What is ADHD?

It is a mental disorder; characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In simple words, it is a condition in which person has difficulty in paying attention and focusing on tasks, acts without thinking and has trouble in sitting still.

The person with ADHD have three main symptoms:

  • Inattention: It’s having difficulty in concentrating on a task and following instructions and disorganized behavior. These problems are not due to defiance.
  • Over activity/Hyperactivity: Constant restlessness and fidgeting without sitting still for a while.
  • Impulsivity: Talking over the top of others and making decisions in hustle without thinking about consequences, having a ‘short fuse’.

Causes of ADHD:

Exact causes of ADHD are not clear but there are some factors which are considered for development of ADHD. These include:

  • Genetics: Studies indicate that it may be genetic and runs in families, some other heredity attributes may come due to the use of toxic substances during pregnancy or due to exposure to severe illness, brain injury or trauma.
  • Environment: Environmental factors play a major role in its advancement such as stress.
  • Dietary Exposure: Studies indicate that excessive use of sugar, sweetened food, and food additives could play important part in development of ADHD.

Age Group Affected by ADHD:

It is commonly indicated among age group 6-12-year-old children. Adults may also suffer from ADHD but it is mostly studied and seen in kids. ADHD symptoms can emerge as early as between the ages of 3 and 6 and can prolong through teens and adulthood.

Diagnosis of ADHD:

Diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed clinician, such as a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD. The doctors use guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association to diagnose ADHD. It is ADHD criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Curing of ADHD:

The treatment of ADHD is categorized into two parts. It can be treated using medications or by therapy but a combination of both is usually the best.

Medication Treatment of ADHD:

There are several medications used to treat ADHD. These include stimulants, non-stimulants, antidepressant etc. Doctors always try stimulants first as they have been in use for a long time. Stimulants boost and balance levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and help the brain control impulses and control behavior. They help the patient to focus on work and learn.

These are few medicines licensed for treatment:

  • methylphenidate
  • dexamfetamine
  • lisdexamfetamine
  • atomoxetine
  • guanfacine

Therapy Treatment of ADHD:

Therapy is also effective in treating additional problems, such as conduct or anxiety disorders, that may appear with ADHD. Counseling is provided by a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or other mental health care professional to the children with ADHD.

Examples of therapy include:

  • Behavior therapy: It involves the behavior management with the reward system. The kid is given a reward for complying with a certain good behavior or a privilege is removed for bad behavior. Teachers and parents are most important part of this therapy. They can praise and encourage child for good behavior.
  • Psychotherapy: This allows older children with ADHD to talk about issues which trouble them, discover negative behavioral and learn ways to cope with their symptoms.
  • Parenting skills training: Programs designed especially for training the parents to deal with their ADHD child can help a lot. These help parents to develop ways to understand their child’s behavior and working with them to improve their attention and behavior.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy can help parents and siblings deal with the stress of living with someone who has ADHD.
  • Social skills training: This can help children learn appropriate social behaviors. It aims to teach them how to behave in social situations by learning how their behavior affects others.

Supplements:

Few studies suggests that supplements of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial for people with ADHD. Although evidence is very little; but still, these supplements have a good effect on brain health.