ADHD is a disorder that affects the way a person thinks and feels. People with ADHD often have problems paying attention, organizing their thoughts and activities, and controlling their behaviors. They can also have trouble managing stress or anxiety.
The Symptoms of ADHD
There are several symptoms of ADHD that a doctor can use to diagnose the condition. These include problems with concentration, impulsivity and social skills.
Hyperactive or impulsive behaviours, such as talking or running around a lot, are common in children and adults with ADHD. They can interfere with their schoolwork and relationships.
Inattentiveness, or difficulties paying attention, can make it difficult to complete tasks that aren’t interesting to them. They can also cause them to miss details or carelessly make mistakes.
They can also be impulsive or overly emotional.
The frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain responsible for planning and decision-making, is underdeveloped in people with ADHD. This impacts a wide range of areas in their lives, from deciding which flavor of ice cream to buy to understanding how their actions affect other people.
It can also impact their long-term memory and ability to read others’ social cues.
If a child is diagnosed with ADHD, treatment can help them focus on tasks and get their life back on track. These treatments can include medication, behavioral interventions and education.
Medications for ADHD
The most commonly prescribed medications are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, which increase the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These medications can ease ADHD symptoms and increase productivity.
Nonstimulants, such as atomoxetine (Strattera), may also help with attention and concentration. They are usually given as a single pill, but can be used in combination with stimulants or antidepressants.
Dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to be helpful for people with ADHD. They can be taken as a supplement or consumed with meals.
In addition, children with ADHD can benefit from a healthy diet that contains lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They should also be getting plenty of sleep and regular exercise.
Parents can support their children with ADHD by helping them complete tasks, setting a timetable for homework and giving them breaks. They should also praise effort and completion rather than punishing them for not finishing a task on time.
Using drugs or alcohol, such as cigarettes or marijuana, can also make it more difficult to control ADHD. This is because the frontal lobe makes it harder for a person to stop using these substances.
If a person with ADHD takes drugs or alcohol, they may have difficulty with their moods and feelings. They might also have problems with their sleep, eating habits and relationships.
Other causes of ADHD can be health conditions, such as a genetic disorder or a learning disability. Environmental factors, such as toxic substances or infections during pregnancy, can also cause ADHD.
Family history of ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders can also increase the risk of developing it. It’s important to talk with your doctor if you or your child have these disorders or other mental or physical health issues.