What causes it?
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.
What increases my risk for ADHD?
Further research also 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
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Most children who have ADHD are diagnosed at an early age and given the proper ADHD treatment and intervention. There are cases, however, when you may not receive a diagnosis until adolescence or adulthood. There is no distinctive 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.
This disorder is characterized by various symptoms of depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities. Oftentimes, a doctor will ask questions to establish a behavioral and social history to come up with a 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 it treated or managed?
There is no absolute cure for ADHD, but with proper intervention, the symptoms can be reduced, and the functional behavior improved. Some of the most widely used treatments include psychotherapy, training, medication or a combination of all these treatments, depending on the gravity of the situation.
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 are the most common medications for this condition. These strive 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 can also improve attention and focus in persons with ADHD. These can be taken in combination with stimulants to increase efficiency.
ADHD is a chronic (long-term) condition requiring collective effort from doctors and other behavioral specialists.
People with this condition deserve and need all the help they can get. The key here is to perform early diagnosis. If you suspect your family member has ADHD, take them to a doctor for evaluation.
Learn more about Child Health here.