ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder which makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. It usually appears in early childhood, before the age of seven and makes it difficult for the children to restrain their spontaneous responses. Though sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between normal behavior and ADHD, as just a few signs of it may not exactly amount to ADHD. However, if there are many signs which points the situation to this disorder, then it’s time to take a closer look.
What causes ADHD?
A research suggests that it may be caused by interactions between genes and environmental or non-genetic factors. Some factors that contribute to ADHD (Inattentive) are:-
- Smoking/Drinking/Using drugs during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Brain injuries
- Exposure to environmental toxins
Symptoms of ADHD:
The symptoms of ADHD are easily noticeable, even before the age of 6. Though many people can have some of the symptoms related to ADHD, but it doesn’t necessarily point towards the disorder. ADHD is diagnosed and treated only when the symptoms are severe and not very recent or occasional.
The diagnosis and treatment can be difficult in the case of ADHD, as many of the symptoms are similar to some other mental health conditions. And if the person is suffering from more than one disorder, which is common, then it’s complicated to specify which mental condition is causing the problems and how to prepare treatment for it.
These symptoms are:-
Inattentiveness: People with Inattentive ADHD are easily distracted and make careless mistakes because of the difficulties they face in focusing, and organizing their tasks and activities. Signs of inattentiveness are:-
- Having a short attention span
- Easily distracted person
- Appearing forgetful
- Having difficulty organizing tasks
- Constantly changing activities
Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness: Hyperactivity and Impulsivity makes it difficult for the person to stay seated. They usually struggle with self-control and are always interrupting others or just blurting out something as they are mostly doing things without giving it a forethought. Signs of Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness are:-
- Being unable to concentrate on tasks
- Excessive talking
- Acting without thinking
- Interrupting conversations
- Excessive physical movements
- Unable to wait for their turn
Treatment of ADHD:
Treatment for ADHD can help in relieving the symptoms and make it easier to cope with the condition every day. There’s no cure for ADHD, it can only be managed through the required support or medication, if necessary.
It can be treated through medication, therapy, education and training, and some school-based programs. The treatment is usually different for each patient as a personalized treatment plan is prepared to meet the specific needs of the patient.
Some ADHD medications are proved to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve the ability to learn, focus, and work.
- Stimulants: Stimulants are considered effective for attention deficit disorder treatment because it increases the brain chemical dopamine, which plays an essential role in thinking and attention.
- Non-Stimulant: Non-Stimulants are provided when the patient was not well-suited with the stimulants if the stimulant was not effective enough, or to provide a combination of both to increase its effectiveness.
With therapy, other health problems associated with ADHD are also treated through one of the many kinds of therapy. Therapy is not effective enough to treat ADHD, but it may help the patients to cope with the daily challenges in a better way.
Education and Training:
It includes Parenting skills training, stress management techniques, and support groups where the patients are guided towards reaching their full potential and overcoming the disorder. Mental health professionals try to help the child and their parents learn new skills, attitude, and ways of relating to each, in order to cope with the situation.
Some schools provide special education to the children suffering from ADHD. The education specialists help the child by making some changes in the classroom or assignments so that it suits the needs of the child and help in succeeding.
Caring for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
It can be very stressful to take care of a child suffering from ADHD. What’s important to know is that the child is unable to control the behavior before acting on it. As frustrating as it can be, there are many responsibilities that the parents can fulfil to control the symptoms and to overcome the daily challenges.
- Plan and Organize: Planning the day can be helpful as the child would know what is required. Keeping a routine would make a huge difference as it would inhibit the child from skipping the tasks.
- Encourage exercising: By encouraging to participate in more physical activities, the child will be able to sleep better and improve concentration levels while doing an activity. It will also burn off the excess energy and improve the health.
- Positive attitude: Keeping a positive attitude lets you see things from a better perspective as it would help in remaining calm and stay connected with your child. Emphasizing on negative language can make the disruptive behavior worse.
- Social Intervention: Children with ADHD may have difficulty in being a part of social situations. They may talk too much, interrupt, or come off aggressively, which makes them a part of the social stigma. This may affect their situation further as they feel isolated and disconnected. Helping the child in dealing with this problem can make the situation better with time.
- Stay Calm and Don’t get overwhelmed: Due to overstressing, the situation can become worse as parents may not take care of things as effectively they can. Remaining calm can help in solving the problems and communicate better.