Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Definition
Did you know if you keep on losing attention and interest towards certain ongoing issues of importance to you, then you might be suffering from a mental illness? Maybe not yet. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder shortened as ADHD is a common mental disorder which causes hyperactiveness and creates an inability to regulate compulsions. The result of it all is losing one’s attention or concentration.
ADHD commonly occurs in children and may progress into adulthood. Other than lack attention, children suffering from this condition always show signs of not following instructions as provided or finishing given assignments. They easily get distracted and they also avoid situations that would call for them to sit still.
In adults, signs and symptoms you may witness among the infected are low self-esteem, depression, easily getting distracted, mood swings, impulsivity, and problems at work, and chronic boredom, among many others.
Statistics indicate that boys usually have a higher chance of getting it compared to girls. Thus when it begins, you will notice sudden changes about your child. They will have problems managing time at school, staying organized, or setting proper achievable goals.
ADHD still does not yet have a well-defined cause, however, its treatments procedures involve a series of therapies and medications which help reduce signs and symptoms.
Signs of ADHD
Special signs exist indicating the presence of ADHD in one’s health system. Once noticed, a doctor should be alerted at once to grant assistance.
These signs include:
- Self-focused behavior
It is common of ADHD patients to lose focus of the desires and feelings of the people around them and because they are easily distracted. Many people might misunderstand the affected individual and think they are being ignored intentionally.
Children suffering from ADHD will likely interrupt discussions, games and many other things they might not really be a part of.
- Trouble waiting their turn
Kids with this condition are never patient. The will never stay calm and wait for their turn. This can be noticed when they are in the field playing or learning at school.
- Emotional turmoil
Children tend to lose control over their emotions. They might get extremely angry on matters or at situations which are rather easy to understand. They demonstrate lots of temper outbursts.
These children never settle. They will always be on the move. They will always fidget, run around or squirm whenever forced to sit.
- Problems playing noiselessly
Out of their fidgetiness, such children stay noisy while playing. They will always shout and make unnecessary and sometimes annoying noises.
- Incomplete tasks
These children’s lives will be full of unfinished tasks. They will want to handle so many tasks but usually leave them along the way. For instance, they might be doing homework and before they finish, they jump to playing games or doing some other chores.
- Lack of focus
As these children grow into adults, they still tend to lose focus very quickly, almost instantly. While speaking to them they tend to show no signs of paying attention to what you might be saying.
- Do not prefer mind rocking tasks
This group of individuals tend to love easy-to-do tasks. They will always avoid those tasks which require a lot of brainstorming.
Because of their lack of paying attention, these individuals have great trouble with planning and executing given tasks since they will always make mistakes. However, this may not mean they are lazy people or that they are foolish.
When not playing, these individuals are usually quiet and non-rambunctious. They would like to be alone and in such moments they might look into the sky and stare while daydreaming. Usually, at these moments, they tend to forget all that is going on around them.
- Being unorganized
Normal people would tend to be well organized at work, school, and other environments. However, ADHD patients always have problems keeping track of various activities or tasks running around them. Thus, they are likely to run into problems at school or work, while handling projects and other assignments.
Not being able to remember so many activities of the day is an atypical sign among the ADHD patients. These individuals will always forget even the easiest of things. Thus, they may often fail to finish their homework, assignments or chores.
- Showing multiple Symptoms in a given setting
People with ADHD never reveal symptoms of their condition in just one sitting. In most cases, they will show a lack of focus both at home, school and/or work.
As a parent, when you notice the above-listed signs with your child, there will be no need to waste time not getting them help. The best action and most recommendable step is taking them to a health specialist for medical check and examination.
If the diagnosis turns out to be ADHD, then effective ways of clearing that exists. The condition can be treated through medication in combination with therapeutic procedures.
Otherwise, this condition will influence low performance at school and inconvenience around you from the careless mistakes the child will be committing.
Symptoms of ADHD
Just like all other mental illnesses, ADHD comes along with its long list of symptoms that identify it precisely. Remember, these signs may actually be different when they occur in children and not adults. The grouping below indicates those manifested out of lack of attention, hyperactivity and also impulsivity.
Common Signs Among Children
Lack of attention
- The condition affects the child’s inability to pay proper attention as they are easily distracted
- They will also fail to follow correctly well-defined instructions/directions or finish tasks given to them
- Most of the time, they appear to be absent-minded
- They are prone to making mistakes which usually call for the use of common sense
- Tend to forget a lot, even the activities of the same day
- Usually stay unorganized – they cannot properly organize their daily tasks
- Avoids situations which call for sitting still
- The infected tend to lose their possessions out of carelessness
- Most of them daydream
- Out of their hyper activeness, they often fidget, squirm, or bounce when having a seat
- They tend to be restless and dislike sitting
- They are usually noisy while playing
- Teens tend to move around and about, they can’t stay composed for a while. For adults, it would be restlessness
- Talks a lot
- They are always on the move. Always in a hurry to go
- Lack of patience and composure, thus they do not wait for their turn
- Their answers usually come out as blurts
- Interferes with others
Signs of ADHD in Teens and Adults
- Relationship problems
- Trouble controlling anger
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic forgetfulness and lateness
- Problems at work
- Chronic boredom
- Mood swings
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Easily frustrated
- Trouble concentrating when reading
Recognition of ADHD Symptoms at Every Age
The manifestation of ADHD depends entirely on age and, at least a little bit, on gender. The disorder mainly exists in 3 different types, Hyperactive-impulsive, Inattentive or a combination of both and all of these can affect people of all ages, from toddlers all the way to adults in the manner discussed below:
Toddlers and Preschoolers
- They can’t concentrate for long
- Like playing, jumping and running around restlessly
- Some may only focus on things they find extremely interesting. This could be particular videos or toys
As much as these symptoms can be clear, the diagnosis might not yet occur until later stages. Doctors offer proper parenting advice to assist in handling the child.
Fundamental School Kids
If your child missed getting the disorder at the toddler stage, then it might still come in at the fundamental schooling age. The most common and obvious symptoms to indicate ADHD’s presence is a serious lack of concentration.
The child completely losses concentration in class, at home or anywhere. This situation soon transitions into a lack of proper planning and execution of duties, as well as the inability to correctly follow given instructions. Thus, the result of it all is poor results in whatever they handle.
In most cases, infected children will have trouble in the following areas with their fellow schoolmates and friends:
- Finishing homework or chores
- Keeping track of important tasks
- Participating in a two-way conversation
- Issues with things like doing homework or reading books
It is also highly typical to have these children develop strong emotional reactions towards some situations confronting them. The can really get angry when annoyed.
With these symptoms, diagnosis cannot yet be done unless they are observed continuously for at least a period of six months. Beyond that, a diagnosis can be made and treatment can commence.
ADHD in Adolescents
At this juncture, the hypersensitivity of your child tends to lower. However, they may still show symptoms of restlessness and inability to stay still or sit for long moments.
Other common supplementing symptoms would be a failure in the proper organization of oneself. These children might have problems managing their time, finishing their given assignments, or planning or handling projects. The ill- health indicators can be costly at some moments.
If the kids used to enjoy playing video games with friends, then they will no longer show such interests, instead, they might only draw their focus on something else which does not need much brainstorming.
Emotional control forms another difficult check for these kids. They will most likely feel furious and annoyed over understandable issues, including those of no big concern.
Out of their impulsivity, this group of kids can engage in some dangerous behaviors such as drinking alcohol, stealing, having unprotected sex, lying and abusing drugs. If they are driving, their safety on the roads is never guaranteed.
ADHD in Adults
Levels of hyperactivity tend to fade off with age. Therefore with adults, these symptoms might not be exaggerated. However, they exist and create problems in the affected individuals daily life.
Adults suffering from the disorder may:
- Be chaotic and disordered
- Like doing things through shortcut means
- Have difficulty paying attention
- Lose their key items, such as their wallet, phones, keys, or sunglasses
- Resign from jobs out of impulse
- Risk having unprotected sex
- Consume harmful foods
- May have trouble building relationships
- Have difficulty finishing tasks
- Become an addict of drugs and alcohol
- Max out credit cards
Diagnosis of ADHD at this stage offers one a full understanding of why they have been behaving in a particular manner ever since their childhood.
Treatment exists at this stage as well. All you need to do is seek medical assistance from a health specialist who will give you the best advice on your treatment methods.
Causes of ADHD
As much as there is no particular cause related to ADHD, there are factors that have been perceived to have a very close connection. These include:
Lots of medical research point fingers at genetic functions to be the main causative towards this illness. Indeed it has been noticed that its occurrence majorly happens in people of the related bloodline. If there is any chance that your parents had it, then chances are high that you might develop the condition as well – though it’s never a guarantee.
However, further research about this notion is still being carried out.
Brain structure or function
A section of researchers believe that the structural makeup of the functionality of the brain could be the major factor leading to the acquisition of this disorder.
Because of this, they have run different brain scans, comparing those with and without the disorder. The discovery that came from this is that brain structures with abnormally small parts/section that ought to have been larger belong to infected persons.
According to other versions, imbalances caused by neurotransmitters in the brain are likely to yield the ADHD condition.
Certain circumstances may also lead to the acquisition of this disorder. These may comprise of:
- Premature births
- Brain damage while the baby is still the womb, and/or during or after birth
Difference Between ADD and ADHD
Many people tend to confuse these two terms. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, shortened as ADHD, explains a mental illness situation which affects physical hyperactivity of a person, thus causing elements of restlessness and loss of concentration.
ADD on the other hand refers to a diagnostic manual of inattentive subtype and normally lacks the symptoms of ADHD. Persons suffering from ADD are often calm and less hyperactive, thus the effects of the condition are non-disruptive.
ADD syndrome mostly occurs in girls as compared to boys. However, everyone is can be at risk. Lots of people misunderstand the condition and therefore describe it as shyness or simply quietness or being reserved.
Types of ADHD
ADHD exists in 3 main types. These are:
- Inattentive type: involves getting distracted, exhibiting poor concentration, as well as organizational skills
- Hyperactive-impulsive type: manifests in taking risks and interrupting issues, forums or conversations
- Combination type: Not being able to complete tasks, fidgeting, restlessness
ADHD Inattentive Type
The inattentive type works against anything which would make you concentrate on an item or particular activity. It makes the patients easily distracted over small issues. It also has them develop poor communication skills and limits their organization toward handling plans and projects.
Under this type, the patients normally become highly interruptive on matters that are of very minimal concern to them. Everything which lasts more than a moment for them is a time waster.
This characteristic might be witnessed while in the field playing or in class learning.
This type combines both hyperactivity and inattentive types. Signs and symptoms are usually combined. Patients in this category develop problems in finishing work on time or simply concentrating on one task.
Treatment of ADHD
ADHD is a treatable condition which calls for various health specialists. The available treatment methods often work in reducing the various effects of signs and symptoms of the disorder. Basically, the only existing treatment methods are usually two, therapeutic and medical.
Under therapy, one will have to receive training on ways of managing their anger conditions, speech, behavior, and reactions towards particular situations. The patient’s family will also be offered advice and counsel on best methods to handle the patient.
The medical method purely involves prescription of relevant medicines to deal with the signs and symptoms.
Medication for ADHD
Other than or in combination with therapy, medication servers great purpose in the treatment procedure for ADHD. A chart exists, showing different types of medication that would be of great effect and prevalence in easing the condition. A broad category of this is the stimulant and non-stimulant drugs.
Based on the exact disorder one is suffering from, your age and your current health condition, a health specialist will always prescribe the relevant drug for you.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a new concept in the medical field or to those who have been diagnosed with it. It’s only unfortunate that most people do not recognize it early enough, owing to the fact that the signs may sometimes look pretty normal.
In this case, it happens that if a child inherits it from a father or mother, then there will be little chances to realize this abnormality. Most people would say it’s normal inheritance of behavior from one of the parents, when it is actually a syndrome.
Different causatives have been related to this disorder, yet no one ultimately qualifies to be an exact cause. Genes, brain structure, as well as the environment seem to be the most mentioned causes. However, more research about this is still underway.
ADHD is a treatable condition. Once diagnosed, doctors will help you out find the best therapies and medical care which would be of great assistance to your recovery. Note that this condition can cost you a lot, jobs, poor results at school and damaging established relationships among family, friends and loved ones. Therefore it’s important you mind early diagnosis.