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ADHD: All You Need to Know

    ADHD: All You Need to Know

    ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a condition in which an individual exhibits a continuing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, interfering with a person’s normal function and development. While ADHD medication can relieve the symptoms, this is only a part of this condition’s overall management. Read on to learn more.

    How Does ADHD Affect a Person’s Life?

    Inattention is characterized by wandering from daily responsibilities, being disorganized, difficulty to focus, and more or less, disorganized.

    While the hallmark of impulsivity is that a person tends to make hasty decisions often without weighing possible consequences. Most persons with ADHD do this with a desire for reward or acceptance.

    Hyperactiveness refers to the need to move continuously and constantly, along with excessive fidgeting or talking.

    How Common is it?

    ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental 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 a person with this conditions starts to have problems with staying focused. Adults with ADHD usually have difficulty managing time and goals. In fact, they may find it difficult to stay in a job or even keep a job.

    What are the symptoms of ADHD?

    The key behaviors when you have ADHD are inattention and hyperactivity and 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 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

    People 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

    When should I see my doctor?

    Without proper ADHD intervention, people who have this condition can only worsen in time. It can disrupt schoolwork, social life, personal relations and any occupational function, 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.

    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.

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

    Sources

    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

    ADHD – Facts

    https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html Accessed November 12, 2021

    What is ADHD?

    https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd

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    Written by Desiree Gabasa Updated Jul 19
    Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD
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