ADHD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Causes

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is the number one disorder that affects children. However, an estimated 4.1 percent of adults also suffer from some form of ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD

It is characterized by several symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • The person is often easily distracted.
  • They may find it hard to focus on one given task at a time.
  • A child may fidget or squirm in their chair. They are not able to sit still.
  • The person may talk incessantly, even if told to be quiet.
  • People with this disorder may find it very difficult to follow simple instructions.
  • They often pace and cannot stand or sit in one place for long periods of time.

Diagnosis

Children are often diagnosed with the disorder after beginning school. Teachers will note that they have trouble paying attention in class. The child may get in trouble often. While children between the ages of three and six may exhibit symptoms of the disorder, the disorder is not usually diagnosed until an average age of seven. A doctor will do test on your child to ensure that there is not some other underlying reason for the symptoms. After diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe medication for the child. It may take some time for the right medication and dosage to be set.

There are different forms of ADHD that vary in seriousness.

  • 1) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulse – These patients have mostly symptoms that are associated with hyperactivity, such as incessant talking or not being able to sit still.
  • 2) Predominantly Inattentive – These patients exhibit mostly symptoms that indicate that they are not able to pay attention. They often daydream instead of listening to people who are talking to them.
  • 3) Combined Hyperactive-Impulse and Inattentive – These patients exhibit signs and symptoms of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

Treatment

Medication is not the only possible treatment. A doctor will recommend the best course of treatment based upon the severity of ADHD in the patient. In addition to medication, a doctor may recommend that the patient attend therapy sessions or education sessions. Education sessions teach the patient how to cope and handle the ADHD and ways that they combat the disorder. The doctor may recommend a combination of these treatments for the patient.

Causes

While the causes of ADHD are still unclear, doctors done studies to try and determine what the cause may be. Some doctors hypothesize that ADHD is a genetic disorder, while others attribute the disorder to the diet a person has and if the diet is high in sugar. Whatever the cause of the disorder, it is important to note that many people live highly productive lives with the disorder.