Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic mental disorder responsible for reduced attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. Individuals who have this mental disease may exhibit one or more of these symptoms.
This condition affects both children and adults, and you can manage it through therapy and medication. If you suspect that you may have ADHD, herein is a checklist that’ll help you cross out your symptoms to confirm your fears. Before that, take a look at an overview of what causes ADHD.
What Causes ADHD?
Even after years of research and study, scientists and doctors worldwide have not yet pinned down the specific cause of this condition. However, some researches insinuate that genetics plays a significant role in passing down this syndrome. As such, relatives of a person with the disorder are at risk of falling for the same fate.
Other groups of people at risk of suffering ADHD are premature babies born before week 37 and those born with epilepsy. Anyone who suffered brain damage before and after birth also falls in this category.
Considering that it is an illness that affects the brain, researchers conclude that a difference in an ADHD patient brain structure contributes to this condition.
Long-standing research also suggests that less grey matter volume plays a significant role in accentuating the condition. Seeing that gray matter develops during childhood and adolescence, it means that people who have ADHD may not have well-developed brains.
Seeing that most children have a short attention span, some parents ignore significant warning signs that indicate their children need ADHD treatment. Some discover the problem after the child is developed and headed into their teens.
Others are lucky enough to nub the sickness before it interferes with the child’s learning and interactions with their peers. Guardians can salvage the situation if they consult a family doctor, psychiatrist, or neurologist for a possible ADHD treatment plan.
Types of ADHD
ADHD manifests itself in three significant ways in both children and adults. The symptoms are notable in pre-school kids, but they are more pronounced in school-going children from age 7. These three ADHD types are:
- Combined type – People with this type of ADHD have symptoms of both hyperactive and inattentive behavior.
- Hyperactive or impulsive type – Individuals who have impulsive ADHD find it difficult to settle in one spot for prolonged hours. They tend to move from one point to the other and are easily distracted.
- Inattentive type – This lot fails to pay attention to detail at work or in school and makes unnecessary mistakes.
Do I Have ADHD?
If you suspect that you or someone within your circle has ADHD, use this checklist to rule out the possibility or otherwise.
- You cannot sit put in one position for too long.
- You make careless mistakes at work or school.
- You do not follow through with instructions and never complete assignments or projects.
- You are easily distracted.
- Often, you find yourself lost in thoughts during productive hours.
- It isn’t easy to plan and organize daily tasks.
- You talk excessively
- Waiting for your turn is never an option.
- You interrupt others in a conversation or take charge of situations that you’re not assigned.
- Fidgeting and squirming is prevalent when you’re supposed to be still.
- You like taking uncalculated risks.
- Your attention span is short.
- You have a forgetful mind.
- You blurt out answers.
If you have more than five of these symptoms, you likely need ADHD treatment and therapy that’ll help you manage the condition and live a productive life.
Psychiatrists consider several factors before diagnosing you with ADHD. First, the doctor will ask whether you or your loved one has experienced the symptoms for at least six consecutive months. They will want to know if the signs manifested themselves before you turned 12 years.
The doctor will inquire whether you experience these symptoms in more than one setting. They also pay attention to ADHD symptoms that make your life strenuous. Finally, they will assess you to find out the type of ADHD you suffer from, and you have to exhibit at least five of these characteristics before they diagnose you with ADHD.
Assessment will take place in three different steps. The psychiatrist schedules a physical examination test with the patient. At this stage, they will observe how the patient behaves when given simple tasks to complete or how they behave around people.
In the case of children, an interview with both the child and their guardian is essential. These can be done separately or conjoined depending on the doctor’s requirements. If you have other family members within your home, they may also be part of this series of interviews.
The doctor will also want to have a sit down with your child’s teacher. This helps to confirm or rule out your suspicion.
After ascertaining that you or your child has ADHD, your doctor will provide a treatment plan. But before you can embark on that journey, they recommend a period of watchful waiting that lasts up to 10 weeks. During this time, you’ll have to watch your child’s actions and document them.
This period aims to see whether the symptoms will recede, remain constant, or worsen. After this phase, you’ll visit the doctor for a treatment option. The type of treatments available for ADHD are medications and therapy.
The pharmaceutical board authorizes five types of drugs for the treatment of this condition. These are atomoxetine, guanfacine, dexamfetamine, lisdexamfetamine, and methylphenidate. These stimulants take preference since they have a track record of performing well in both children and adults.
This option is recommended for anyone who is six years or older. The dose administered will differ from one patient to another, depending on the type of ADHD they suffer from and its severity. When it comes to pre-school kids, the recommended treatment option is therapy.
Dealing with ADHD children is a difficult task, which is why health caregivers recommend all-inclusive therapy. It would be pointless to administer ADHD treatment to an ailing child, yet the parents do not know how to handle the patient at home.
Parents or guardians and teachers go through behavioral therapy to help them encourage positive behavior in children. Parents are encouraged to reward good habits, while teachers learn how to plan activities that factor in students with ADHD.
They also learn how to sensitize other students on this condition and ways they can help their ADHD classmates conquer the disease. Special parenting meetings also allow the guardians to acquire better communication tactics and interaction options to include in their routine.
Your child has to participate in psychoeducation, where their doctor encourages them to discuss ADHD and its effects. They may join a support group with other patients to help them cope and live with the syndrome.
The team also talks about the medication’s effects to prepare the patients before they start the treatment process.
A Word From Us
Even though ADHD is chronic, it has treatment options to help the patient cope with it. A psychiatrist needs to assess your condition before administering ADHD treatment. If you do not qualify for medicine, therapy, and lifestyle changes come into play to help alleviate the situation.
Bio Author: Sara Anderson is the head of content for the Mango Clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class health care services. She has been associated with the healthcare industry for 5+ years and specializes in health care and medical content.