ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

ADHD, also known as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a common neurodevelopmental issue that can impact how your brain develops. Although symptoms of ADHD can persist into maturity and impact daily functioning as an adult, it is more common in youngsters.

Three main symptoms of ADHD are impulsivity (making decisions without careful thought), hyperactivity (being restless), and inattention (inability to focus). These symptoms can vary in severity from mild to moderate, depending on the type of ADHD you have. With time, the frequency of these symptoms varies. If untreated, symptoms of ADHD can impair one’s capacity to finish everyday tasks, interact with others, and perform well in school.

The real cause of ADHD and the reason behind its symptoms are unknown to researchers. However, a few things that can raise a child’s risk of having ADHD are prenatal (before birth) exposure to chemicals and a family history of the disorder.

ADHD cannot be cured, but with the correct care, you or your child can manage the symptoms. Medication and therapy are the most popular forms of treatment; you can use them separately or in combination. A treatment plan based on what is best for you or your child’s needs can be created with the assistance of your healthcare practitioner.

Types of ADHD

Periodically exhibiting signs of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention is typical. However, these symptoms usually interfere with everyday life and persist for more than six months in people with ADHD. The symptoms you or your child experience will vary depending on which of the three types of ADHD you or they have.

Among the three forms of ADHD are:

  • Predominantly inattentive ADHD: Displays signs of inattention, such as trouble focusing, staying on task, and having trouble following instructions or discussions.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD: exhibits signs of impulsivity and hyperactivity, such as difficulties controlling one’s emotions, inability to sit still, and acting without careful thinking
  • Combined ADHD: exhibiting signs of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD as well as inattention

Signs and Symptoms

ADHD symptoms can vary greatly and show themselves in different ways in different people. Despite the fact that impulsivity, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, and trouble maintaining focus are some typical symptoms, each person with ADHD is different.

A. Common Symptoms

Despite the fact that ADHD comes in three main forms, all three have certain similar symptoms. Young children typically exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Unable to listen or follow directions
  • restlessness or fidgeting with hands and feet
  • excessive talking; inability to focus on details
  • inability to complete tasks, chores, or assignments

B. Symptoms of Predominantly Inattentive ADHD

Individuals with ADHD who are mostly inattentive may frequently struggle to maintain attention, follow instructions, and appear to be daydreaming or off-task. It’s crucial to recognize that being unfocused is not a sign of disrespect or ignorance on the part of you or your child. Instead, these symptoms are a result of the underlying illness.

The symptoms of inattentive-type ADHD must persist for at least six months in order to be diagnosed. Among the typical indications and symptoms of this kind of ADHD include, but are not restricted to:

  • Losing or misplacing items
  • Disorganization
  • Being easily distracted
  • Lack of focus or attention to detail
  • Inability to finish jobs and responsibilities

Around age eight or nine is when symptoms of inattention usually start to show up. When they’re at home, kids may experience these symptoms earlier. Because of the atmosphere at school, including having to pay attention in class and finish homework, inattention may, nevertheless, become more apparent while the child is there. During their adolescent and early adult years, many people with this kind of ADHD typically experience these symptoms.

C. Symptoms of Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD

Impulsive and hyperactive habits nearly always coexist in younger children. The symptoms of mostly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD include difficulty sitting still, snap decisions, and activity without considering the repercussions of one’s actions.

You or your child may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms if you or they have hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD:

  • Frequently fidgeting when seated
  • Having trouble sharing responsibilities with others
  • Getting upset in class
  • Invading or interrupting conversations or activities
  • Responding to questions before they are fully answered
  • Having a lot of energy

Similar to inattentive-type ADHD, a proper diagnosis cannot be made until symptoms have been present for at least six months, according to medical professionals.

Around age four, hyperactivity and impulsivity usually start to show symptoms. While impulsivity peaks at the age of seven or eight, these symptoms might persist for the whole of an individual’s life. However, in teenagers, the signs of hyperactivity start to fade.

D. Symptoms of Combined ADHD

When someone is diagnosed with mixed ADHD, they exhibit symptoms of both hyperactivity-impulsivity ADHD and inattentive ADHD. Individuals with mixed ADHD often experience an equal number of symptoms from each category.

People with mixed ADHD may experience symptoms unique to both types of ADHD in addition to difficulties making friends and sustaining meaningful relationships, as well as difficulties realizing their full potential at work or school.

It takes at least six months for symptoms of both forms of ADHD to co-occur to be properly diagnosed.


The growth and development of the brain are impacted by neurodevelopmental diseases such as ADHD. The precise cause of ADHD is unknown, though. Research has indicated that a mix of hereditary and non-hereditary factors may contribute to children’s development of ADHD.

1. Genetic Factors

A family history of ADHD is common. Your chance of having ADHD is around nine times higher than that of the general population if you have a first-degree family (parent, sibling, etc.) who has the disorder. It’s important to note that a family history of ADHD does not ensure that you will always have the disorder; rather, it increases your likelihood of developing symptoms.

2. Non-Genetic Factors

The impact of environmental and lifestyle factors, which are not genetic, on the likelihood of having ADHD is also being studied by researchers. Prenatal exposure to pollutants like lead or second-hand smoking; premature delivery; low birth weight; brain injury; and the birthing parent experiencing intense stress or trauma during pregnancy or childbirth are examples of non-genetic variables that can raise a child’s risk of ADHD.

Impact on Daily Life

Having ADHD can have a big impact on a lot of different parts of everyday life, such relationships, job, education, and self-worth. Children with ADHD may experience difficulty in the classroom, which can result in social difficulties and poor academic performance. Adults with ADHD may have trouble keeping a steady job, struggle in interpersonal interactions, and struggle with problems relating to their own value and self-esteem.

Diagnosis and Assessment

ADHD cannot be diagnosed with a single test. The diagnosing procedure entails numerous phases as a result. When diagnosing ADHD accurately, a medical professional may also ask parents, caregivers, and teachers for information.

A primary care physician or mental health specialist (such as a psychiatrist or psychologist) can diagnose ADHD. Your healthcare professional can also do the following in addition to obtaining the medical history of you or your child:

  • Physical examination: consists of screening for vision and hearing, coordination evaluation, and behavioral and communication skills observation for you or your child.
  • Developmental history: inquiries about speech, language, and communication developmental milestones
  • Educational and behavioral evaluation: Inquires about your child’s actions at home and at school.
  • DSM-5 criteria: Depending on how many symptoms you or your child are exhibiting, healthcare professionals can use these diagnostic criteria to accurately diagnose ADHD.


ADHD cannot be cured, but with the correct treatment, symptoms can be lessened and difficulties associated to the disorder can be better managed. In addition to medicine, there are various therapeutic options for treating ADHD. These therapies can be used by you or your kid, separately or in combination.


Stimulants and non-stimulants are the two primary categories of ADHD drugs that are currently on the market. These drugs raise norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain, which support self-control, thinking, and attention.

The most popular drugs that act as stimulants are:

  • Methylphenidate: Focalin, Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin, and Metadate
  • Amphetamines: Vyvanse, Adderall, Dexedrine, and Dextrostat

The most popular non-stimulant drugs are: Kapvay (clonidine), Intriniv (guanfacine), Qelbree (viloxazine), and Strattera (atomoxetine).


Untreated ADHD can have negative effects on relationships with others, performance at work or school, and general quality of life because it alters thinking and behavior. Including therapy in your treatment plan can help you manage the difficulties associated with ADHD. When you are diagnosed with ADHD, medical professionals advise that you begin therapy right away.

Reducing unwanted or troublesome behaviors and enhancing positive behaviors are the two main objectives of treatment. Common forms of ADHD treatment consist of:

  • Parent training in behavior management: In addition to acquiring skills and tactics to assist their child, parents receive training in behavior therapy.
  • Behavior therapy with children: assists kids in controlling their symptoms of ADHD so they can perform better at home, school, or in their community
  • Behavioral classroom management: A teacher-led strategy that uses a daily report card and a rewards system to promote positive conduct
  • Organizational skills training: Children and teenagers learn how to plan ahead, manage their time, and maintain organization.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy: Talk therapy is provided by a therapist to help you understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.


It is impossible to stop ADHD from developing. You or your child can control symptoms, nevertheless, with the help of certain preventative steps. Remember that preventative measures should be used in addition to medical care, not in substitute of prescription drugs or counseling.

Some strategies to try include:

  • Managing distractions: Restrict your child’s screen time on TV, computers, and phones when they are performing homework or household duties.
  • Creating positive opportunities: Assist your child in identifying activities they enjoy doing and motivate them to stick with their interests.
  • Helping your child with planning: When dealing with intricate or challenging jobs, try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps and take breaks if you see that they are getting stressed out.
  • Rewarding good behaviors: Make use of a chart to record your child’s goals and positive behaviors, and give them encouragement when they succeed.

Other Methods

In addition to behavioral therapy and medicine, some people and families may choose to include complementary or alternative therapies in their overall treatment plan. It’s crucial to remember that while these methods can enhance evidence-based treatments, they shouldn’t take their place. To guarantee safety and effectiveness, it’s imperative to speak with medical professionals before pursuing any natural remedies. Some people find that the following natural methods work well for controlling the symptoms of ADHD:

Nutritional Interventions

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Research indicates that people with ADHD may benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in flaxseed and fish oil. The development and operation of the brain are influenced by these important fatty acids.
  • Balanced Diet: Sustaining an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a well-balanced diet is critical to general health. Certain studies indicate a connection between symptoms of ADHD and dietary deficits.

Vitamins and Minerals: The proper functioning of the brain depends on a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. However, as taking too many supplements might be dangerous, doing so should be done under a doctor’s supervision.

Regular Physical Activity: It has been demonstrated that exercise improves mood and cognitive performance. Regular physical exercise, such as yoga, swimming, or jogging, can assist focus better and lessen hyperactivity.

Establishing a Consistent Sleep Routine: Sleep deprivation can make symptoms of ADHD worse. Better sleep quality can be attained by creating a regular sleep schedule, making sure the sleeping space is quiet and dark, and minimizing screen usage before bedtime.

Mindfulness Practices: Deep breathing exercises and other mindfulness practices can assist people with ADHD become more focused and control their impulsivity. Treatments focused on mindfulness have demonstrated potential in lowering symptoms of ADHD.

Herbal Remedies:

  • Ginkgo Biloba: Some people take the natural supplement ginkgo biloba in the hopes that it may enhance cognitive performance. To determine its efficacy for ADHD, more research is necessary.
  • Pycnogenol: Another herbal supplement that some people are considering for ADHD is pycnogenol, which is derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It is imperative to consult a healthcare provider before using any herbal medicine.

Behavioral Strategies:

  • Structured Routines: Creating routines that are precise and dependable can help create an organized atmosphere that helps people with ADHD handle everyday responsibilities.
  • Break Tasks Into Smaller Steps: Task completion can be improved and projects can become less onerous by being divided into smaller, more manageable segments.

Minimize Distractions: Concentration can be improved by creating a space free of distractions. This could entail setting up workplaces, putting on noise-canceling headphones, or setting aside particular spaces for various tasks.

Moderate Caffeine Intake: Moderate coffee use can help some people with ADHD focus better and have a soothing impact. Nonetheless, it’s critical to recognize that everyone has different caffeine sensitivity levels.

Art and Music Therapy: Creative therapies, like music and art therapy, can give people with ADHD new avenues for self-expression and concentration development.

It is important to take a balanced approach to natural remedies, taking into account personal preferences and variances. The efficacy of these methods can differ, and what works for one individual might not work for another. Consulting with medical professionals also guarantees safe integration of natural remedies with evidence-based therapies for best results.

In summary, ADHD is a complicated neurodevelopmental illness with many facets that calls for an all-encompassing approach to diagnosis, care, and support. Through increasing research, building inclusive communities, and raising awareness, we can work toward a time where people with ADHD are empowered to succeed in all facets of life. A more accepting and understanding society for people with ADHD will result from embracing neurodiversity and dismantling social obstacles.

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