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Understanding ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) & Recognizing its Symptoms

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, are both from a spectrum on mental disorders mostly prevalent among children, though the symptoms can progress into adulthood as well. What is considered as simple hyperactivity might well be a symptom of ADHD, since it is initially difficult to diagnose and understand the difference between the two. In fact, even adults who have trouble with time management, difficulty in holding on to a job, performing under set goals or organizing themselves, might be suffering from ADHD.

While ADHD is not life-threatening, it is incurable and can often lead to depression, anxiety or even addiction (in adults) if not diagnosed or treated in time. But let’s not panic, for it is quite possible to diagnose and treat ADHD with the proper resources, medication and counseling.

Causes of ADHD:

While there can be several reasons for ADHD to manifest, no specified cause has been discovered yet. The primary cause of ADHD is generally heredity; if the disorder runs in your family, it is more than likely that it can be passed on through genetics. The other common cause of ADHD happens to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, while poor nutrition, substance abuse or infections during pregnancy, exposure to toxins or injury to the brain might also be reasons why ADHD manifests itself in a child. Unfortunately, ADHD cannot be prevented and there is no cure available.

Symptoms of ADHD:

ADHD in children and adults are diagnosed differently. The symptoms in children are generally categorized by ‘Inattention’, ‘Hyperactivity’, and ‘Insensitivity’. If your child is easily distracted, is unable to follow instructions and pay attention or leaves their tasks unfinished, then it is most likely Inattention. The symptoms also include forgetfulness, inability to remain seated for long and daydreaming.

Alternately if your child is fidgety, cannot stop moving or squirms when made to sit still, they might be hyperactive. These children have trouble staying put, and need to be constantly in motion; you’re likely to find them climbing something, running around or bouncing in place. What can be mistaken as mere restlessness might well be something as severe as ADHD. On the other hand, if it is Insensitivity or Impulsivity that’s affecting a child, they will invariably do something on an ‘impulse’ or without thinking, that can affect someone in a negative manner, or even be harmful without their realizing it. The most common symptoms in adults are anxiety, chronic boredom, low self-esteem, anger issues, depression or mood swings, problems in relationships, problems at work, insubordination, lack of concentration, etc.


Treatments for ADHD:

As mentioned before, ADHD cannot be cured. But it can be contained and one can lead a normal life by following just a few steps of managing the disorder. Usually treatments range from prescription medicines to therapy. It is also believed widely by the National Institute of Medical Health that including options other than medication is very important. For one, behavioral therapy, nutritious meals, and a positive social environment play an equally important role in preventing the negative effects of ADHD.

Are Medicines Worth It?

Stimulants are usually prescribed by pediatrics for a child suffering from ADHD, but they might not always be the best solution, even though they can provide short-term relief, especially in social situations, such as schools, public gatherings or events. However, it is highly suggested that the side-effects of these drugs can be traumatic on a child, especially causing irreversible damage to a developing brain if used limitlessly. The best way to treat ADHD without long-term harm to a child is by therapy; psychotherapy, social skills training, behavior therapy, and the support of parents and family can be extremely beneficial. As is with everything, home is where a child is most comfortable in. It is therefore crucial that parents, siblings, friends and immediate acquaintances make a joint effort to provide some therapy to a child suffering from ADHD.

Adjusting with ADHD as an Adult:

As for adults, self-help is the best help. If your behavior feels like that of someone suffering from ADHD, it is best to ask yourself what can be done to avoid the effects. Perhaps write down the things that are most noticeable and try to work around it. If your temper is causing problems, try to find ways to keep yourself calm. And if your workplace is giving you anxiety, take some time off. Whatever be the method, as long as there is awareness and the will to change, ADHD can be managed and anyone can live a normal life.

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