What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a common mental health condition that can affect both children and adults. ADHD affects people’s behaviour by making them seem restless, have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.
It is thought that a combination of factors like genetics, brain function and structure, are responsible for ADHD.
ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it’s thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of someone with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. However, the way ADHD is inherited is likely to be complex and is not thought to be related to a single genetic fault.
Another research has identified a number of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD from those without the condition, although the exact significance of these is not clear. For example, studies involving brain scans have suggested that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger. Other studies have suggested that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, or that these chemicals may not work properly.
According to information from Mental Health America, the symptoms can be categorized into 3 different problems: Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Often fails to give close attention or makes careless mistakes
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks and/or activities
- Avoid or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Is often easily distracted
- Often losing things needed for tasks like school papers, keys, wallet, phone, etc.
- Often forgets daily tasks such as chores or errands
- Excessive fidgeting, tapping, or talking
- Extreme restlessness or difficulty sitting still
- Interrupting others or finding it hard to wait your turn
- Always “on the go” as if driven by a motor
- Moves around constantly even in situations where it’s not appropriate
- Difficulty with self-control
- Often acting without thinking
- Making decisions before considering long-term consequences
- Needing immediate rewards
ADHD is treatable, it can be treated using medicine or therapy, but a combination of both is often best. Treatment is usually arranged by a specialist, such as a paediatrician or a psychiatrist, although the condition may be monitored by a GP. If you know of someone facing such symptoms, assist him in getting help soon!