What is ADHD?
A person with ADHD has difficulty focusing for long periods of time. This limited capacity affects every aspect of their lives, such as school, employment and relationships. They perform poorly, and this brings about low self-esteem and feeling less than those around them. ADHD presents differently for each person, and the symptoms may evolve with age as the person learns to self-adapt.
ADHD is not a curable mental health condition, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms and teaching a person better tools for various life situations. The most successful cases involve a combination of medications and behavioral therapy. Many children who are diagnosed with ADHD only receive medications, and this can have less than desired results, as the child is still left with limited coping skills.
What are the Signs of ADHD?
Discerning normal child behavior from signs of ADHD takes experience and expertise in the condition. A person with ADHD has symptoms other than hyperactivity, such as:
- Difficulty paying attention during tasks or leisure activities
- Poor organizational skills
- Trouble remembering or forgetting where they left items
- Easily distracted
- Poor listening skills, even when addressed directly
- Continuous fidgeting
- Impatience and difficulty waiting their turn
- Talking excessively
- Problems playing alone or sitting quietly
What are the Risk Factors for ADHD?
No specific cause has been identified for ADHD, but some common factors have been revealed in those who live with the condition, such as:
Low birth weight
Family history of mood disorders and behavioral issues
Exposure to toxins, drugs or alcohol during pregnancy
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
The mental health community has not developed a reliable test for ADHD, so the condition is diagnosed through a review of the person’s symptoms. The history should include symptoms over a long period of time and in many different situations.
Our mental health counselors may categorize your ADHD as:
- Combined type
- Inattention type