Males are more likely to have the symptoms of ADHD than females, but females can also go undiagnosed for years. Parents and teachers notice hyperactive boys and girls, but it can take years for a female to be diagnosed with ADHD. While hyperactivity is perfectly normal for children, as they grow, the symptoms become less pronounced. However, the signs of ADHD remain: inattention, restlessness, impulsivity, and poor planning.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
For many people, the symptoms of ADHD are not recognized until they reach adulthood. In the past, people with ADHD were labeled as slackers, troublemakers, or dreamers. Although they may have been able to compensate for their symptoms as children, today’s adult ADHD sufferers can find it harder to meet responsibilities. Fortunately, there are treatments for ADHD that can help individuals overcome these difficulties.
Treatment is a process that involves therapy and medication. It will take time and patience, but with the right care, a child with ADHD can learn how to better manage their condition. Proper attention and self-control training will help them succeed at school and activities, and you’ll feel better about yourself. While there are no quick fixes, these methods can help you make progress and see results quickly. To help your child overcome ADHD, consider the following strategies:
Distractibility. Unless someone is paying attention, ADHD sufferers often make careless mistakes. They struggle to listen and complete conversations, complete chores, and follow directions. They also have difficulty keeping their living spaces organized. Often, these individuals fidget with their hands and feet or leave their seats while completing a task. While these symptoms are typical of ADHD, they can be a sign of other conditions, too.
Types of ADHD
There are two basic types of ADHD: inattentive and hyperactive. The inattentive type tends to be restless and hyperactive. They’re unable to sit still for long periods of time, and they often fidget. Their behavior is highly impulsive, and they struggle to control their impulses. The hyperactive/impulsive type is the more severe form of ADHD. Adults who are diagnosed with ADHD often recall the challenges they faced as children.
Both men and women can suffer from ADHD. Often, ADHD in men can lead to other mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Girls with ADHD are more likely to exhibit symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. If you suspect your child may be suffering from any of these symptoms, take him to a qualified physician for a thorough evaluation. A qualified pediatrician will ask detailed questions about the symptoms your child is displaying and perform a series of tests.
People with inattentive type of ADHD often struggle to focus on a task and manage their time. They may lose important things, and they may become easily distracted by their environment or irrelevant thoughts. These people often lose track of daily tasks, such as going to work or running errands. Inattentive people are most likely to be restless during quiet activities and cannot finish tasks in a short time. Inattentive people are also more likely to make careless mistakes.
Causes of ADHD
Several studies have demonstrated that trauma, such as childhood sex abuse, and severe psychosocial deprivation, can lead to reduced cortical thickness, which is a hallmark of ADHD. Certain parts of the brain are responsible for regulating attention and behavior, and trauma causes these areas to become thin and dysfunctional. Trauma also damages an individual’s attachment systems and their ability to control their environment. It is this desynchronized experience of time that is the hallmark of ADHD.
While genetics is the most obvious cause, environmental and developmental issues play a role in some cases as well. The brain is more susceptible to environmental and hormonal factors, and toxins during pregnancy may cause damage. Research suggests that genetics is a significant risk factor in ADHD. Premature birth, exposure to toxins, and other factors can also trigger ADHD. A recent study concluded that an estimated five to seven percent of children and adolescents worldwide suffer from ADHD, but that the rates of diagnosis vary from country to country.
Genetic studies of twins have shown that children with one parent have an increased risk of developing ADHD. However, results from studies of fraternal twins revealed that only about a third of twins had ADHD. Adopted children, on the other hand, were more likely to be affected than children born into a biological family. Genetic studies also show that the risk of ADHD is higher in children of mothers who smoke or drink alcohol. However, the link between genetics and environment is not conclusive, and more research is needed to make sure.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
How is ADHD diagnosed? A healthcare provider will first take a detailed medical history and review your child’s behavior. Your child’s provider may also do some neuropsychological testing, which provides deeper insight into your child’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as whether or not they have other comorbid conditions. Some healthcare providers will refer children who have ADHD to an outside specialist, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider talking with your pediatrician or guidance counselor about your child’s symptoms.
Your healthcare provider will discuss educational services for your child with ADHD. Typically, your child will be eligible for special education services through the public school system. Your child’s education will be customized to meet his or her specific needs, including accommodations at school. Sometimes, your child may need help with time management, which is why your healthcare provider may refer you to a child psychologist or psychiatrist. If your child is struggling in school, the doctor may prescribe medication that activates a specific part of the brain that helps your child pay attention and slow down. They may also prescribe behavior therapy to help your child develop social skills.
The evaluation process for adults involves interviews with the child and parents. The health care provider will also ask for information from close family members and friends. In addition to interviews, they may use standardized behavior rating scales and checklists to determine whether your child is experiencing ADHD symptoms. Psychological tests are also administered to assess working memory, executive functioning, and reasoning skills. A thorough evaluation is the best way to determine if a child has ADHD.
Treatsments for ADHD
The AAP offers recommendations on the treatment of children with ADHD. Children with ADHD often have a hard time paying attention at school and with family members. While they are capable of sitting still, they often display disruptive behaviors that interfere with their ability to function. Parents can reduce these behaviors through behavior therapy. Behavior therapy is recommended for children with ADHD as soon as they have been diagnosed. The AAP recommends that parents start this therapy as soon as possible after the child is diagnosed.
While behavioral treatments are usually recommended for children under age six, there are also medications available that can help your child with ADHD. Medication and therapy for ADHD are often used in combination, and behavioral support programs can be very effective. For younger children, behavioral support services at home or in the classroom can help them improve their academic performance. If your child has ADHD, you can request accommodations for your child in school. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends parent-delivered behavior therapy as the most effective form of treatment.
Although medication is an important part of ADHD treatment, doctors are free to choose the best type of medication for your child. Doctors and patients will discuss which medications are the best for your child’s unique situation. Remember that medications do not treat all the symptoms of ADHD and not everyone responds to them in the same way. For this reason, doctors will recommend a multimodal approach to treatment. However, it is important to note that medications and behavioral therapy alone cannot cure ADHD.
ADHD in Adults
The symptoms of ADHD in adults may have been present from childhood. Those symptoms must still be present today, but the core symptoms must be affecting your functioning. Screening tests can evaluate attention, distractibility, short-term memory, and psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. Although ADHD symptoms can be easily overlooked, undiagnosed adults may still be affected by the symptoms of ADHD. For this reason, identifying the presence of ADHD in adults may help you make informed choices about your treatment.
Many people believe that they are different than those without ADHD, but it’s important to remember that having ADHD does not mean you’re less intelligent. While you might experience more difficulty in certain areas of life, you can find your niche and achieve success. The key is to identify your strengths and develop them as a way to overcome any challenges and achieve success. The symptoms of ADHD may be a hindrance, but there is no reason to be depressed and discouraged.
Diagnosing ADHD in adults is difficult due to the subtleness of symptoms and the lack of a gold-standard diagnostic test. An evaluation of ADHD in adults should include a comprehensive history, the self-report of symptoms, and mental status testing. In addition to the history, the evaluation should also include the specific symptoms of inattention and psychiatric treatments, if any. Most importantly, adults with ADHD are highly likely to be coping with co-morbid conditions and dysfunctional behaviors, as well as develop other disorders or behavioral problems.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to consider taking ADHD medication. These medications are typically called stimulants, and they work to increase the activity of certain brain chemicals and to improve balance. There are also nonstimulants, such as antidepressants, which have been used to treat ADHD for decades. Although nonstimulants work a bit slower than stimulants, they may be the best option for those who don’t want to take stimulants or have side effects from them.
While ADHD medications are very effective at improving the behavior and focus of ADHD children, they do not address the underlying problem. Medication will not teach your child how to regulate his or her emotions or social skills. In order to get the best possible treatment for ADHD, you should work with your health care provider to develop a personalized plan that meets your child’s needs on a daily basis. You should also plan to take your child off of medication for a long time if necessary.
The most popular medication for ADHD is a psychostimulant. Several long-acting psychostimulants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are routinely prescribed for ADHD in adults. Amphetamines and methylphenidate are considered Schedule II drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
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