What is ADHD?

what is adhd

What is adhd

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a common behavior disorder. It is most often diagnosed in children but can also occur in adults. It is characterized by trouble paying attention, being hyperactive or impulsive and having problems controlling behaviors.

Typical in healthy children, these behaviors are normal at any age but can get out of hand when a child is stressed or overwhelmed with activities. Some kids with ADHD don’t get diagnosed until they are in middle school or college, when it is harder for them to control their behaviors and they have more demands on their time.

The causes of ADHD are complex, but most of the symptoms can be controlled with medicine and behavioral therapy. Treatment can help a child with ADHD stay focused in school and improve his or her social skills.

Doctors can diagnose ADHD in children, teens and adults with a detailed history of behavior from parents and teachers, observations of the child’s behavior and psychoeducational testing. The diagnosis may be made by a pediatrician, a child psychiatrist or a qualified mental health professional with experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD.

There are many treatments for ADHD, ranging from medication to behavior therapy to stress management. It is important to work with your doctor to decide what is right for you and your family.

Medications can help focus the brain and decrease the intensity of ADHD symptoms. Stimulants (like Ritalin) are the most commonly used medications for ADHD, but there are a variety of other options. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of each drug, including psychiatric side effects.

Cognitive therapy can help people with ADHD learn to think more clearly and solve problems more easily. It can also help them improve their social and emotional skills and make better choices.

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It can also help them manage their emotions and reduce their risk of substance abuse.

Research has found that children who are treated with psychotherapy and education are more likely to succeed in school, have good relationships with their families and are less likely to commit a crime or act out at home.

Genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of ADHD. Some genes are more common in people with ADHD than in those without it, while other environmental factors may increase the risk of ADHD. Lead exposure as a child, for example, has been linked to the development of ADHD in some people.

The diet that a person eats can also influence the development of ADHD. Studies have shown that people who eat a “Western” diet high in processed foods, sugar and fat are more likely to develop ADHD than those who eat a more natural diet.

Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, may be helpful for ADHD patients. Nutritional supplements, such as fish oil, can also be helpful.

Some medications, such as Prozac, can be helpful in managing depression and anxiety that can be associated with ADHD. They can also help with sleep and mood.

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