Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Author’s Bio: Paige Lamb has a degree in Psychology. As a passionate medical worker, she enjoys writing about health topics to provide insight to everyone.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is most commonly found during the stages of childhood and young adulthood. This disorder consists of both sensory and behavioral issues. 

Types of ADHD

Three forms of ADHD can occur; these include:
  • Hyperactive-impulsive
  • Inattentive
  • Combined Type
    • The estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey, is 6.1 million (9.4%).”
    • ADHD is actually one of the most common mental health issues that affects children and young adults.
    • The Hyperactive-Impulsive type group needs constant movement. People in this group often squirm, fidget, and struggle to stay still and seated. Children in this group usually are labeled as “driven by a motor” and run around excessively.
    • People of all ages constantly struggle with self-control, talk excessively, and talk over others. This type is common in young boys.
    • Inattentive type groups have the most difficulty with attention, organization, and following detailed instructions. Working memory is not strong for people within this group. The Inattentive type group is also often easily distracted and has trouble keeping up with their belongings. This form of the disorder was previously known as ADD and is most commonly diagnosed for girls and adults.
    • Combined type groups must exhibit at least six or more symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Causes of ADHD

There are still no known causes of this disorder. There is a lot of research that has been done on the causes and triggers of hyperactivity. Some possible reasons include: 

  • Low birth weight 
  • Premature birth 
  • Exposure to drugs 
  • Nicotine use during pregnancy 


Symptoms of ADHD

Most symptoms of ADHD often surface in social situations like at school or home. For a diagnosis to be made, these symptoms must be present in 2 or more settings. Symptoms can overlap one another. Some of these symptoms include: 

  •  Trouble focusing on the present task 
  • Difficulty following instructions 
  • Becoming confused easily 
  • Daydreaming 
  • Difficulty learning and organizing new information

Diagnosis of ADHD

  • In most cases, doctors will have to observe a person’s behavior to diagnose ADHD. To be diagnosed as a person with ADHD, at least six out of the nine symptoms should be present. 
  • People with ADHD symptoms have to be so severe to the point where completing daily tasks and activities becomes a chore. In some cases, doctors provide medical exams for patients to rule out any other possible causes of these symptoms. 

ADHD Treatments

  • Medication and behavior therapy are the most common types of treatments for this disorder. Intervention strategies are very common in behavioral therapy and are used the most on children.
  • These strategies help children in their organization and increase behavioral goals with the help of parents and teachers. Therapy and counseling are also options for children that experience emotional issues due to their inattention issues.
  • Medication
  • Stimulants are the most common type of medication used for treating ADHD. Stimulants are chemicals that allow the brain to focus, manage, and reduce the urges of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  • Common stimulants used to treat ADHD symptoms are Adderall and Ritalin. These can help children focus for longer periods, which can increase their attention span.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that “70-80 percent of people with ADHD respond very well to medical treatments.” But, there are possible side effects that could potentially happen with taking these medications, which include: dry mouth, decreased appetite, mood changes, and sleep disturbances.
  • Behavioral Therapy Behavioral therapy helps children and adults with ADHD function in everyday life activities such as work, school, and home. With this therapy, getting rid of distractions is important so that a successful life is possible. Some things that can enhance these factors are:
-Creating and sticking to a routine -Stopping distractions while doing work -Making sure instructions are clear and concise -Giving yourself rewards for good behavior and for children giving positive rewards for their good behaviors. ADHD is a lifelong disorder that requires a lot of maintenance and attention just as much as any other disorder. However, there is hope for maintaining a life of routine. When this disorder is treated correctly, people can stay happy and content within their lives.

Diagnoses of ADHD

After reading this, parents may be wondering if their child’s behavior is normal and a part of their developmental stage, or if it is possibly ADHD.
  • Preschoolers and young children show signs of having a lot of energy and have difficulty following directions and taking turns. These behaviors can be age appropriate but they can also be signs of ADHD.
  • Teenagers are also sometimes resistant to follow rules or pay attention. This may be from them being moody or irritable and could be a part of normal teenage development. This behavior can also be a sign of ADHD.

Living with ADHD

People with ADHD typically require accommodations at school and work through resources, and support especially during the developmental stages of childhood. In the classroom, it is usually required for a child to sit still for long periods of time. For children with this disorder, it is better for their information to be learned in chunks instead of all together. This allows children to take breaks in between learning and keep their attention span on track. These accommodations not only help the student but also helps parents discover new ways to teach their children living with ADHD.

It can be tough trying to pick apart what is normal development versus ADHD. The key to diagnosing this disorder is determining the impact of the symptoms on the person. Doctor’s observations and physical exams, along with a detailed history of ongoing issues are important when diagnosing ADHD. Your doctor can also collect information from other people like parents and teachers.

Online Telehealth Services

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data and Statistics About ADHD. Accessed on January 1, 2020, at ​http://​