Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a common disorder that typically begins in childhood and can continue throughout adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty controlling behavior, paying attention, and hyperactivity. ADHD presents in three different types: Predominantly hyperactive-impulse type; Predominantly inattentive type (formerly known as ADD); and Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type. Children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD may experience frustration within themselves, social difficulties, school and work problems. Children with this disorder are often labeled as out of control or problem children. Proper treatment can help in teaching the child or adult better ways to manage their impulses, focus attention, and can lead to more successful and productive lives.

How Prevalent is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in ten children are diagnosed with ADHD and approximately 60 percent retain symptoms of the disorder as adults. Males are two to three times more likely than females to be diagnosed with ADHD.

What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Research has not been able to single out a specific cause of ADHD; however, most research agrees that a combination of genetic and environmental factors (nutrition, social learning, etc) play a large role in the development of ADHD.

How Do I Know if I Need Help?

Symptoms of untreated ADHD can impact all aspects of life. It often starts with school difficulties and significant behavioral problems in children, which may lead to employment problems, legal problems, alcohol and drug use, and relationship problems in adolescents and as an adult. If you have noticed or others have pointed out attention and/or impulse problems that result in problems in different areas of your life you may have ADHD.

What Are Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

It is normal for children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive at times; however, for children with ADHD these behaviors happen more often and consistently and cause problems in various areas of everyday life. Children with ADHD have these problem behaviors more often or to a greater degree than other children their age. Symptoms of ADHD in adults may be more difficult to notice due to increased maturity and because adults may have learned how to keep their behavior under control at times. Adults with ADHD may have employment and marital or relationship problems due to inattention and impulse control difficulties. They can be viewed as unreliable or uncaring.

Getting the Help You Need

Treatments typically include medication and counseling in order to learn new ways to manage symptoms. Counseling may help teach the child or adult to monitor their own behavior, improve how they relate to others, and improve organizational skills. With children with ADHD parent involvement in reducing/controlling the behavior is essential. Psychotherapy is able to assist children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD in learning to manage their behaviors which will allow them to be more successful and improve their quality of life.


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