therapy, education or training or combination of treatments.

Medicines Used in ADHD

Medications generally used to treat ADHD reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. It improves ability to focus and work.

The first line of treatment for ADHD is stimulants

Stimulants

It increases brain chemical dopamine (plays an important role in paying attention

Nonstimulants

These medicines take longer time to show its effect, but it can improve focus, attention and impulsivity. If a person receives any side effect by using stimulant, he/she is generally prescribed a nonstimulant. It is also given in combination with stimulants in some cases.

For example: – atomoxetine and guanfacine.

Antidepressants

Using antidepressants in cases of ADHD is still controversial. It is not approved to prescribe antidepressant to ADHD patients by US. Food and drug administration- FDA. But it is sometimes used in adults to treat ADHD. Example: – tricyclics

It affects norepinephrine and dopamine.

Therapy

For children and teens: – 

Children and teen should be given therapy by their teachers and parents by keeping them on track, keeping a schedule, have a routine, deadline, make sure that rules are followed, treating them with prize when they follow schedule, etc.

For adults

A mental health provider or therapist is opted for adults. They should learn to organize, keeping routine, breaking task into smaller ones, keeping track, etc.

Education and training

Adults and children should be guided by their family and teacher to succeed. Mental health professional should be taken in consideration. 

Parenting skills training

Teaching parents some skills to encourage positive behavior of their child.

Stress management techniques

To learn skill to deal with frustration so they can respond to their child calmly.

Support groups

Helps parents to connect with other with similar concerns.

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