ADHD spelled out with colored pencils

ADHD

What Is ADHD?


ADHD stands for : Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

ADHD written in colored pencil

Individuals with ADHD have difficulty sustaining attention and concentration, are easily distracted, have difficulty completing tasks and following through with instructions, and are forgetful in daily activities. They may also have difficulty sitting still and have a constant need for movement. Impulsivity symptoms may manifest as impatient, interrupting others, acting without thinking and taking unnecessary risks.

The exact cause of ADHD is not known, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. ADHD is diagnosed based on a set of criteria listed in the Diagn and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and is typically diagnosed by a qualified healthcare professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or physician.

Treatment for ADHD typically includes a combination of medication and behavioral therapy, and can also include educational and occupational interventions. With proper treatment, individuals with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

ADHD is a complex disorder that can manifest in different ways, and can affect individuals differently.

There are three different subtypes of ADHD:

  1. Inattentive type: characterized by symptoms of inattention such as difficulty sustaining attention, forgetfulness, and difficulty following instructions.

  2. Hyperactive-impulsive type: characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity such as fidgeting, interrupting others, and acting without thinking.

  3. Combined type: characterized by symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.

It's worth noting that the symptoms of ADHD can vary depending on the individual and their environment, and can change over time.

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organization, and following through with tasks. They may also have difficulty with impulse control, and may struggle with relationships and in the workplace.

abstract image of a woman's profile and line drawing of her brain to portray psychedelic effect

ADHD is often comorbid (the presence of two or more health conditions in the same individual) with other conditions such as anxiety, depression, or learning disorders. It is important for a qualified healthcare professional to conduct a thorough assessment to make a proper diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.

Treatment for ADHD typically includes a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and educational or occupational interventions. Medications such as stimulants can help improve focus and impulse control. Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help individuals learn strategies for managing their symptoms and improving their daily functioning. Educational and occupational interventions can help individuals with ADHD succeed in school and the workplace.

Overall, ADHD is a complex disorder that can affect many aspects of an individual's life, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

ADHD In Children

It is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, to evaluate a child who is showing signs of ADHD, to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

therapist evaluating a child with ADHD

What Does ADHD Look Like In Children?

The symptoms of ADHD in children can include difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Specifically, a child with ADHD may:

  • Have trouble focusing on a task or paying attention to details
  • Appear not to be listening when spoken to directly
  • Have difficulty following instructions or finishing tasks
  • Have trouble sitting still, fidgeting, or squirming in their seat
  • Have difficulty playing quietly or engaging in calm activities
  • Talk excessively
  • Interrupt or intrude on others
  • Have difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Act impulsively without thinking about the consequences

All children may display some of these behaviors at times, and they are a normal part of childhood development. However, in children with ADHD, these behaviors occur more frequently and severely than in other children of the same age. The symptoms will usually be persistent and impair the child's ability to function in their daily life.

Is ADHD Real Or Is It Just Kids Being Active?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real and recognized neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

ADHD is a highly researched and well-documented disorder, and there is a wealth of scientific evidence supporting its existence and the validity of its diagnostic criteria. Studies have shown that ADHD is associated with structural and functional differences in specific regions of the brain, and that it has a strong genetic component.

child holding ADHD sign

It's important to note that just because a child is active, it doesn't mean they have ADHD. All children have energy and can be active at different levels, and that is normal. However, when a child's hyperactivity and impulsivity are severe, persistent, and impair the child's ability to function in their daily life, it could be a sign of ADHD.

It is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, to evaluate a child who is showing signs of ADHD, to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

ADHD In Adults

The criteria used to diagnose ADHD in children may not fully capture the symptoms that are present in adults. This often leads to under-diagnosis of ADHD in adults. However, ADHD is a life long disorder. Even though children may "out grow" some symptoms it never fully goes away. 

Man dragging a clock through the city symbolizing Time management

How Does ADHD Affect Adults?

ADHD can have a significant impact on adults in many areas of their lives. Some of the ways ADHD can affect adults include:

  • Difficulty with time management and organization: Adults with ADHD may have trouble completing tasks, keeping track of appointments and deadlines, and staying on top of responsibilities at home and work. They may also have trouble planning and prioritizing their time.

  • Difficulty with impulse control: Adults with ADHD may have trouble resisting impulses, such as interrupting others, blurting out inappropriate comments, or impulsive buying. They may also have difficulty regulating their emotions.

  • Difficulty with concentration and attention: Adults with ADHD may have trouble focusing and paying attention to tasks, both at home and at work. They may also have trouble following through on tasks and completing projects.

  • Difficulty with relationships: Adults with ADHD may have trouble with social interactions and relationships. They may have difficulty understanding social cues, and may struggle with impulsivity and emotional regulation in relationships.

  • Difficulty with work and career: Adults with ADHD may have trouble holding down a job, or may have difficulty with job performance. They may also have trouble with time management and organization in the workplace.

  • Difficulty with self-esteem and self-worth: Adults with ADHD may have trouble with self-esteem and self-worth as they may have difficulties in academic, work, and personal life.

It's important to note that while ADHD can have a significant impact on adults, proper diagnosis and treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and improve functioning in all areas of life. A combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and other interventions can help adults with ADHD manage their symptoms and lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Is There A Test For ADHD?

There is no single test that can diagnose ADHD. Instead, a diagnosis of ADHD is typically made by a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist, based on a comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation typically includes:

  • A thorough medical history and physical examination
  • Interviews with the child and their parent or caregiver to gather information about symptoms, development, and behavior
  • Observations of the child's behavior in different settings
  • A review of the child's academic and behavioral history
  • The use of rating scales and checklists to assess the child's symptoms

It's important to note that ADHD is a complex disorder and it can be difficult to diagnose in some cases. A professional may use multiple sources of information such as teachers, parents and the child themselves to gather a complete picture of the child's functioning.

Diagnostic criteria for ADHD are established by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the Diagn and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The criteria require that symptoms must be persistent, impair the child's ability to function in their daily life and should not be explained by other disorders.

At The Crane Center we are trained and certified to diagnose and treat symptoms of ADHD. We have helped thousands of patients and have a track record of success. Call and schedule an appointment today.