Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurologically-based disorder characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, disorganization, or a combination of these behaviors, which is present in multiple settings (e.g., school, home, work, church, etc.). Children with ADHD are typically much more active or impulsive than what is usual for their age. These behaviors contribute to significant problems in relationships, learning, and behavior. For this reason, children who have ADHD are sometimes seen as being “difficult” or as having behavior problems. People who have ADHD often have problems getting along with other people because they may have difficulty controlling impulses.
ADHD is more prevalent in boys than girls, although some believe that girls are under-diagnosed as some may not display hyperactive or impulsive behaviors the same as boys. You may be more familiar with the term attention deficit disorder (ADD). This disorder was renamed in 1994 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
A thorough evaluation is usually necessary for proper diagnosis. Although some psychiatrists and physicians will diagnose and medicate upon observance of symptoms, medication without a proper differential diagnosis is not best practice, especially because symptoms of other psychiatric disorders or educational issues such as anxiety or a learning disability may present similar to ADHD. Contact Tashawna K. Duncan, Ph.D., P.A. for additional information regarding an evaluation and treatment.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
- Difficulty following instructions
- Difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities at school, work and home
- Loses things needed for activities at school, work and home
- Appears not to listen
- Lacks close attention to details
- Seems disorganized
- Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
- Forgets things
- Is easily distracted
- Runs or climbs inappropriately
- Can’t play quietly
- Blurts out answers
- Interrupts people
- Can’t stay in seat
- Talks too much
- Is always on the go
- Has trouble waiting his or her turn
Children with ADHD have a high level of comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders, which often results in simultaneous display of other symptoms and behaviors.
What causes ADHD?
The cause is still relatively unknown; however, most studies lead to organic causes. For example, the brains of children with ADHD were found to be different than the brains of those without ADHD.