Developmental disorders like Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can have a significant impact on a person’s life. We are here to help you manage the symptoms of ADHD and reach your goals.
Sitting down to focus on a project can be tough. Maybe the project is long or boring, or maybe there are other things we would rather be doing. Sticking it out and getting the work done can be a challenge, but for most people, it’s easily overcome with a clear plan, a quiet work environment, or a cup of coffee. For people with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) focusing on a single task can be much more complicated.
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a person’s attention, impulse regulation, concentration, and memory. In the United States, an estimated 4.4% of adults and 11.0% of children are living with ADHD.
If you believe that you or someone you care about might be experiencing Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn more about:
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.
Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that is often identified by inattention and hyperactivity. Because symptoms like these are disruptive in a classroom setting, many people are diagnosed with ADHD when they reach school age. Although ADHD is often associated with school-aged children, the symptoms of ADHD can follow a person throughout their life.
ADHD is considered a neurodivergence. Like Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and Giftedness, people with ADHD have different mental and neurological functioning than people in the “neurotypical” majority.
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As with any mental disorder, the signs of symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person. When diagnosing ADHD, mental health professionals will look for clusters of symptoms that fall into three distinct categories:
Many people experience some of these symptoms. People with ADHD struggle to complete daily tasks, such as cleaning their home, finishing homework assignments, or completing work projects due to their symptoms.
ADHD can be categorized into three types based on what type of symptoms a person has: Type I (Inattentive Type), Type II (Hyperactive-Impulsive Type), and Type III (Combined Type).
Symptoms of ADHD in children include:
For adults, ADHD can look slightly different. Symptoms of ADHD in adults include:
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To be diagnosed with ADHD, five or more symptoms must be present for six months or longer.
ADHD is a complex mental health condition that can be affected by a number of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
Like many other mental disorders, ADHD has a tendency to run in families that suggests a genetic risk factor. People with an immediate relative like a sibling or parent who have ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves.
Boys and men are also more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than women. This difference could be due in part to the fact that males and females tend to present different symptoms of ADHD, and some symptoms of female ADHD are often dismissed or difficult to detect.
People with ADHD may also show differences in brain structure versus people without ADHD. Some regions of the brain might be larger or smaller, and people with ADHD may have an imbalance in certain neurotransmitters.
In particular, researchers believe that dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with emotional response of pleasure and reward – may show up in lower levels in the brains of people with ADHD. Scientists suggest that this could be due to higher than average concentrations of proteins called dopamine transporters in the brains of people with unmedicated ADHD, which burns through their supply of dopamine more quickly and leads to difficulty regulating emotion and concentration.
Research also suggests that maternal drug or alcohol use and premature birth can be risk factors for ADHD.
Environment can also play a role in whether or not a person ultimately develops ADHD. Environmental risk factors of ADHD include maternal depression, disorganized home environment, unsupportive or abusive caregivers, poverty, inadequate sleep, and brain injury during the developmental years.
While there is no cure for ADHD, the disruptive symptoms of the disorder can be effectively managed with a combination of treatment strategies. ADHD treatment might include:
At Transformations Care Network, we are dedicated to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. If you believe that you are experiencing ADHD, contact us today to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you.