Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. It is primarily diagnosed in children and can last into adulthood. The definitive symptoms of ADHD can essentially be divided into two categories: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Symptoms of inattention are displayed as easy distractibility, missing details, forgetfulness, frequently switching from one activity to another, having difficulty maintaining focus on or completing a given task, becoming bored easily, having trouble completing homework or work assignments, easily losing and misplacing items, day-dreaming, struggling to follow instructions, and appearing to not be listening when spoken to. Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsiveness are displayed as excessive fidgeting or squirming, talking non-stop, being constantly in motion, having trouble sitting still during school, work, or dinner, being impatient, blurting out inappropriate comments, becoming emotional without restraint, acting without regard for consequences, and interrupting others.
ADHD is predominantly diagnosed in childhood, although many symptoms of ADHD are often initially attributed to normal childhood behavior. Children with ADHD present with hyperactive behavior, habitual forgetfulness, difficulty completing certain tasks, and lack of organization, and these signs and symptoms become more and more evident when the child begins to have difficulty succeeding in school. Teachers will often report poor academic performance and excessively hyperactive and impulsive behavior, such as daydreaming during class, squirming in their seat, talking excessively, making careless mistakes, and difficultly getting along with classmates. For proper diagnosis in children, symptoms must be persistently present between the ages of 6 to 12 and occur in more than one environment. Undiagnosed children suffering from ADHD often report feeling frustrated and unhappy in school, and often proceed to suffering from depression, low self-esteem, and other negative emotions.
Around two-thirds of children with symptoms from early childhood continue to demonstrate ADHD symptoms into adulthood. Most adults who go undiagnosed eventually develop coping mechanisms over the years to disguise their symptoms, which is why around 85% of adults who have ADHD remain undiagnosed and untreated. Signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults are similar to those of children, including procrastination, difficulty focusing on a certain task or maintaining a conversation, indecision, poor time management, restlessness, excessive talking, and difficulty multitasking. Frequently adults ADHD will suffer from co-existing conditions such as depression or anxiety. Some adults with ADHD can also suffer from co-morbid alcohol addiction, drug abuse, excessive gambling, and sexual addiction.
Treatment of ADHD
Treatment of ADHD, for children and adults alike, is multi-faceted, requiring a combination of medication and behavioral and cognitive interventions. Medications that are commonly used include a variety of medications, Cognitive and behavioral therapies, focus on exercise, sleep habits, meditation, coaching, lifestyle changes, and family counseling. During school years, children can be helped by accommodations through an individualized education plan(IEP) or a 504 plan. Alternative treatment approaches such as neurofeedback and cerebellar stimulation in research trials have shown some benefit. Treatment is longitudinal and should be provided long term, as ADHD does not go away completely. However, with medication and therapy, symptoms can be controlled, allowing the clients to live very successful and comfortable lives.
To book an appointment for ADHD treatment contact us at 609-601-4161