What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have difficulty in paying their attention on a single task .
Both adults and children can have ADHD diagnosed and recognized by American Psychiatric Association (APA) r. Learn about types of ADHD and symptoms in both children and adults.
A wide variety of behaviors are are related with ADHD. More common among them are:
- having difficulty in focusing or concentrating on tasks
- being forgetful about completing tasks
- being easily distracted
- having difficulty sitting still especially in calm environment.
- interrupting conversations and acting without thinking.
If you or your child has ADHD, you may have some or all of these symptoms. The symptoms you have depend on the type of ADHD you have. Explore a list of ADHD symptoms common in children.
Types of ADHD
APA has divided the ADHD into three categories. These are:
predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactivity-impulsive, and a combination of both.
As the name suggests, people with this type of ADHD have extreme trouble in concentrating, finishing tasks, and following instructions.
Experts also think that many children with the inattentive type of ADHD may not get a proper diagnosis as they don’t tend to disrupt the classroom. This type of ADHD is most common among girls.
Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
People with this type of ADHD show mainly hyperactive and impulsive behavior like fidgeting, interrupting people while they’re talking, and not being able to wait their turn.
Although inattention is less concerned with this type of ADHD, people with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD may still find it difficult to concentrate or focus on tasks.
Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type
This is the most common type of ADHD. People with this combined type of ADHD show both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms. These include an inability to pay attention, a tendency toward impulsiveness, and over activity and overenergetic.
The treatment of ADHD is determined by the type you have.As type can change over time, so your treatment may change, too. Learn more about the three types of ADHD.
ADHD in children
ADHD is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders in United States. One in 10 children between ages 5 to 17 years gets an ADHD diagnosis.
Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to receive an ADHD diagnosis. This may be because boys tend to exhibit common symptoms of hyperactivity. Only some girls with ADHD may have the classic symptoms of hyperactivity . In many cases, girls with ADHD may have symptoms such as:
- Frequently day dreaming
- Hyper-talkative rather than hyperactive
Many symptoms of ADHD can be typical childhood behaviors, so it can be hard to know what’s ADHD-related and what’s normal. Learn more about how to recognize ADHD in toddlers.
What causes ADHD?
Although ADHD is very common, doctors and researchers are still not sure about the real cause of the condition. It’s believed to have neurological origins. Genetics may also have a role.
Research suggests that decrease in dopamine is a factor in ADHD. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps move signals from one nerve to another. It have a role in triggering emotional responses and movements.
Other research suggests a structural difference in the brain. Findings indicate that people with ADHD have less gray matter volume. Gray matter includes the brain areas that are related with:
- muscle control
ADHD testing and diagnosis
There’s no single test that can tell if you or your child has ADHD. A recent study Trusted Source highlighted the benefits of a new test to diagnose adult ADHD, but many clinicians and doctors believe an ADHD diagnosis can’t be made based on one test.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will evaluate any symptoms you or your child has had over the previous six months.
Your doctor will likely collect information from your family members or relatives and may use checklists and rating scales to review symptoms. They’ll also perform a physical examination to check for other health problems. Learn more about ADHD rating scales and what they can and cannot do.
If you suspect that you or your child has ADHD, talk to your doctor about getting an evaluation For your child you can ask to their school counselor. Schools regularly assess children for problems that may be affecting their educational performance.
For the assessment, provide your doctor or counselor with notes and observations about you or your child’s behavior.
If they suspect ADHD, they may refer you or your child to an ADHD specialist. Depending on the diagnosis, they may also advice making an appointment with a psychiatrist or neurologist.
Treatment for ADHD generally includes behavioral therapies, medication, or both.
Therapies include psychotherapy, or talk therapy. With talk therapy, you or your child will discuss how ADHD affects your life and ways to help you manage it.
Another therapy type is behavioral therapy. This therapy can help you or your child to learn how to watch and manage your behavior.
Medication can also be very helpful when you’re suffering from ADHD. ADHD medications are designed to affect brain chemicals or neurotransmitter s in a way that enables you to better control your impulses and actions.
Natural remedies for ADHD
In addition to medication, several remedies have been advised to help improve ADHD symptoms.
For starters, following a healthy lifestyle may help you or your child regulate ADHD symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommendations are:
- eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Do at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day
- get plenty of sleep
- limit daily screen time from phones, laptops, and TV
Avoiding certain allergens and foods are also potential ways to help decrease ADHD symptoms. Learn more about these and other nondrug approaches to addressing ADHD.
Is ADHD a disability?
Although ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, it’s not considered a learning disorder. However, ADHD symptoms can make it difficult for you to learn. Also, it’s possible for ADHD to occur in some individuals who also have learning disabilities.
To help relieve any impact on learning for children, teachers can map out individual guidelines for a student with ADHD. This may include allowing extra time for assignments and tests or developing a personal reward system.
Although it’s not technically a disability, ADHD can have lifelong effects. Learn more about the potential impacts of ADHD on adults and children and resources that can help.
ADHD and depression
If you or your child has ADHD, you’re more likely to have consious as well. In fact, the rate of major depression in children with ADHD is more than five times higher than in children without ADHD. Up to 31 percent of adults with ADHD have been found to also have depression. Treatments are available for both situations.
The treatments often overlap. Talk therapy can help treat both conditions. Also, certain antidepressants, such as bupropion, can sometimes help relieve ADHD symptoms.
Obviously, having ADHD doesn’t assure that you’ll have depression, but it’s important to know it can be possibile Find out more about the link between ADHD and depression.