Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The following information will help readers familiarize themselves with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by outlining symptoms, possible causes and current therapies.
ADHD Definition and Possible Causes
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has been defined as “a condition of the brain that affects a person’s ability to pay attention.” Additionally, representatives of various mental health organizations suggest that there are currently more than 2 million people in the United States who have ADHD.
There is currently no conclusive evidence that pinpoints the exact cause of ADHD. Mental health experts, however, purport that genetics, exposure to various environmental toxins and women who abuse drugs while they are pregnant can all impair an individual’s central nervous system, which may cause ADHD.
ADHD in Children
Research conducted by mental health specialists shows that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD within the last 20 years and that the behavior disorder appears to be more prevalent among boys.
ADHD Triggers and Symptoms
The inability to properly manage stress can negatively impact anyone’s ability to focus and complete tasks. Coping with daily stress can be especially difficult for individuals living with ADHD because studies show that stress triggers the most common symptoms. For example, hyperactivity and inattention, which are the two key symptoms of ADHD, are often exhibited in the following manner:
- Inability to pay attention to details, which often results in low test scores, incomplete school work, daily tasks and job-related duties
- Persistent daydreaming
- Dislike of routines or tasks that require a great deal of concentration
- Poor organizational skills
- Often misplaces or loses personal belongings
- Restlessness or the inability to stand or sit without moving hands or feet
- Excessive talking
- Poor listening skills (e.g., frequently interrupts others by “blurting out” thoughts)
It is also believed that dairy products, excessive simple carbohydrates and caffeine can trigger ADHD symptoms.
Unfortunately, because stress is subjective, the severity and longevity of ADHD symptoms can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s quality of life. Thankfully, there are organizations that provide individuals living with ADHD with a number of helpful resources. For example, online support groups, conferences, newsletters, blogs and magazines.
ADHD in Adults
As of the date of this article, it is believed that more than 5% of adults in the United States have ADHD. Additionally, statistics prove that ADHD affects people “from all walks of life.” Individuals who have been diagnosed with the behavior disorder do not belong to any one particular age group, gender, racial, educational, spiritual or economic group.
ADHD in Women
Mood swings and depression are common among some people of all ages living with ADHD; however, there are some noticeable differences in how ADHD manifests in adults as opposed to children. For example, studies show that some women living with ADHD often succumb to anxiety and depression and may attempt to “self-medicate” by overeating, which can lead to obesity, and using drugs.
ADHD Testing and Treatment
Due to the fact that the behavior patterns or symptoms mentioned earlier are not only exhibited by individuals living with ADHD, especially children, various mental health specialists assert that a child must exhibit multiple symptoms for a minimum of six months in order to ensure that the child does indeed have ADHD and not some other disorder.
While there is no cure for ADHD, there are a number of therapeutic measures that people living with ADHD can use to help improve their overall quality of life. For example, studies have shown that individual and family counseling, herbal and synthetic medication and speech pathology can all be of great benefit to people living with ADHD.
There is currently no known way to prevent ADHD. Individuals living with ADHD and their loved ones can, however, use some of the above-mentioned therapeutic measures that are presently available to help lessen the stress that the disorder may cause them.