Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, also called ADHD, is a condition that commonly involves hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and the inability to pay attention. This condition used to just be called ADD or attention deficit disorder. This condition always begins in childhood and can be carried into adulthood. About 4 to 5% of adults have ADHD and not everyone seeks treatment. Some people even go undiagnosed but start to take notice later in life. As an adult it can be difficult to manage a job, be timely, or even trying to set goals.
This behavioral condition is more common in boys than it is in girls. Typically during the school age years a child begins to have trouble paying attention or sitting still at school. The symptoms can be categorized into three forms: hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. A child with hyperactivity has trouble staying seated and tends to bounce or fidget. They’re restless and climbing on things. They also talk excessively. Inattention is characterized by being distracted, having a hard time following directions, trouble getting organized, daydreaming, and losing things. Impulsivity is marked by interrupting others, blurting out, and impatience. These characteristics spill over into adulthood and can cause problems at work, result in anger problems anxiety, mood swings, feeling bored a lot, relationship problems, and depression.
ADHD might be caused by a number of reasons, and the exact or direct cause is unknown. Most of the time, this condition runs in families, it can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, toxins that could affect the brain, a brain injury, or any substance abuse during pregnancy. Contrary to assumption, sugar does not cause ADHD. It is also not caused by watching too much T.V. or going to a bad school.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, medication and therapy is available. Medications called stimulants can help. There are also non-stimulant medications which can be prescribed after age 6. Omega 3s have also been found to be effective. Therapy might involve behavior modification, transitioning into a special education classroom to learn structure and have a more conducive environment to addressing the issue, counseling that can help with emotional control, and there are support groups.
Many people with ADHD live happy lives and are successful despite diagnosis. Catching the signs and symptoms early can really help modify behaviors and learn coping skills. Sometimes the body adapts to medications and may need to be adjusted. Some people even grow out these behaviors. Every individual is different and certain management therapies are effective for some and not others. When daily life gets hard to manage, seeking help is always important.