Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder characterized by over activity, impulsivity and the inability to concentrate or focus that impairs social functioning. In childhood, it is the most commonly diagnosed brain disorder. Usually ADHD influence children but if not treated it leads to dysfunctional adulthood life.
Children with ADHD may be overly excited or they may have trouble paying attention and unable control their impulses. These behaviors interfere with their ability to make friends, achieve good grades and perform day-to-day tasks. On the other hand, adults with ADHD may have difficulty managing time, setting goals, being organized and holding onto a job. They may also develop problems with self-esteem, relationships and also have tendencies towards chemical or non-chemical addiction.
Scientists believe there are number of factors that can contribute to ADHD. Studies have revealed that ADHD can be a genetic disorder although no specific gene has been identified. Beside genes, brain damage can directly cause this illness. Furthermore, environmental factors like high exposure to toxins (such as lead) or Alcohol/drug use during pregnancy can also cause ADHD. In comparison to girls, this disorder is very common in boys. Usually parents discover this illness during the early school years, when a child shows the inability to pay attention.
Children or adults with this illness may also develop learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, depression, conduct disorder and substance abuse disorder. In order to identify ADHD, it is important to understand its symptoms. That are categorize into three groups, 1) Inattention 2) Hyperactivity and 3) Impulsivity. Inattention refers to lack of persistence, difficulty in sustaining focus and disorganization. Individuals with this illness may procrastinate. They also wander off or unable to complete given tasks like homework or house chores. In simple words, they frequently move from one uncompleted activity to another. Children who day dream, don’t follow instructions, forget daily activities, don’t appear to listen or lack focus and easily distracted can fall in the category of inattention.
Second group is hyperactivity, includes excessive talks and constant movement or high motor activity. It is very difficult for hyper active children to play or sit quietly. They may walk or run around even if it’s inappropriate, excessive fidgets or taps are also common. In teens and adults, hyperactivity can result in feeling of extreme restlessness.
Third group of symptoms, impulsivity, represents extreme impatience. It means individual take actions in the moment without thinking about the consequences. It also indicates the inability to delay gratification or a desire for immediate rewards. Impulsive children may also blurt out answers, interrupts other or may start argument at inappropriate time.
While there is no cure for ADHD, it is a chronic illness but it can be managed. Seeking professional help can reduces symptoms and improves the quality of life. A complete treatment includes medication, psychotherapy, and training along with support groups.
For people with ADHD, medications help to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. Further improve the ability to focus, learn and work better. Professional use stimulants, sometimes non-stimulants and some FDA approved antidepressant to manage ADHD. It is also very important to monitor appropriate dosage. Medication can produce even better results when used in combination with psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapy that aims to develop insight about one’s own feelings and thoughts that help in improve concentration and focus. It also contributes to reduce impulsivity by providing certain skills like proactivity and mindfulness or meditation. Moreover, behavioral therapy targets a person’s behaviors to change. It allows the individual to monitor his or her own behavior. This therapy encourage in rewarding the desired behavior. It also involves social skills training like reading facial expressions or voice tone of others, so the person can learn to respond appropriately.
In addition, awareness among family members holds utmost importance, especially among parents. Through parenting skills training, they can learn the skills to encourage and reward positive behaviors in their children. They can use the system of reward and consequences to groom the child’s personality. Parent can also learn to implement tough love without enabling and provoking their child. Support groups can also help by providing empathy, sense of belongingness and allow the individual or family to share frustrations.