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ADHD Symptoms & Treatment
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very commonplace neurodevelopmental disorder. People with ADHD may be hyperactive and have trouble sitting still or keeping their minds on anything for very long. Some individuals with ADHD may have trouble paying attention to details or will often make seemingly careless mistakes. Further, these issues can result in difficulty making and sustaining relationships. Likewise, ADHD can make performing daily tasks at work or school just that much harder. Many people with ADHD also have problems controlling impulsive behavior.
ADHD symptoms can show up as early as age 3 and can continue into adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can interfere with school, work, and relationships. In children, common signs and symptoms of ADHD include excessive daydreaming, lack of impulse control, constant squirming and fidgeting, an overly talkative nature, forgetfulness, and more. While most of these indicators are typical for children, those living with ADHD likely express these traits at a higher-than-expected level.
Norepinephrine and dopamine are neurotransmitters that are important for a lot of things, including focus. People with ADHD generally have lower-than-normal levels of these chemicals. This can make it much more difficult for them to pay attention and control impulsive behavior, resulting in many of the previously mentioned signs of ADHD.
The 3 Types of ADHD Include:
1. Predominantly Inattentive Type: This type is characterized by difficulties sustaining attention. This can result in a person seeming forgetful or as if they are constantly daydreaming.
2. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: People with this type of ADHD tend to be excessively fidgety and have trouble sitting still. They may also be impulsive, acting without thinking things through first.
3. Combined Type: This type is a combination of the previous 2 types, characterized by both inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
ADHD is diagnosed by a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist or psychologist. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a person must have exhibited at least 6 symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity for at least 6 months. These symptoms must appear early in life, before age 12, and cause problems in more than one area of the person’s life. In addition, the symptoms cannot be part of another psychiatric disorder. For parents whose child is diagnosed with ADHD, know that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder impacts nearly 10% of all children. While not quite as common, there are plenty of adults who have ADHD, many of whom have made it through life undiagnosed.
ADHD treatment generally includes some form of counseling or therapy as well as medication. Stimulant medications are the most common type of medication used to treat ADHD. These medications help increase focus and attention while also decreasing impulsive behaviors. Non-stimulant medications are also sometimes used to treat ADHD. These medications typically take longer to work than stimulants but can be just as effective.
If you or someone you know is struggling with ADHD, know that you are not alone. Nickischer & Associates is here to help. Our team of mental health professionals can provide the support and resources needed to manage ADHD. Contact us today to learn more about our services.