What is adhd?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that affects the way people pay attention and behave. It is a treatable condition that can improve the lives of those with ADHD and their families.
A diagnosis of ADHD is based on a number of symptoms that are noticeable for more than six months, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The most common symptoms are difficulties paying attention, impulsivity and poor self-control.
Symptoms usually start in childhood but can continue into adulthood, according to the DSM-5-TR. The condition is a protected disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, so institutions that receive federal funding can’t discriminate against people with ADHD.
Children often have short attention spans, are easily distracted and lose interest in a task quickly. They also may be very active and have a difficult time sitting still for long periods of time.
They can also have difficulty listening and making friends. They may be impatient and easily frustrated, arguing or losing their temper.
The behaviors and social problems associated with ADHD can be very stressful for children and their families. They can interfere with their education, cause family conflict and lead to problems with their relationships.
It’s important for parents to understand the signs and symptoms of ADHD so that they can recognize them when they occur. This will help them seek professional help if needed and give their child the best chance at a healthy, happy future.
Treatments are based on the same principles as other chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes. They focus on a variety of factors and can include medication, psychotherapy, education or training, and a combination of these.
Medication is used to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity in adults with ADHD, as well as improve their ability to focus. These medications can be stimulants, non-stimulants, or a combination of both.
Medications can be taken daily or as needed to reduce symptoms and improve functioning. They’re usually started slowly to help minimize side effects.
They work by increasing the brain’s activity and by increasing the release of dopamine, a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain. They can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
Some medications are non-stimulants, which can help people with ADHD focus and stay calmer. These take longer to start working than stimulants, but can be very effective in helping people with ADHD control their symptoms.
Counseling and therapy are also effective treatments. They can help people with ADHD develop skills to cope with the challenges of their condition, as well as learn to manage their emotions and work better with others.
These therapies can be done in a group setting or as individual sessions. Often, they involve the use of a “skills coach” or other person who can teach you techniques for dealing with distractions or managing your mood.
They can also help you learn how to make changes in your behavior, which can help you feel more organized and less stressed overall, says Dr. Frank.