Everyone may have heard about ADHD and the majority of children think they have ADHD. I know this as my younger sister who is aged 13, got diagnosed with ADHD herself. So, what does it mean to have ADHD?
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people's behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse. ADHD people have differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control.
People with ADHD have trouble with a group of key skills known as executive function. And that creates challenges in many areas of life, from school to work to everyday living. For example, people with ADHD often struggle to get organized, follow directions, and manage their emotions.
More than 60% of children with ADHD still exhibit symptoms as adults. But for many people, ADHD symptoms decrease or become less frequent as they get older.
Symptoms of ADHD
A wide range of behaviours are associated with ADHD. Some of the more common ones include:
· Having trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
· Being forgetful about completing tasks
· Being easily distracted
· Having difficulty sitting still
· Interrupting people while they’re talking
Types of ADHD
There are different types of ADHD that may affect a person with ADHD such as:
· Predominantly inattentive = have extreme difficulty focusing, finishing tasks, and following instructions
· Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type = show primarily hyperactive and impulsive behaviour.
· Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive type = inability to pay attention, a tendency toward impulsiveness, and above-normal levels of activity and energy.
Causes of ADHD
Research suggests that a reduction in dopamine is a factor in ADHD. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that helps move signals from one nerve to another. It plays a role in triggering emotional responses and movements.
Other research suggests a structural difference in the brain. Findings indicate that people with ADHD have less gray matter volume. Gray matter includes the brain areas that help with:
· Muscle control
Researchers are still studying potential causes of ADHD, such as smoking during pregnancy. Find out more about the potential causes and risk factors of ADHD.
Treatments of ADHD
Treatment for ADHD typically includes behavioural therapies, medication, or both.
Types of therapy include psychotherapy or talk therapy. With talk therapy, you or your child will discuss how ADHD affects your life and ways to help you manage it.
Another therapy type is behavioural therapy. This therapy can help you or your child with learning how to monitor and manage your behaviour.
Medication can also be very helpful when you’re living with ADHD. ADHD medications are designed to affect brain chemicals in a way that enables you to better control your impulses and actions.