Defining And Explaining ADHD
ADHD stands for “attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” Someone with ADHD has difficulty concentrating. They can’t focus on things. Likewise, their energy levels tend to run higher than the average person. To an outsider, someone with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder might appear careless. Those with ADHD tend to make impulsive decisions. That is, when they feel an urge to do something, they do it. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder sufferers have trouble exercising self-control.
Varieties Of ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder usually manifests in one of 3 different forms:
- Predominantly inattentive: Distracted easily, has problems completing work, may also struggle with depression and anxiety
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive: Prone to unnecessary movement, may twitch or wriggle the fingers or feet. Small children may not remain seated and might play instead.
- Combined: Displays symptoms of both of the above types.
These different presentations of ADHD can overlap. As a person ages, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms may present themselves differently.
The Symptoms Of ADHD
ADHD symptoms can overlap between the different presentations. Nevertheless, knowing symptoms can provide an advantage. If not for you, then perhaps for someone you care about.
- Inattentive symptoms: little regard for details and tasks, can’t remember own responsibilities, shirks tasks that demand sustained exertion
- Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms: Interrupts or speaks over others, talks a lot, demonstrates little patience, cannot remain still
- Combined symptoms: Both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive characteristics appear.
Possible Causes Of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
No single known cause exists for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, researchers have discovered a few things that can influence it. Thinking of these factors as “causes” will not necessarily help. Instead, think of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a puzzle. Each new research discovery gives us another piece of that puzzle. With more research comes more knowledge. That knowledge offers a new opportunity for treatment.
Technology like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) allows doctors to view a client’s brain development. Mental illnesses like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder tend to show up in the brain. The brains of ADHD sufferers look different than the brains of those without ADHD. This study found differences in five significant brain areas. Further research continues to explore the relationship between the brain and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Research has also linked brain injuries to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Some studies indicate that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder develops in utero. Pregnant women who smoke have a much greater chance of having a baby with ADHD. The likelihood of a baby with ADHD also increased in pregnant women who drank alcohol.
Complications During Birth
Reduced birth weight provides a significant increase in the likelihood of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. 7.5 lbs (3.5 kg) constitutes an average birth weight. Doctors consider a “low” birth weight as beneath 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg). Premature birth (more than 3 weeks prior to a baby’s due date) also has an established link to ADHD.
Exposure to lead can influence the development of ADHD as well. The exposure might occur during pregnancy. Or, it might happen shortly after birth. Even low levels of lead have a positive correlation with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
How To Treat ADHD
Remember, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder does not have to dictate a person’s entire life. Do not view ADHD as insurmountable. Research on how to treat ADHD does exist. Southeast Addiction offers several treatment options.
In terms of ADHD medications, you may know the names “Adderall” and “Ritalin.” Doctors have used these medications for decades. More recent medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder include Focalin and Vyvanse. Vyvanse only requires 1 dose per day. In one study, participants noticed effects after only 2 hours. A study of Focalin concluded that all participants continued to use it after the study. None of them reported negative side effects.
Parenting a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can prove difficult. Thankfully, treatment providers offer specific training courses for parents. These courses can lower stress for parents. Furthermore, parents who take these courses tend to have better-behaved kids.
Humans struggle with our thoughts. Often, it seems like we identify ourselves with our thoughts. As though they have mastery over us. Behavior therapies help us to examine and audit our thoughts. Among those with ADHD, cognitive behavior therapy(CBT) reduces anxiety. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) helped participants feel like they actively participated in their own therapy. As a result, the researchers recommended DBT as a treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Life often feels chaotic. For an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder sufferer, this sense of chaos may feel extreme. Creating a routine gives balance. It helps provide a sense of purpose and guidance. A routine, no matter how it flows, tells us what to do and when to do it. The routine itself will vary from person to person. Work with your treatment provider to nail down a routine that works best for you.
Nutrition can play a role in easing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. The standard American diet provides very little nutritional sustenance. Most of us eat too much sugar, too little protein, and too few vegetables and fruits. Changing one’s nutrition, especially the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, can improve overall brain function. A cure? No. But proper nutrition lends one more tool to our arsenal.
What To Do If You Want To Know More About ADHD
You’ve learned about ADHD. You know some factors that can lead to its development. After that, you found some options for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Remember that hope exists for you and/or your loved one.
If you would like more information on how to treat ADHD, contact Southeast Addiction now.