ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a disorder that affects how people focus and manage their time. Individuals with this condition have trouble with tasks that are difficult to complete or require continuous mental effort. They can also become easily distracted and lose their place.
Symptoms of adhd typically begin in childhood, but they can persist throughout a person’s life. They can cause problems in school, at home, or in relationships.
There are three main types of ADHD: classic, combined, and impulsive-hyperactive. Each has its own set of symptoms and is treated differently.
Classic (or primary) ADHD is the most common type and is diagnosed by a medical professional, such as a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist. The diagnosis is based on the presence of specific symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most common symptoms of classic ADHD include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Depending on the type of ADHD, these symptoms can be moderate to severe.
Medication can be a treatment option for ADHD. Drugs work by increasing the amount of norepinephrine, which is a chemical in the brain that helps with attention and focus. Antidepressants can also be used to treat the symptoms of ADHD, as can stimulants.
In addition, doctors can prescribe behavior therapy to reduce impulsive or disruptive behaviors. This can help a person with ADHD feel more in control of their actions and make better choices for the future.
Nonstimulant medications are also sometimes used to treat ADHD. They can reduce the symptoms of inattention and impulsivity, and may be recommended for some people with co-existing psychiatric conditions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends medication for the treatment of children with ADHD who are not responding to behavioral therapies. These treatments can improve a child’s ability to focus and complete their daily tasks, as well as help them in school.
It’s important to note, however, that children who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD don’t necessarily have a learning disability; their cognitive abilities are just different than those of others. That means that they may not get the same grades as their classmates, and they might not be able to learn as much as they could.
Medications can also be used to treat depression, anxiety, and other issues that are associated with the condition. These are sometimes called “secondary” or “off-label” medications, which are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Counseling can also be a useful part of treatment. In this form of therapy, the patient and therapist explore negative patterns of thought that are causing problems with ADHD. The therapist can then help the patient change these patterns so they don’t have as many negative thoughts.
Another form of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to change the way a person thinks about themselves and their ADHD symptoms. For example, a patient might learn to use rewards to encourage healthy behavior, instead of punishment.
This form of psychotherapy is generally a short-term therapy that involves working with the therapist to identify and change negative thinking patterns. The patient might also receive advice on coping with stress and other problems that are related to their ADHD.