ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes problems with attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It affects both children and adults and is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in the United States.
Symptoms appear before the child turns 12 years old and interfere with daily living in several settings. They must be present for at least six months before diagnosis is made.
Diagnosis is based on the number of symptoms and their severity. A clinician must identify six or more symptoms, and they must significantly impair functioning in social, school or work settings.
The criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD are in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. To meet the DSM-5 criteria, a person must have ADHD-related symptoms that have been present for at least six months and significantly impair their function in social, school or work settings.
If a child is diagnosed with ADHD, treatment will include medication and psychotherapy. Medication helps manage the symptoms of ADHD, while psychotherapy will help people with the condition learn new skills and improve self-esteem and social relationships.
Psychotherapy can involve a variety of approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of psychotherapy focuses on changing negative thought patterns into healthier ones. It can also teach people how to cope with stress and anxiety.
A good treatment plan will include regular monitoring of your symptoms, so your doctor can make adjustments as needed. This can include switching to a different medication, or adding a drug.
It’s important to note that some medications can cause side effects and may not be right for everyone. Before taking any new medicine, talk with your doctor about the potential side effects of that drug and how to manage them.
Medications for ADHD are available in different strengths and doses. The dosage will depend on your child’s age, health, and other factors.
Stimulants, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate, are the most commonly used medications. They act by increasing the level of dopamine in the brain. This helps regulate emotions, focus and attention.
Other drugs, such as atomoxetine and clonidine, can also help people with ADHD control their symptoms. These medications can help with focus, concentration and emotional stability, but they have other side effects.
The most effective treatments for ADHD involve a combination of medications and psychotherapy. These therapies can be effective in both children and adults and will improve the quality of life for individuals with ADHD.
They can be very helpful in improving a person’s ability to pay attention and concentrate, and reduce or eliminate impulsive behaviors. They can also be useful in helping children and adults overcome problems with mood swings and anger.
Some people with ADHD are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, especially when they’re teenagers. These substances can have a negative effect on the frontal lobe, a part of the brain that controls emotions and impulses.
Many people with ADHD are able to control their symptoms by themselves, but some need help from a medical professional or a psychologist. These professionals can develop a personalized treatment plan for the individual with ADHD that combines medication and psychotherapy. These treatments can improve a person’s quality of life, and they can decrease the negative impact of ADHD on a person’s family.