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ADHD: All You Need to Know

Signs & Symptoms|Causes & Risk Factors|Diagnosis & Treatment
ADHD: All You Need to Know

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is basically a condition manifesting a continuing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that interferes with a person’s normal function and development. ADHD medication can relieve symptoms and help the individual lead a more normal life.

How Does ADHD Affect a Peron’s Life?

With inattention, you tend to wander off from your daily responsibilities, are often disorganized, and have difficulty in focusing.

With impulsivity, you tend to make hasty decisions without weighing out the circumstances and consequences leading to a harmful environment. Most persons with ADHD do this with a desire for reward or acceptance.

With hyperactivity, you tend to move continuously and constantly, along with excessive fidgeting or talking. This restlessness can eventually wear out the people around you.

How Common is ADHD?

ADHD is the most common mental disorder found in children. It usually continues into the teenage years and also into adulthood, especially without proper ADHD medication. Children become hyperactive, inattentive, and have difficulty controlling certain impulses, which ultimately interferes with their personal and social life.

ADHD is more common in men and is usually diagnosed during the early childhood years, especially when they start to have problems with staying focused. Adults with ADHD usually have difficulty in managing time and goals. In fact, they may find it difficult to stay in a job or even keep a job.

Signs & Symptoms

The key behaviors when you have ADHD are inattention and hyperactivity or impulsivity. With proper ADHD medication, the symptoms may be reduced.

People with inattention may manifest the following:

  • Forgets even daily and routine activities like household chores
  • Forgets appointments or errands
  • Overlooks details or makes careless mistakes at school or at work
  • Gets distracted easily
  • Finds it difficult to sustain attention, especially during long conversations or tasks
  • Loses things even those used for daily activities like car keys, eyeglasses, and cellular phones
  • Fails to finish chores, schoolwork or work
  • Fails to meet deadlines or organize work and belongings
  • Avoids tasks that require continued mental exertion like doing reports and homework

A person with hyperactivity/impulsivity often show the following:

  • Often fidgets and squirms, especially when seated
  • Interrupts conversations or intrudes in games or activities
  • Often impatient and has trouble waiting for their turn
  • Has trouble staying in place as expected such as in classrooms or in the office
  • Talks incessantly or speaks without being acknowledged first
  • Runs around, even when it’s inappropriate
  • Always on the go and never gets tired

Causes & Risk Factors

There are no exact causes of ADHD, but it has been identified that this disorder can run in families. When a parent or sibling has ADHD, one may also have it.

Risk Factors

What increases my risk for ADHD?

Research shows that continued exposure to the following can cause ADHD or increase the risk of acquiring it:

  • Brain injury
  • Significantly low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Exposure to stress during pregnancy
  • Being exposed to alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy
  • Exposure to toxins during pregnancy or at a young age

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

Most children who have ADHD are diagnosed at an early age and may be given proper ADHD medication.

There are cases, however, when you may not receive a diagnosis until adolescence or adulthood. There is no singular diagnostic test that can readily identify if you have ADHD, but a doctor will perform a series of tests and examinations to rule out other probable causes.

ADHD is characterized by various symptoms of :

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Learning disabilities

Oftentimes, a doctor will ask questions to establish a behavioral and social history to come up with a proper diagnosis. These questions are usually addressed not only to the person with the suspected disorder but also to close relations like family members.

How is ADHD Treated?

There is no absolute cure for ADHD, but with proper ADHD medication, the symptoms can be reduced, and functional behavior improved.

Some of the most widely used treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Training
  • ADHD medication
  • Combination of all these treatments, depending on the gravity of the situation

How Does ADHD Medication Help?

ADHD medication can effectively reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity. There is also an improvement in the ability to work and learn. Different medications and dosages may be required and should be closely monitored.

Stimulants. Stimulants are the most common medications for ADHD, working to increase certain brain chemicals like dopamine which plays an essential role in attention and critical thinking. These medications should be taken under strict medical supervision.

Non-stimulants. Non-stimulants can also improve attention and focus. These can be taken in combination with stimulants to increase efficiency.

When Should I See My Doctor?

Without proper ADHD medication, people see their condition worsening over time. It can disrupt schoolwork, social life, personal relationships, and any occupational functions, to name a few.

If you have a family member who you suspect may have this disorder, get medical intervention for early evaluation and subsequent treatment.

Lifestyle Changes & Home Remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage ADHD?

For children with ADHD:

  • Help them keep a schedule or a daily routine, from the moment they wake up until bedtime. Maintain a bulletin board where you can post the schedule and for them to easily see.
  • Organize things and keep them in place to encourage control and coordination.
  • Encourage them to keep an organizer where they can note down homework and assignments.
  • Praise them for good behavior.
  • Be consistent with rules and make it simple so they can easily understand them.

For adults with ADHD:

  • Assign a place where they can keep house keys, car keys, bills, and other important articles.
  • Keep and maintain a daily routine.
  • Make lists for activities and other tasks.
  • Keep a calendar or organizer to schedule activities and events.
  • Help them break down tasks so that each step becomes an accomplishment.

Key Takeaways

People with ADHD deserve and need all the help they can get. To manage symptoms, there is proper ADHD medication and other therapies.

The key here is to perform early diagnosis. If you suspect your family member to have ADHD, take them to a doctor for evaluation.

Learn more about a Healthy Mind here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


What to know about ADHD https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323667 Accessed, July 24, 2020

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/ Accessed, July 24, 2020

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtm Accessed, July 24, 2020

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Written by Desiree Gabasa Updated Feb 22
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel