Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are conditions that typically affect children and may continue into adult years. Both conditions are considered psychiatric disorders, where certain symptoms are displayed. Symptoms of ADD and ADHD include, hyperactivity, impulsivity, problems with attention and concentration, and more. These symptoms lead to problems both at home and in school. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 3 to 5 percent of children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADD and ADHD may continue throughout adolescence and adult years.
Individuals suffering from attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may display many different symptoms. While children typically lack attentiveness and are hyperactive, children with these disorders display more severe symptoms. Adults may experience trouble with concentration, time management, and others.
There is no known cause of attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, there are a few different factors that researchers believe may contribute to these conditions.
- Several studies have been done to show that certain genes can increase the chances of developing ADD/ADHD. The genes are passed from parents to children.
- Studies show that there may be a link between consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking while pregnant and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Certain imbalances of chemicals in the brain are believed to lead to ADHD/ADD.
A medical professional diagnoses attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Since all children are different and develop differently, many times, normal traits may be mistaken for the two conditions. An individual typically displays symptoms between the ages of 3 and 6. There is no test available to diagnose ADD or ADHD. It is up to a psychiatrist or medical professional to diagnose the condition. Typically, information is gathered about the child or adult that may conclude whether or not the individual is suffering from ADD/ADHD, or another medical condition.
- Impulsivity, hyperactivity, or inattentiveness must be present before the age of 12
- Symptoms are disruptive at home, work, school, in relationships, or other social aspects
- More than one symptom must be present
- Symptoms are not related to another medical condition or mental disorder
Although there is no cure, different treatments are used to help reduce the symptoms of attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Treatment includes medication, psychotherapy, education, and others.
- There are a variety of medications on the market today that help to relieve symptoms of ADD and ADHD. Typically, the medications are stimulants that help to balance out the symptoms. All medications will act differently depending on the individual.
- Psychotherapy is used to manage and change behavior. Behavioral therapy can help to change actions, impulses, and other symptoms of the medical conditions.