Do you find it tough to concentrate on your work? Do you feel to move constantly without any reason? Do you feel it tough to sit a long time constantly while working? Do you have the tendency to interrupt others all the time? If you are facing all these issues consistently and they negatively impact your daily life it could be a sign of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a mental disorder that makes a person feels difficulty in paying attention and in controlling his/her impulsive attitude. People with ADHD stay active and restless almost all the time.
The problem is not just a childhood disorder. It begins in childhood and can continue through teenage years and adulthood. With age, the child faces problems with inattention, disorganization, and poor impulse control. Hyperactivity, attention deficit, and impulsive behavior hinder one’s personal, professional, and social life.
Boys are more commonly affected by ADHD than girls. In the early childhood or school years, a child starts to have the symptoms of ADHD.
ADHD and Adults
More than 60% of children continue the symptoms of ADHD in their adulthood. But in maximum cases, the intensity of problems becomes lesser as they get older.
It means the treatment is necessary. Adults may have trouble being organized, setting goals, staying focused, keeping patience, managing time, and paying attention in a particular task. They may also have problems with forgetfulness nature, relationship problems, self-esteem, and addiction. These types of behaviors impact their professional life negatively.
Causes of ADHD
Researchers are studying the causes of ADHD . It’s not a particular reason that causes ADHD but a number of factors may contribute to ADHD such as:
- Genes can be one of the main causes to run it in families.
- Smoking, alcohol use or drug use, and poor nutrition during pregnancy can affect the brain development of the baby.
- Heavy exposure to environmental toxins, such as working in an environment with high levels of lead, at a very young age can cause ADHD.
- Low birth weight and less active brain area make concentration level poor in children.
- Brain injuries or brain disorders can cause problems with controlling calmness and impulses.
Watching too much television, taking excessive sugar, and a poor home and school life do not cause ADHD. But these issues may increase the intensity when one is already affected by this.
It is not possible to prevent or cure the problem. But spotting it early one can manage the symptoms by having good treatments, proper educational plan, and family support.
There are three different types of symptoms. They are:
- Inattention (trouble paying attention)
- Hyperactivity (stay overactive)
- Impulsivity (working without thinking)
Symptoms in Children
A child with ADHD may have a combination of the following problems:
- He or she can be easily distracted
- Is not able to follow simple instructions
- Does not finish tasks timely
- Does not keep them quiet while listening
- Makes careless mistakes in day to day life
- Does not pay attention while doing easy chores
- Tends to forget daily activities
- Has troubles organizing everyday tasks
- Feels tough to sit still at a stretch
- Misplaces or loses things easily
- Tends to stay in the fantasy world
- Has problems organizing tasks and activities
Children with ADHD:
- Do not stay seated still
- Often fidget, or bounce when sitting
- Make noises needlessly while playing
- Have excessive talking behavior
- Stay moving always, such as running or climbing on things
- Feeling restless or quickly lose focus
Children with ADHD:
- Cannot wait or feel trouble for his/her turn
- Blurts out answers
- Disturb or interrupt others
- Do things without thinking
- Tend to keep their homework incomplete
Symptoms in Adults
ADHD symptoms can be carried throughout adulthood. The intensity or the type of symptoms may be different as the person gets older. The symptoms include:
- Continual unpunctuality and poor memory
- Low confidence level or lacking of self-worth
- Problems at the workplace
- Trouble controlling irritation and anger
- Impulsiveness and irresponsibility
- Incapable of being organized
- Lack of enthusiasm or slowness
- Chronic tediousness
- Get frustrated easily
- Unable to concentrate when reading
- Mood swings
- Relationship problems
Though ADHD is not cured, treatments may help reduce symptoms. Many symptoms and problems are treated and managed with medication, therapy or the combination of both.
Many people have the benefits of ADHD medication as it reduces their impulsivity and hyperactivity. They improve their ability to focus, learn, and complete task. Usually, doctors prescribe stimulant drugs that are effective in increasing dopamine, the chemical of the brain. Dopamine plays an important role to increase concentration. If a person has a bothersome side effect in stimulant, doctors suggest non-stimulant drugs though it takes a longer time to improve hyperactivity and impulsiveness than stimulant drugs.
Some effective and suggested stimulants are:
- Amphetamine (Adzenys XR ODT, Dyanavel)
- Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
- Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine)
- Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
- Methylphenidate (Aptensio, Cotempla, Concerta, Daytrana, Jornay, PM, Metadate, Methylin, Quillivant, Ritalin)
Non-stimulant medications include:
- Atomoxetine (Strattera)
- Guanfacine (Intuniv)
Supplements with omega-3 may have benefits on ADHD.
Different types of therapy are used for reducing the symptoms of ADHD. There is no strong evidence that therapies have the best support on ADHD symptoms but it may help patients manage with daily challenges. These treatment options engage in changing behavior.
It helps children follow directions and routine properly. They learn how to organize everyday chores and homework. Teachers and parents help them to bring such changes. Rewarding them works when they follow rules perfectly.
It helps the students how they replace bad behaviors and anger with good ones. By behavior modification therapy, they may reduce their aggression in a simple issue and may have politeness in their nature.
Psychotherapy or counseling
Psychotherapy or counseling is a better way to handle emotions and frustration of a child or teen with ADHD. It may help them improve their self-esteem. A licensed therapist may help the family members better know the teen or adult with ADHD.
Social skills training
Children can grow their confidence by social skill training. They learn how to improve their social skills and how to improve behavior such as keeping patience in a social gathering. They learn how to wait for their turns.
It helps to communicate with people with similar problems with acceptance and support. Groups also can provide an approach to know more about ADHD. Adults and parents of children with ADHD get helpful support from these groups.
Tips to control your child’s behavior
Sometimes it becomes tough to handle a child with ADHD due to his/her control-less behavior. Here are some tips to help the parents control the behavior of their child:
- Make a particular schedule of his/her everyday chores such as eating, bathing, waking up, home-working, and sleeping. Keep a notice that he tries to follow the routine each day and help him to do so.
- Loud music, TV, and computer games can make your child distracted more. Try to cut down these over-stimulating issues that can make your child more hyper and impulsive. Make it a rule not to use TV or mobile during the mealtime or the time when he/she is doing homework. Fix a time when he/ she is allowed to watch TV or play games on the computer. Don’t place these objects in your child’s room. Busy shopping malls, game zones, and dance bars are over-stimulating places. Try to avoid your child to visit such places.
- Keep your home organized. Teach your child to keep things in a particular place. For example, give him/her instructions to keep the school bag on the study table. Try to assist him to grow a habit to keep his toys and clothes organized after using. Make a particular spot where he/she keeps his badminton kit that he/she can find it easily when needed. In this way, they will reduce the tendency of losing things frequently.
- Reward your child for his/her positive behavior. Use kind and adorable words that they feel secure and loved. Hug them regularly to show your love. All these things will increase his/her confidence and they can bring changes fast. Give him/her small prizes for appreciating the timely manner or good behavior or reaching goals or effort to pay attention.
- Set small goals that your child can follow and reach them easily. Don’t expect an instant result but try to motivate him/her by appreciating his/her efforts. Teach your child to take small steps towards the goal.
- Help your child stay active. Keep a track of his/her progress with homework or other chores. Maintain a friendly manner always.
- Help your kid to make a good decision by offering only 2-3 options at a time. Don’t overload your child with options that he/she may get confused.
- Give your time to asses some activities that your child can perform easily and achieve success. It will enhance his confidence and he has a good feeling about him. It is very important for the kid’s success.
- Help your child to be disciplined. You also use calm discipline to treat your child. Calm words, avoidance, and removing the kid from the present situation will work better. As a parent, sometimes you need to learn how to ignore some of his behavior. Physical punishment is not useful to treat a child with ADHD. Don’t discuss his /her behavior with others. Discuss his/her behavior when both of you are calm.
- Make a good conversation every day with your child. Also, develop good communication with the teacher to understand his/her daily progress.
Many people around you live a happy and successful life instead of having ADHD. It’s not curable but treatments help to reduce the intensity of symptoms. It’s important that they visit the doctor regularly. If medication and therapies stop working one needs to consult the doctor to change the treatment plan. With age, many people with ADHD reduce their impulsive and hyper nature without any treatment. You have plenty of options to make your life beautiful as well as successful if you stay concerned about your disease.