ADD/ADHD Factual Data Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) refers to a group of symptoms that begin in infancy and can continue into adulthood, causing difficulties for people at home, at school, at their jobs, and within their communities. The severity of symptoms varies among people with ADHD. Some people have difficulty with overactivity (hyperactivity), while others have difficulty remembering, thinking, making judgments, and solving problems. The most common symptom of ADHD is difficulty remaining focused on a task until it is completed. People with ADHD have a hard time completing tasks that are boring, repetitive, or difficult for them.
Many people with ADHD have trouble controlling their impulses. Impulsiveness usually continues into adulthood and often interferes with keeping a job and developing personal relationships. Although most people with ADHD do not appear overactive, they may often feel restless or be outwardly fidgety. ADHD is often associated with other conditions, such as learning disabilities and behavioral problems. The symptoms of these conditions are often mistaken for symptoms of ADHD. Before the greatest benefit from ADHD treatment can be achieved, any other conditions should be identified and treated.
The person who has an attention deficit hyperactive disorder with no other conditions tends to do better in school and to get along better with other people than the person who has ADHD with other conditions. ADHD (with or without other conditions) may lead to anxiety or depression, poor school performance, and problems with social behavior. The exact cause of attention deficit hyperactive disorder is not known. There is evidence that ADHD is an inherited disorder. Studies have shown that about 30% – 40% of children with ADHD come from families in which other members have the disorder. Siblings of children who have ADHD are twice as likely to have ADHD as siblings of children who do not have ADHD. Another possible cause of ADHD is an abnormal functioning of the chemical systems within the brain.
Studies indicate that people with ADHD may not have enough of the brain chemical called dopamine and too much of the brain chemical norepinephrine. It is also thought that ADHD may be caused by abnormal functioning of part of the brain. Areas of the prefrontal lobe in people with ADHD appear different from these areas in people who do not have ADHD. Some other causes of ADHD include, alcohol or other drug use during pregnancy, problems during delivery that cause injury to the brain, Infections that cause brain damage, and poor nutrition during the babys first year of life Contrary to a widespread belief among parents and many child-care workers, most ADHD is rarely caused by food allergies. A few studies suggest that a few children may benefit from diet changes, especially children younger than 5. However, diet restrictions are beneficial in the treatment of ADHD in only rare cases.
Having a child follow a restricted diet may create conflict within the family and actually take attention away from beneficial treatment methods. Diet does not contribute to the symptoms of ADHD, but children who have allergies might be better able to deal with ADHD if they avoid the foods they are allergic to. The symptoms of attention deficit hyperactive disorder include difficulty maintaining attention, or having an attention span that is shorter than expected for a persons age. A person with a short attention span can be easily distracted. Children with ADHD often concentrate well on activities that do not tax their attention, such as television or computer games. They may become so involved in these activities that it is hard to redirect their attention. Children with ADHD have a difficult time with tasks that require attention to detail and that take a long time to complete, such as model building.
Another symptom is difficulty controlling impulses, it can cause a person to do dangerous things without thinking about the consequences. Temper outbursts may be extreme and may occur without reason. This symptom is highly likely to continue into adulthood. When a child with ADHD is in a busy environment, such as in a grocery store, he or she often becomes distracted and reacts by pulling items off the shelves, hitting people, or acting silly. In school children with ADHD have problems waiting their turn or waiting in line, and they interrupt other childrens games.
Adults with ADHD reveal impulsivity through their difficulty in looking back on or reconsidering their behavior. It leads to work performance that isn’t steady and difficulties in personal relationships. These people may engage in reckless, self-indulgent, or antisocial activities. The term hyperactivity can be confusing because it need not refer to continuous behavior. The person with ADHD may have only episodes of being overactive.
Most children with ADHD are not overactive, and some may even be described as being less active than normal. But children whose main symptom is hyperactivity. Hyperactivity may range from fidgeting in a seat to being unable to remain seated. Adolescents and adults may be fidgety. Some adults with ADHD say that they feel restless even when it is not noticeable by others. Diagnosis Most often, attention deficit hyperactive disorder is first diagnosed in school-aged children 6 – 11 years old.
The childs behavior in family, social, and school settings will help determine if ADHD is present. ADHD is a possible diagnosis when the behavior is more frequent than that of most people of the same mental ability. Has continued for at least 6 months, and has happened before 7 years old. ADHD is usually diagnosed by a detailed description of problem behaviors, that is done during the history exam and the physical exam. Several written tests can be given to parents and teachers to evaluate the childs symptoms they could use tests that evaluate the childs learning and problem-solving abilities Before ADHD can be diagnosed in an adult, he or she has to have had symptoms since childhood, and the symptoms must affect the adults present behavior . The Wender Utah Scale (WURS) evaluates adults for symptoms of ADHD during childhood.
The WURS is used to establish a history of ADHD in childhood and the presence of ADHD characteristics in adulthood. Other tests have been developed to evaluate ADHD symptoms in adulthood but have not been proven as valid tests for the disorder. Many adults with ADHD have never been diagnosed or treated. In adults, ADHD can lead to low self-esteem, frustration, and educational or job failure. Untreated adults are at risk for problems such as drug abuse and depression. ADHD in adults is diagnosed if hyper activity has continued since childhood, and at least 4 of the following characteristics have been present, mood swings, can’t complete tasks, have temper problems, including being irritable, being easily provoked, and being prone to explosive anger, if they have problems with relationship, or difficulty dealing with stress.