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A Glimpse of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Being around kids often makes it hard for one to miss out on their lively energy and inspiring zest for life. As stated by the Better Health Channel (2018), “a child’s job is to play” which makes it safe to say that this sense of being active is common and natural in all children. Children tend to be innately curious. They explore their environment with their senses which is one of the reasons why they tend to be on the go and physically active (Stephens, 2007). Although being active is a child’s natural way to learn more about the world, it is important to determine when this energy and activity becomes concerning. As the saying goes, too much of everything is not good. An overload of hyperactivity and lack of focus may be a sign that a child could be possibly diagnosed with ADHD.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known by its abbreviation ADHD, is a childhood neurodevelopmental condition that may last well into one’s adulthood (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). ADHD in children is mainly noticed in school when they cause rowdiness often enough that it looks more like a pattern instead of a one-off event. On the other hand, ADHD in adults morphs into a different kind of restlessness compared to children. This may cause rifts between relationships with partners, relatives, and workplace peers (National Health Service, 2021). Ultimately, it is daily functioning that is most affected in people diagnosed with ADHD as it encompasses most actions embedded in society-enforced daily routines.


What causes ADHD?


Currently, experts and scientists have yet to confirm specific and detailed causes of ADHD. There is, however, strong evidence pointing towards ADHD being genetic and is most likely inherited from a parent or a relative. That being said, there is no specific gene or gene combination that could be surely concluded as the main cause of ADHD (American Psychiatric Association, 2022). There is also evidence that states how children can be more at risk to get ADHD if they were prematurely born, exposed to toxins in the environment, or if their mothers were taking drugs and other harmful substances during pregnancy (Hasan, 2022). However, no substantial proof says that poor parenting is a cause of ADHD.


What are the symptoms and types of ADHD?


There is an apparent pattern in the symptoms experienced by people diagnosed with ADHD. First is inattention, which means that a person finds it difficult to stay focused and organized, not due to defiance but due to biological and psychological constraints. Second, people with ADHD might project hyperactivity or are in excessive and constant motion. Lastly, a person with ADHD might be impulsive where they act, think, or talk without forethought and control (National Institute of Mental Health, 2022.). In line with this, there are three major types of ADHD characterized by the aforementioned symptoms (Weiss et al., 2003). First is the combined type, the most common type of ADHD distinguished as the kind where a person exhibits all three symptoms. Second is the impulsive or hyperactive type, the least common type of ADHD known as the one without inattention but with hyperactivity and impulsivity. Lastly, the inattentive and distractible types are predominated by symptoms of inattention and impulsivity without hyperactivity.


How is ADHD diagnosed?


ADHD in children may be diagnosed if the following conditions are met: (1) 6-month tenure of symptoms; (2) started being symptomatic before the age of 12, and; (3) signs and symptoms must meet specific conditions such as exhibiting these signs at two different settings and that these symptoms are not due to any other disorder (Chang et al., 2020). As for adults, symptoms of ADHD have to be moderately affecting their work and relationships before they can get properly pinpointed as ADHD (National Institute of Mental Health, 2022.).


How is ADHD treated?


There are two types of treatment for ADHD: behavior therapy and medication. Behavior therapy, also including parental training for parents with children diagnosed with ADHD is an option to lessen ADHD-induced mannerisms and behavior to manage disruption and uneasiness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022), it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that parents undergo training in behavioral management before considering medication as an option when it comes to children below 6 years old. This could be due to the possible side effects that the medication may have on the child. On the other hand, for children 6 years old and above, it is recommended to combine medication and behavior therapy. Meanwhile, medication can also help with behavioral problems. People with diagnosed ADHD can take stimulants, common and fast-acting ADHD medication, or non-stimulants that cannot work as quickly but can last as long as 24 hours (Castle et al., 2007). Although medication can help, it is not guaranteed that it will work the same for everyone. It is important to avoid experimenting with such remedies and make sure to get a prescription and follow the recommended doses and instructions stated.


References

American Psychiatric Association. (2022). What is ADHD? American Psychiatric Association. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd


Better Health Channel. (2018). Children – keeping them active. Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/children-keeping-them-active


Castle, L., Aubert, R. E., Verbrugge, R. R., Khalid, M., & Epstein, R. S. (2007). Trends in

medication treatment for ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 10(4), 335–342.

https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054707299597


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, August 9). What is ADHD? Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html


Chang, J., Cimino, F., & Gossa, W. (2020). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

(ADHD). familydoctor.org. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from

https://familydoctor.org/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/


Hasan, S. (2022). ADHD (for parents). Nemours Kids Health.

Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/adhd.html


National Health Service. (2021). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). NHS choices. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/


National Institute of Mental Health. (2022). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity

disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd


Stephens, K. (2007). Curiosity and Wonder: Cue Into Children’s Inborn Motivation to Learn. https://www.easternflorida.edu/community-resources/child-development-centers/parent-resource-library/documents/curiosity-and-wonder.pdf


Weiss, M., Worling, D., & Wasdell, M. (2003). A chart review study of the inattentive and

combined types of ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 7(1), 1–9.

https://doi.org/10.1177/108705470300700101



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