What is ADHD?
If you or a child is struggling with attention, learning, and other basic skills, they may have ADHD. ADHD interferes with a student’s ability to absorb information and focus on work. Students with ADHD may have trouble concentrating and sitting still. This is especially important in school settings, where students are required to pay attention, sit still, and listen quietly to instructions. They may also have trouble following instructions or completing homework assignments.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
Among the many common signs and symptoms of ADHD are excessive restlessness and impulsivity. ADHD patients struggle with difficulties completing tasks, paying attention, following directions, and maintaining their living space. Other symptoms include racing thoughts, fidgeting with hands and feet, and leaving their seats. They may also have a need for physical activity during inappropriate times. Listed below are some of the most common and most prominent signs of ADHD.
Among children, many of these symptoms may occur at very young ages. For instance, children under 4 years of age exhibit inconsistency, have short attention spans, and throw tantrums. If these behaviors persist or are getting worse, parents should consult a physician. Additionally, boys are three times more likely than girls to develop ADHD. For this reason, boys might show more clearly the classic signs of hyperactivity and inattention.
While age is a major factor in the onset of ADHD symptoms, ethnic and cultural differences can also play an important role in diagnosing ADHD and developing a proper treatment. Differences in medical approaches, beliefs, and values may impact how symptoms are treated. Additionally, minority and underserved ethnic groups are less likely to receive proper ADHD treatment. To get the right diagnosis and treatment, you must first see a physician or mental health care provider. A qualified mental health care provider should assess the child’s behavior and assess the parents’ and other family members.
Types of ADHD
There are three types of ADHD, based on symptoms. The three primary types are inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined. The different symptoms of these conditions may not be overlapping. In the past, different forms of ADHD were called “subtypes.” However, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) changed this terminology to “presentation.”
The DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing ADHD are fairly rigorous. A clinician must observe six symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, at least four times in a six-month period, and they must have impeded the person’s everyday life. Symptoms must also be present in more than one setting and interfere with a person’s functioning in everyday life. Finally, they cannot be explained by another mental disorder, so the diagnosis is usually given.
The symptoms of hyperactive ADHD may include excessive moving around. Children with this disorder are likely to get up frequently and move around, while adults may leave meetings or leave assigned positions. Young children with hyperactive ADHD may also crash into walls and climb things, causing them to be labeled ‘jumpers.’ Unlike hyperactivity, restlessness is more likely an internal feeling rather than external. However, some children with ADHD may have symptoms of both.
Causes of ADHD
While it is largely believed that ADHD is not a natural disease but a modern-day phenomenon, the causes of ADHD are still unclear. Despite the fact that ADHD runs in families, and is 74% heritable, there are still many factors that contribute to the development of this condition. Genetic factors are often blamed for ADHD, but others are linked to environmental risk factors, including exposure to toxins and infections during pregnancy. ADHD is estimated to affect one percent of children, with varying rates depending on the criteria used by the scientific community.
One way to combat hyperactivity and improve focus is to get regular exercise. Even though school staff is not qualified to diagnose or treat ADHD, they can provide behavioral training and information to parents and doctors. Additional therapy is necessary if ADHD interferes with a child’s performance in school. Additionally, school personnel can help a child get an appropriate education, such as a Section 504 plan. A child with ADHD may need to work with more supervision in school.
There are several risk factors for ADHD, including toxic chemicals, developmental problems, and issues with the central nervous system. Children born prematurely or with low birth weight may also be at risk. Some mothers who use substances may be more likely to experience ADHD than other women. For other causes, genetics plays a significant role. Genetic studies have indicated that rare genetic variants, including CNVs, are associated with higher risk of ADHD. However, this remains an unconfirmed hypothesis.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
A doctor will use standardized tests and checklists to assess symptoms. They may also interview a patient’s parents, siblings, and teachers to determine if the symptoms are consistent with ADHD. A thorough history may be necessary, as some children have ADHD symptoms that may be difficult to notice. Psychological tests may also be given. They look at executive functioning, reasoning skills, and working memory, among other factors. If the physician suspects ADHD, they will prescribe the appropriate medication.
Most children with ADHD qualify for educational services at school. Parents work with school staff to identify goals and develop a plan for their child’s progress. The school will make every effort to accommodate the child’s needs, including placing him or her at the front of the class and providing classroom personnel to assist him or her. Parents can also talk to their child’s doctor about setting measurable goals that address specific problems with their child. In addition to meeting with a physician, parents should keep a close eye on the child’s behavior and response to prescribed medications.
The healthcare provider will look for other medical conditions, such as depression or anxiety, and consider the child’s strengths and weaknesses. He or she will develop a treatment plan based on the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Because most children with ADHD also have other problems, the doctor may use standardized testing to rule out other possible problems. For example, a clinician may administer a neuropsychiatric EEG-based assessment aid, which measures brainwave activity.
Treatsments for ADHD
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common treatment for ADHD. It involves teaching specific skills for managing behavior and changing negative thinking patterns. It can help people deal with various life challenges, such as mental health conditions or substance abuse. It can also improve a person’s interpersonal skills and communication. In fact, many people find cognitive behavioral therapy helpful. However, not all treatments are effective for all patients. Nevertheless, there are many ways to address the symptoms of ADHD.
Parents can take part in behavior therapy to help their children deal with the symptoms of ADHD. Behavior therapy may include parent-delivered behavioral therapy or other types of training. Schools can also be involved in treating ADHD by altering assignments, exams, and homework. Some parents have successful outcomes in combining behavior therapy and medication. However, they should seek help from a licensed professional. However, treatment options for ADHD can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Neurofeedback is another treatment option. In this method, a patient wears an electrode-lined cap while performing a complex cognitive task. Through the electrodes, the patient is taught to recognize and reproduce brain-wave patterns associated with concentration and focus. These sessions are quick and painless and last about 30 minutes. However, the cost of neurofeedback courses varies. Some cost up to $5, while others are free. The effectiveness of neurofeedback is unclear.
ADHD in Adults
If you suffer from ADHD, you may be struggling to focus, follow social situations, or make last-minute requests. While ADHD is not a sign of incompetence, it can make it difficult to build friendships and maintain a career. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with ADHD and find your niche. You can start by seeking a diagnosis, and you can take action to manage your symptoms. Read on to learn how. This article will focus on managing symptoms in adults.
To get a diagnosis, an adult must meet with a professional. The professional may be a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or master’s-level counselor. During the interview, the professional will ask the patient questions about their symptoms and assess their symptoms. The session could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Once a diagnosis is made, the professional can recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Adults with ADHD often experience difficulties in managing finances, missing appointments, and completing tasks.
ADHD in adults looks different from the symptoms of ADHD in children. Symptoms can vary, but typically require 5 or six to be diagnosed. Hyperactivity can manifest itself in an adult as extreme restlessness or wearing other people out with their activities. To learn more about ADHD in adults, visit the BetterHelp website. It has helped nearly 3 million people and matches you with a therapist who can help you. This website is supported by reader contributions, and we may receive payment from BetterHelp if you sign up through our link.
People with ADHD can sometimes feel embarrassed to let coworkers and professors know that they have ADHD. However, the truth is that ADHD is a condition that requires special accommodations, such as extra time for tasks, in some cases. If your symptoms are getting in the way of your ability to succeed in school or work, you may need to seek treatment. Your primary care provider can help you with the process by referring you to a mental health professional. You can also talk with your mental health provider about other options for ADHD treatment.
Different medications work differently. For children and adolescents, stimulants may be more effective than non-stimulants. Non-stimulants, however, may take weeks to begin working. A doctor will ask you about any medications your child takes and your family’s medical history. If your child is taking other medicines, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of stimulant medication in the beginning. It’s also important for parents to monitor the new medication.
While non-stimulants and stimulants are both effective in controlling ADHD symptoms, both options carry risks and side effects. Antidepressants are a good option if your doctor feels that stimulants are not the right option for your child. If the side effects are too severe, non-stimulants are a good option. In addition to addressing symptoms, stimulants can help with depression and anxiety.