ADHD is a mental health disorder that causes problems with attention and impulsivity. It affects about 6 million children in the United States and a larger number of adults worldwide.
The condition can be triggered by a variety of factors, including genetics, childhood problems, environmental influences, and central nervous system disorders at key points in development. However, the most common reason people develop ADHD is a change in the way chemicals like dopamine are made in the brain.
If you have ADHD, it’s a good idea to keep track of your symptoms and make sure they don’t overlap with other health conditions or medications. It’s also important to work with your doctor on finding a treatment plan that’s right for you.
A complete evaluation by a qualified professional is the only way to determine whether you have ADHD. It is also important to note that ADHD can be a chronic, lifelong condition.
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but research has identified several possible differences in the brains of those with the condition compared with those who don’t have it.
These differences can be the difference between having a successful life and one full of frustration and difficulty. Some of these differences include a frontal lobe that’s developing more slowly than the average person, and a lower level of the chemical dopamine.
This means that your child’s brain may be unable to produce enough dopamine to satisfy her needs and wants, even when she eats her favorite food or takes a walk after dinner. This can result in her impulsive behavior, such as running into the street or hitting another child when she’s upset.
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, you and your doctor can work together to find the best treatment for her. This may involve medicine, therapy, or both.
Stimulant medication, which are fast-acting, usually help control symptoms and improve your child’s ability to focus. Non-stimulant meds, which take longer to work, can also be helpful for some kids with ADHD.
Other types of treatment can also help, including behavioral therapy and parental training. These programs can help your child understand how to manage their symptoms better and build positive relationships with other people.
Having a consistent routine and schedule is helpful for many kids with ADHD. Set aside specific times each day for certain activities, such as homework or play time, and stick to them consistently.
Your child needs a regular bedtime and wake-up time, too. Try to keep those hours the same every day and write them down on your fridge or bulletin board.
The more you can help your child learn how to manage her symptoms, the easier it will be for her to live a successful life. It’s also a good idea to teach your child about healthy eating habits and encourage physical activity.
It’s also a good idea to get your child’s doctors, teachers and other adults involved in their treatment. This can include helping them to set goals and give feedback on progress. It can also include letting your child earn rewards or privileges when they meet those goals.