ADHD, more formally known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a common neurological and developmental disorder. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood. Contrary to popular belief, children do not outgrow the disorder; teenagers and adults can have ADHD, too. Before seeking ADHD treatment, it is beneficial to know some general information about ADHD.
What Are the Symptoms?
The primary symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. There are three main types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly impulsive-hyperactive and a combination of the two.
A hyperactive child always seems to be “on the go.” They squirm or fidget when sitting, and they talk constantly. They have trouble playing quietly and can’t stay seated when told to do so. They are always running or climbing on things. A hyperactive adult will be similarly restless and fidgety. They need to be constantly busy.
A child with an attention deficit is easily distracted. They have trouble finishing activities they started. They make careless mistakes and don’t follow directions. They tend to be disorganized and lose things. An adult or teenager with an attention deficit will show similar behavior.
Impulsive children and adults don’t think things through. They don’t consider the consequences of their actions. Impulsive children have trouble waiting in lines or waiting for their turn to do something. Impulsive people tend to wear their emotions on their sleeve and blurt out comments even if they are rude or inappropriate.
Aren’t Normal People Like This?
While normal people can be energetic, distracted or impulsive, their behavior is less extreme than that of somebody with ADHD. An ADHD patient’s behavior is also more persistent and has no known cause. Researchers aren’t yet sure what causes ADHD, but some situations and conditions can trigger ADHD-like behavior. Such triggers include the following:
• Anxiety or depression
• Undiagnosed seizures
• An undetected learning disability
• An ear infection that’s affecting hearing
• Severe emotional upset, like that caused by a divorce or death in the family
For a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms have to appear before the child turns seven, and they have to last at least six months. Furthermore, they have to seriously impact at least two areas of the subject’s life: at home, in social settings, at work or school or in the community.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
Diagnosing ADHD requires multiple steps, and it is often a process of elimination. A medical exam including vision and hearing tests will be one part, and it will enable the doctor to rule out physical problems that cause ADHD-like symptoms. The doctor will also take a detailed medical history for the same reason. Patients may also be assessed with the Quotient® computerized diagnostic system.
Patients believed to have ADHD will undergo various psychological and neurological tests before any ADHD treatment begins. At Cady Wellness Institute in Newburgh, we can assess the condition of your ADHD and then come up with a treatment plan that is right for your unique situation. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more.