What Is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is causes an individual to have difficulty controlling impulses and paying attention. Most individuals with ADHD seems restless and have to be constantly moving. This is not only a disorder in children. It is common for symptoms of ADHD to show themselves during childhood, it carries on into adulthood. Often the hyperactivity gets better as the child gets into his teenage years. However, difficulty paying attention, impulse control issues, and being disorganized are symptoms that follow an individual into becoming an adult.
What Causes ADHD?
While the causes are not quite clear, it is believed that ADHD is a result of the way a person’s genes interact with the environment around the individual. It has been found that some things, such as low birth weight, brain injuries, exposure to toxins such as lead at a young age, cigarette, alcohol, and drug abuse during pregnancy can all be contributors to ADHD.
What Are the Signs Of ADHD?
There are three major categories of symptoms for ADHD. The first is the inability to pay attention. The second is hyperactivity, which means that the individual is overactive. The third is impulse control and acting without thinking about it first.
The major categories exhibit themselves in many ways. Some of the things that you should look for when you think someone may have ADHD are symptoms like becoming easily distracted and pulled off task. The individual may miss details and make careless mistakes at school or work. Someone with ADHD may not be able to follow through multiple step instructions. He may also start a bunch of different tasks and quickly get sidetracked and lose focus.
An individual with ADHD May have difficulty maintaining conversations and paying attention when having to read a large amount of information. It may seem the individual is not listening when someone is speaking to them. They cannot organize tasks or do thing in proper sequence. Time management is incredibly challenging for someone with ADHD. Not only does this person have a hard time with these things, he may not like doing them and avoid them at all costs. Those with ADHD are constantly losing items such as supplies, keys, glasses, phones, etc. They may forget appointments and not make return phone calls. Errands most likely do not get accomplished by someone with ADHD.
When someone with ADHD has hyperactivity and difficulty with impulse control, they most likely fidget constantly. This person has a hard time sitting still and staying seated. A person with ADHD may need to get up and walk around the room often. This may be hard for someone who is in a classroom setting because the teacher may not be comfortable with someone pacing around the room. However, it does help him or her focus. Young children with ADHD may run around and climb on things at inappropriate times. Teenagers may feel restless. Someone with hyperactivity has a difficult time being quiet and often talks constantly. Those with hyperactivity seems as though they are constantly moving. They also tend to speak over someone else and do not wait for their turn to talk. They finish other’s sentences and just blurt out things when it is not appropriate for them to do so. Interrupting others and not waiting for his or her turn are typical and consistent symptoms of someone with hyperactivity and impulsivity.
How Can ADHD Be Treated?
ADHD must be diagnosed by a professional, either in mental health or a primary care doctor. While symptoms of ADHD are common for many who have it, these symptoms could indicate that the individual has a different condition. You should not automatically assume that it is ADHD. Currently, there is no cure for ADHD, however, it is treatable and the individual can obtain a lot of help to manage the symptoms of ADHD. One of the biggest ways to help someone in your life with ADHD is to become educated about the disorder. This allows you to gain a better understanding of what is happening and be helpful to the person with it. It is helpful to remember that one of the major pieces of ADHD is that the person has control issues. The individual can work on control, but it is hard for that person.
Medication for ADHD
There are many medications to help treat ADHD. This is typically the first line of defense for ADHD. If some of the symptoms can be controlled, the individual can begin to work on some of types of therapy. There are many different types and kinds of medications. As with any medication, they can have side effects. It is important that when someone is on medication they are treated and monitored by a doctor. The doctor should control the doses of medication and watch for the side effects and how they impact the individual.
Some of the medications that are used are stimulants. It may seem counterintuitive to give someone that is already hyperactive a stimulant, it does seem to work. The stimulant increases the dopamine in the brain. This is a chemical that is naturally manufactured in the brain and stimulates increase it. This helps allow the individual to think and pay attention.
There are medications that are considered non-stimulants. These types of medication help to improve focus, control impulses and helps the person pay better attention. This type of medication is helpful if an individual has major side effects from stimulant medication. These may work if the stimulants were not helpful. Sometimes these medications are used with stimulants to help the individual improve focus. Atomoxetine and Guanfacine are two types of non-stimulant medications that an individual with ADHD may try.
Antidepressants are often used for those with ADHD, even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them specifically for use to treat ADHD. Some medical providers have found that they work in helping to control the symptoms of ADHD. Some antidepressants have been around for a long time, such as tricyclics, and similar to stimulants, they also impact norepinephrine and dopamine. These are two chemicals found in the brain.
Medication is not the only way to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Therapy has also been found to be helpful when it comes to managing the symptoms of ADHD. A treatment plan can help those who are living with the disorder learn to cope with the challenges they have on a daily basis. You must keep in mind that while all of these things are happening inside the individual, the individual often feels as though he or she has not control over what is happening. In addition, the behaviors that a person with ADHD tends to exhibit usually gets the individual in trouble. People are often annoyed and punishing those with ADHD. That is a lot for someone, especially a child or teenage, to deal with on a regular basis.
Parents and teachers of young children or teenagers with ADHD can help them stay on task and follow directions. It is helpful for someone with ADHD to have a routine that is followed every day. Organizers for homework and notebooks are a useful tool when keeping someone with ADHD organized. They respond well to praise and rewards when they follow the rules and stay focused and organized.
Adults with ADHD also need help learning to organize things, especially in life. If this person was not taught these skills as a child, it is even harder for an adult with ADHD to keep schedules and break big tasks into smaller tasks.
As with anything, the more you learn about ADHD, the better you can understand it and then the better you can help your children or spouse, or students deal with what is happening. Those with ADHD needs assistance from those around them to succeed. Stress management tools may be helpful to the parents of a child with ADHD. Parents often become frustrated with the behaviors of their child with ADHD and they need to learn how to manage them so they can instead calmly help their child. Support groups are also important for the parents of a child with ADHD. This way the parents can get some support from those in similar situations.