A Summary of ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a mental health disorder that can be seen in both children and adults, though the symptoms differ somewhat. The condition is primarily marked by hyperactivity or by difficulty paying attention. ADHD symptoms significantly affect the lives of those who are diagnosed. It can cause relationship issues and difficulty keeping a job, along with a host of other struggles.

ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD in children is categorized as inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. Each subset comes with its own set of symptoms. There is no one particular ADHD test for diagnosis.

Inattentive:

  • Trouble following directions
  • Seldom finishes tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Daydreams often
  • Loses things easily
  • Doesn’t pay attention
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Forget things
  • Can’t sit still for long periods
  • Is not well-organized

Hyperactive:

  • Fidgets, squirms and bounces in seat
  • Frequently running, climbing or jumping
  • Difficulty playing quietly
  • Always on the go
  • Talks constantly

Impulsive:

  • Interrupts others
  • Blurts out answers
  • Cannot wait turn

ADHD in adults presents itself quite differently than in children. They tend toward the inattentive, and symptoms may change as a person ages.

Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic lateness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Easily frustrated
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor anger control
  • Procrastination
  • Disorganized
  • Mood swings
  • Easily bored
  • Work problems

Treatment for ADHD

ADHD treatments vary, but often involve a combination of medication and therapy. ADHD medications are usually in the stimulant category. Common prescription drugs for the treatment of ADHD are Focalin, Concerta, Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin, among others. Some people don’t respond well to stimulants and may be prescribed a non-stimulant medication such as Strattera, Clonidine and Intuniv. Behavior modification is a treatment modality that is effective in helping those with ADHD to notice and change their problematic behaviors. Special education classes can assist students to learn in a less distracted environment. Psychotherapy allows people to process emotions associated with the struggles of ADHD, and social skills training teaches appropriate behavior to improve issues such as difficulty taking turns or waiting to be called upon.

Those with ADHD can function successfully in day to day activities. They may simply need to learn some proactive strategies to compensate for inattentiveness or hyperactivity.