What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurological-behavioral developmental disorder. Pathology makes itself felt in childhood, but in the absence of timely therapy, it can persist into adulthood. According to statistics, ADHD is most common in boys, but can also occur in girls. If the pathology is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, this is fraught with poor school performance, the child may develop serious social problems, which increases the risk of substance abuse in the future.
Types of ADHD
ADHD is divided into three main types:
- inattentive type
- hyperactive-impulsive type
- combined type
Each type of ADHD is associated with one or more characteristics. ADHD is characterized by inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior. These behaviors often manifest as:
- Inattentiveness: distraction, poor concentration and organizational skills
- Hyperactivity: never slows down, talking and fidgeting, difficulty completing a task
- Impulsiveness: interruption, risk taking
Everyone is different, so two people often experience the same symptoms in different ways. For example, boys and girls often have different behaviors. Boys may be seen as more hyperactive, while girls may be seen as quiet, inattentive. The symptoms you experience will determine what type of ADHD you have.
If you have this type of ADHD, you may experience more symptoms of inattention than impulsivity and hyperactivity. Sometimes you may struggle with impulsive control or hyperactivity. But these are not the main characteristics of inattentive ADHD.
People who are often inattentive:
- miss details and get distracted easily
- get bored easily
- unable to focus on one task
- have difficulty organizing thoughts and learning new information
- losing pencils, paper, or other items needed to complete a task
- do not seem to listen to
- move slowly and look like they dream
- of processing information more slowly and less accurately than others
- have trouble following directions
Girls are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD through inattention than boys.
This type of ADHD is characterized by symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity. People with this type may show signs of inattention, but they are not as noticeable as other symptoms.
Impulsive or hyperactive people often:
- writhing, fidgeting, or fidgeting
- have difficulty sitting still
- talking constantly
- touching and playing with objects, even if they are inappropriate for the task at hand
- have trouble keeping quiet activities
- constantly “on the go”
- to act out of turn and not think about the consequences of one’s actions
- blurt out responses and inappropriate comments
Children with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD can interfere with learning. They can make learning difficult for themselves and other students.
Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with hyperactive-impulsive type than girls.
If you have the combined type, this means that your symptoms are not solely inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive behavior. Instead, a combination of symptoms from both categories is shown.
Most people with or without ADHD are inattentive or impulsive to some degree. But it’s harder in people with ADHD. These behaviors occur more frequently and interfere with your behavior at home, at school, at work, and in social situations.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, most children have a combination of ADHD. This type is more common in boys compared to girls. The most common symptom in preschool children is hyperactivity.
Symptoms can change over time, so the type of ADHD you have may also change. ADHD can be a lifelong problem. But medications and other treatments can help improve your quality of life.
Symptoms of ADHD in children
Consider some of the signs that may signal ADHD in children:
- The child is constantly distracted, inattentive, when communicating with him there is a feeling that he is not listening to you.
- It is difficult for him to keep his attention on the words of the teacher for a long time, because of which the understanding of information also suffers.
- Increased activity is observed – the child literally cannot sit in one place. Even during school hours, he can get up and walk around the classroom.
- The child is impatient, cannot wait for his turn, constantly interrupts, answers questions without waiting for them to end.
- Children with ADHD are characterized by emotional instability, which can be manifested by frequent mood swings: a child can suddenly become irritable, tearful, and restless for no reason.
- Lack of assembly is characteristic – children with this diagnosis often lose their things (for example, school supplies, money, keys).
- Problems with sleep and appetite, with the regime of the day.
Additionally, some neurological abnormalities may be observed. For example, a child with ADHD may have poor motor coordination, resulting in some clumsiness. Also, in some cases, twitching of the facial muscles and trembling of the limbs are observed.
The first signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are observed at the age of 2-3 years, but at this age it is difficult to determine whether they are a manifestation of pathology or normal age-related features.
However, if by the age of 6-8 years the child has not become more attentive and collected, this is an alarming sign that makes it possible to assume ADHD with a high degree of probability. That is why, if you have the above symptoms, you should definitely consult a doctor and start treatment.
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Causes of pathology
There is no single reason for the development of ADHD. Many experts agree that the most common cause may be genetic mutations that lead to a disruption in the production of dopamine and the work of dopamine receptors.
Also, the causes of the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be the following factors:
- Severe pregnancy, complicated childbirth, including prolonged or rapid.
- Use by the future mother during pregnancy of potent drugs, alcoholic beverages, toxic substances.
- Serious pathologies suffered by a child at an early age, including craniocerebral trauma.
- Psychological trauma in a child.
- Fetal asphyxia.
It is also worth noting that this pathology has a hereditary predisposition. It was found that the presence of ADHD in parents at times increases the likelihood of developing this syndrome in a child.
The diagnosis of ADHD is not established only on the basis of existing complaints. To accurately confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct some examinations. First of all, you need to visit a neurologist, psychiatrist and psychologist.
During the consultation, the doctor collects an anamnesis, conducts various tests, conversations, and diagnostic surveys.
In order to identify the cause of the development of ADHD, consultations with other specialists may also be required, as well as instrumental and laboratory examination methods, such as: EEG, MRI of the brain, general and biochemical blood tests.
Treatment options for ADHD
It should be noted that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder most often has a favorable prognosis (provided that therapy is started in a timely manner). It is possible to significantly improve the behavior and learning of the child.
Depending on the severity of the pathological process and the causes of its occurrence, the doctor may prescribe such types of treatment as:
- Drug treatment: the patient may be prescribed sedatives, antidepressants, neurostimulants.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- A clear daily routine: a balanced diet, good sleep.
- Family therapy: if there are conflicts in the family, ADHD often develops against this background.
- Biofeedback therapy: this method of treatment is aimed at training the child’s ability to self-regulate their states with the help of computer game tasks.
- Physiotherapy techniques, such as massage, exercise, kinesiotherapy.
Additionally, other methods of treatment can be used.
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Unfortunately, it is not always possible to prevent the development of ADHD. However, there are some factors that significantly reduce the risk of developing pathology. For example, the expectant mother should follow a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, and give up bad habits. Before conception, it is desirable to undergo a complete examination, if necessary, to pre-treat existing pathologies.
Also, as a prevention of ADHD, the following recommendations should be observed:
- The child should be active, often walking in the fresh air.
- The daily routine and nutrition should be clear.
- Monitor the behavior of the child, immediately stop unacceptable behavior on his part.
- It is very important to build a trusting relationship between parents and children.
- Family conflicts should be avoided.
At the first signs of ADHD, it is recommended to contact specialists who will help minimize the risk of developing more serious pathologies in the future.
You can learn more about the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at a face-to-face appointment with a doctor. Be healthy!