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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

There are several brain disorders, and the most common one with kids and teens is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Research shows that it is more common in boys than girls. Its initial appearance is during the early school years when the affected individual pays no attention to study.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder that distorts human activity due to concentration. Although there is no cure for ADHD, a suitable treatment can be a preventive measure if discovered early.

Children face this brain disorder a lot, especially when faced with something new in life. They are probably still attached to an old activity and find it difficult to move on.

ADHD Symptoms

ADHD occurs both in children and adults but often in children. However, the symptoms vary for the different age groups in most cases.

ADHD Symptoms in Children

  • Lack of concentration
  • Easy distraction
  • Leave tasks unfinished
  • Lack of listening ears
  • Increased chance of making costly mistakes
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of organizational skills
  • Find difficulty in settling down
  • It does not keep things
  • Daydreams a lot

Sometimes, ADHD causes hyperactive-impulsiveness in children. Hence, this comes with symptoms different from the ones mentioned above.

  • Fidgeting or squirming while sitting
  • Paces up and down a lot
  • Prefers to play roughly or loudly
  • Frequent disordered movement such as climbing on objects.
  • Excessive talks
  • Lack of patient
  • Blurts out answers
  • Listens less and interrupts during a conversation.

Sometimes, a child bears the symptoms of the combined states of ADHD mentioned above. However, this is usually in severe cases.

A bored child refusing to cooperate with his private teacher while doing homework.

Symptoms in Adults

Symptoms often occur in adults that had it at a young age. Hence, the signs also change unless a preventive measure has been applied beforehand.

  • Going late for meetings, which may be due to forgetfulness.
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem, resulting from the inability to cope with peers in society.
  • Procrastinating tasks or activities
  • Problems at work due to incomplete tasks
  • Easy frustrating and depression
  • Sudden change in mood, which fosters depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Quickly losing interest in important things
  • Substance misuse or addiction
  • Impulsiveness
  • Lack of concentration when reading
  • Anger issues

ADHD vs ADD

Many people get confused at differentiating between ADHD and ADD. However, Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is just a former name for ADHD, and the change of name was launched in the 1990s. However, some people still use the two terms interchangeably.

Causes of ADHD

Scientists have not established the specific causes of ADHD but only discovered it is a more innate disorder. That is, the condition results more from intrinsic factors than external factors. Some significant causes observed by the Nurseline community services include:

  • Genetical makeup
  • When certain chemicals are in excess in the brain.
  • The active part of the brain is inactive than usual.
  • Brain infections may result from smoking, drinking, or substance abuse in pregnant women.
  • Poor nutrition and toxins consumption lead to a baby’s poor brain development.
  • Intake of lead from foods or drinks that has it in excess.
  • A brain injury, usually at the front portion, is called the frontal lobe.

Contrary to the untrue popular opinion, sugar is not responsible for ADHD. Although excessive sugar consumption and food allergies have side effects, they play no role in the disorder in question.

ADHD Diagnosis and Testing

It takes several tests in both children and adults before finally diagnosing ADHD. This is most difficult in children and teens, as the doctor needs to involve parents, teachers, and other caregivers in the talk therapy. A proficient doctor will use the American Psychiatric Association’s guidelines to examine the symptoms and the primary cause.

Ensure that the ADHD tests are carried out by a trained specialist such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist. They will need to identify the following:

  • The medical history of the family to identify any genetic linkup.
  • Physical screening and neurological assessments.
  • Vision and hearing assessment
  • Aptitude test to confirm intellectual ability and the presence of processing skills.
  • A medical scan is the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) to measure the beta brain waves.

Treating ADHD

There is no specific treatment that works for ADHD except the combination of several models or approaches. Research shows that the best treatment for children is to use a variety of therapy and medications, which also involves the cooperation of the caregiver.

Treatment with medication

Most doctors would advise patients to stay from the overdose of stimulants. It is the best medication for ADHD but adversely affects when misused. However, stimulants help improve the actions of the brain chemicals, such as dopamine. The common stimulants are:

  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Amphetamine (Adzenys XR ODT, Dyanavel)
  • Methylphenidate (Aptensio, Concerta, Cotempla, Daytrana, Methylin, Jornay PM, Metadate, Quillivant, Ritalin)

However, non-stimulant medication is recommended for older children, usually six years and above. This include:

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)
  • Clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay)
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv)

Treating with therapy

To have an effective treatment, therapy should be included when attending to an ADHD patient, with or without medications. The affected children will need behavioural modification, which can be achieved through special education, counselling, or social skills training.

You will need to consult the service of trained personnel for this purpose. The medical staff at Nurseline community services has years of experience to tailor each individual’s needs. You also get to meet support groups that understand the patient‘s pain and provide emotional support.