Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder of the brain that prohibits the individual from being able to have consistent concentration and is often detectable by noticing an acute pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that hinders daily life. A person with ADHD wanders off task, has difficulty remaining focused, is unorganized.
Hyperactivity is an inability to sit still and a person who struggles with it seems to move about constantly, including instances where moving is not appropriate. Individuals with ADHD excessively fidget, tap, or talk. The excessive activity can be draining to those around them.
ADHD individuals also tend to make hasty decisions or actions that occur in the moment with little to no thought and could potentially put themselves in danger. They struggle with the ability to delay gratification.
Signs and Symptoms
Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms are indicative of ADHD. These symptoms may be in conjunction with one another or they may not. The combination of ADHD is most prevalent in children.
The following symptoms are common in individuals with ADHD:
- Overlook or miss details
- Problems maintaining attentiveness for extended periods of time
- Lack of listening
- Follow through with directions
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Avoid or dislike tasks that require mental focus
- Typically loses things often
- Be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
- Inability to sit still
- Inability to be quiet in structured situations like classrooms
- Constantly in motion
- Excessive talking
- Issues speaking in turn
- Interrupting during conversation or activities
Individuals who display symptoms of ADHD require an evaluation by a licensed medical professional. ADHD symptoms can appear as early as three years old and can continue through adulthood. Adults with ADHD may have a history of difficulty in school, problems at work, or difficulty maintaining platonic or romantic relationships.
Treatment and Therapies
There is no cure for ADHD, as with many mental health illnesses, but there are treatments available to help improve the daily lives of those who suffer. These treatments include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of multiple treatments
ADHD medications have been known to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and is a common treatment method to help children and individuals to help improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. It takes time to identify the right medication and several may be tried before the correct prescription and dosage is found that helps the individual. Medications that have been administered to help ADHD patients have to be closely monitored for side effects and effectiveness.
Stimulants are the most common medication used to treat individuals with ADHD. Stimulants are effective because they treat the brains ability to think and be attentive.
There are several different therapies that can be used to address individuals who struggle with the symptoms of ADHD. Psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and family therapy may be used to help address attentiveness or inconsistent behavior patterns. Therapists can help individuals learn how to cope with episodes and develop tools that can help them remain focused, mindful, and attentive. While not every therapy is the same, it can be extremely helpful to improving an ADHD sufferer’s quality of life.