ADHD Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment


What is ADHD?


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school going kids and also teenagers. This condition can continue well into adulthood.

ADHD is more common in boys than in girls. It is usually discovered in the early school ages, when a child begins to have problems with paying attention and focusing on something for a period of time.

Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and very impulsive and have the attention span of a fly. These behaviors interfere with social, school, and personal life.

Adults with ADHD usually display symptoms of being disorganized, not being able to manage time, difficulty in setting goals, and holding down a job for a length of time. The adults may also frequently suffer from self-confidence and self-esteem issues, issues in relationships, and may be prone to addictions.


How does ADHD occur?


The exact cause of ADHD is not known, though researchers have found physiological markers which separate people who ADHD from those who don’t. They found that the brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, work differently in children and adults who suffer from ADHD. Even nerve pathways work differently in children with ADHD, than those who do not have this disorder.

Further, the brain of a person with ADHD is generally 5% smaller than someone without ADHD, especially the regions involved in attention, impulse control, and stimulus integration. Imbalanced levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine also play a role in causing ADHD.

People suffering from ADHD have a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity that occurs in academic, occupational, or social settings. The hyperactivity can show up as excessively fidgeting, or talking non-stop, while impulsiveness can show up as impatience, frequently interrupting, or blurting out answers, and inattention can show up as careless mistakes, failing to complete tasks, being disorganized, not able to keep track of things, and getting easily distracted.

The exact cause of ADHD is not known, though researchers have found physiological markers which separate people who ADHD from those who don’t. They found that the brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, work differently in children and adults who suffer from ADHD. Even nerve pathways work differently in children with ADHD, than those who do not have this disorder.

Further, the brain of a person with ADHD is generally 5% smaller than someone without ADHD, especially the regions involved in attention, impulse control, and stimulus integration. Imbalanced levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine also play a role in causing ADHD.

People suffering from ADHD have a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity that occurs in academic, occupational, or social settings. The hyperactivity can show up as excessively fidgeting, or talking non-stop, while impulsiveness can show up as impatience, frequently interrupting, or blurting out answers, and inattention can show up as careless mistakes, failing to complete tasks, being disorganized, not able to keep track of things, and getting easily distracted.


What are the causes of ADHD?


Although the exact cause or causes of ADHD has not been found, there are multiple factors which have been implicated in the development of this disorder. The factors include:

  • Family history
  • Pregnancy problems such as children born with a low birth weight, born premature, or whose mothers had difficult pregnancies have a higher risk of having ADHD.
  • Children who suffered from head injuries especially to the to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the area that controls impulses and emotions.
  • Pregnant women who smoke and indulge in alcohol have a higher risk of having a child with ADHD
  • Exposure to pesticides
  • Exposure to environmental poisons,  such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) especially during pregnancy
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain


What are the symptoms of ADHD? How is ADHD diagnosed?


The symptoms of ADHD include:


Diagnosis


A psychiatrist or a paediatric psychiatrist (in case of a child) can diagnose ADHD with the help of the standard guidelines in, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The doctor may give a questionnaire that is to be filled by the person, which will help to determine whether the person has ADHD or not.

In addition, the doctor will carefully examine the impact of the symptoms on the person’s/child’s life and the performance at work or in school and relationships with family and friends.


What are the complications of ADHD?


The complications related to ADHD include:

  • Poor performance at school
  • Trouble with the law
  • Problems at work
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Frequent car accidents or other accidents
  • Unstable relationships
  • Financial stress
  • Poor physical and mental health


What is the treatment for ADHD?


Medical Treatment for ADHD

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the doctor may prescribe medicines to bring the symptoms under control and also suggest therapies such as behaviour modification, psychotherapy or counselling, and social skills training. For children suffering from  ADHD special education may be suggested.


Exercise

 

Exercising sparks positive changes in the brain. In fact, exercising can help kids with ADHD push past failures and rise up to the challenges of things they did not succeed at before. Walking, running, swimming, yoga, aerobics, taekwondo, and gymnastics are the different forms of exercises anyone with ADHD can do.

Dances such as ballet are also immensely beneficial for people with ADHD.

Would you like to consult a doctor for ADHD Disorder ?

Patient Experiences

Shakshi
Child's Hyperactivity Has Come Down
We consulted Dr vykuntaraju sir for my child being excessively hyper and does not concentrate on work assigned to him. After taking doctor's prescribed medication, my child's hyperactivity has come down and he is concentrating in school. I will recommended the doctor to everyone. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Vykunta Raju K. N
Bangalore child Neurology and Rehabilitation center

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
Sir my son is 5 & half years old now. He was healthy born child with no complications at the time of scizerian. He started talking after speech thrpy. But doctors saying he is autistic or adhd. Poor concentrn..They suggested STEM CELL THERAPY (2 lacs) from his bone marrow from his spine only... Is it proper dignose ? ?
Dr. Chethan R S
General Physician, Bangalore
Hi, following are the diagnostic criteria for ADHD:
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
Often does not seem to listen to what is being said.
Often has difficulties organizing tasks and activities.
Often avoids or strongly dislikes tasks (such as schoolwork or homework) that require sustained mental effort.
Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (school assignments, pencils, books, tools, or toys).
Fidgeting with or tapping hands or feet, squirming in seat.
Leaving seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
Running about or climbing excessively in situations where this behavior is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, this may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).
Difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
Unable to be or uncomfortable being still for extended periods of time (may be experienced by others as “on the go” or difficult to keep up with).
Excessive talking.
Blurting out answers to questions before the questions have been completed.
Hope this is helpful...

Verified User
I find difficult to concentrate on 1 thing at a time.
My attention is scattered everywhere.
Having completed sleeping for 7 hrs I steel feel sleepy many times during day.
Dr. Anamay K. Bidwai
General Surgeon, Chennai
Dear Friend,
you have mentioined ADHD. There good medicine available for this disorder, but you need to undertake few sessions councelling.
But before you that  suggest you do a bit of introspection and see if you are suffering from any stress or anxiety disorder. Also get your BP chekec, do a blood test for thyroid profile and serum cortisol.
I wish you a happy and healthy life.
Dr. Anamay Kamalakar Bidwai
Chennai
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Did you know?

ADHD in school children in India

There is a high prevalence of ADHD among primary school children in India with a higher prevalence among the boys than girls.

Most common among children

Around the globe, between 6 to 7 per cent of children are diagnosed with ADHD, making it the most commonly diagnosed paediatric neurodevelopmental disorder.

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