Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

 

Behaviors

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the regulation of a particular set of brain functions and their related behaviors. Some of the behaviors typically associated with this disorder include not being able to focus (inattentiveness) or concentrate, difficulty remembering things, lacking motivation, and effort to address expectations, failure to learn from mistakes, being overactive (hyperactivity), not being able to control behavior (impulsivity), lacking organization and poor social skills. The person may demonstrate the behaviors alone or display several simultaneously. ADHD usually appears initially in children and may carry over into adulthood.

Types of ADHD

 

Those with ADHD are classified as having one of three types depending on which symptoms show up the strongest in their personalities.

  • Inattentive ADHD: Individuals with this type of ADHD find it difficult to plan or complete a task, follow directions or discussions, or follow instructions. Individuals can also get easily distracted or forget the specifics of daily routines. Inattentive type ADHD is what is often referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
  • Hyperactive-Impulsive: Individuals with this type of ADHD tend to talk a lot, often interrupting others, unable to wait their turn, or speaking at inappropriate times. People with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD act impulsively. They are restless, act before thinking, and need to be moving all the time. Therefore, they tend to act and react before thinking which unfortunately often results in accidents and mishaps.
  • Combined: Individuals with combined ADHD demonstrate symptoms have symptoms from both.
Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

 

The main signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults are:

  • Difficulty focusing – easily distracted, daydreaming, zoning out during conversations, overlooking instructions and details, unable to finish projects or tasks on time.
  • Misplacing items – misplacing everyday items while the brain is on autopilot, losing track of where an item is placed after a moment of inattention, constantly retracing steps to find lost items, storing things in the wrong place.
  • Always running late – Due to poor time management skills they are unable to find required items like car keys, forgetting dates and times, underestimating time needed to complete tasks, getting distracted will preparing for an appointment or event.
  • Risky behaviors – start arguments or fights, overspending, reckless driving, substance use, risky sex-related decisions, gambling, impulse eating.
  • Lack of listening- difficulty waiting for your turn to speak, staying on topic, keeping track of the conversation, using non-verbal cues to show active listening, talking too fast, speaking too much, blurting out words that make others uncomfortable, unable to read other people’s body language.
  • Inability to prioritize – feeling like you have too much to do, all tasks feel equally important, difficulty thinking ahead/underestimating deadlines, seeking novelty over familiar tasks that may be more significant and relevant.
  • Relationship troubles – speaking over other people, not actively listening to others, forgetting important events and dates, blurting out hurtful statements, failing to fulfill responsibilities, commitments or promises, trouble regulation emotions.
  • Nervous energy – flight of ideas, constant fidgeting, tics and impulsive behaviors, overthinking and catastrophizing, trouble sitting still.
  • Memory issues – Forgetting things on grocery lists, leaving essential items at home, losing track of belongings, difficulty following instructions to complete tasks, re-reading sections of text due to not retaining information.
  • Easily angered – Impatience when under stress, explosive outbursts of anger, persistent irritability, surges of anger when met with everyday obstacles, frequent and reactive mood changes, unaware of the other party’s feelings.
Examples of Inattentive Symptoms:

 

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities.
  • Has difficulty keeping focus during tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading.
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores and tasks but quickly loses focus and gets easily sidetracked.
  • Has problems organizing tasks and activities, such as what to do in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, having messy work and poor time management, and failing to meet deadlines.
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental efforts such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers.
  • Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones.
  • Is easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments.
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity Symptoms

 

  • Fidgets and squirms in their seats
  • Leaves their seats in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or the office.
  • Runs or dashes around or climbs in cases where it is inappropriate or, in teens and adults, often feel restless.
  • Is unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly.
  • Always in motion, “on the go,” or acts as if “driven by a motor.”
  • Talks non-stop.
  • Blurts out an answer before a question has been completed, finishes other people’s sentences, or speaks without waiting for a turn in a conversation.
  • Has trouble waiting for their turn.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others, for example, in conversations, games, or activities.
Helpful Tips for Children with ADHD

 

  • Maintain a daily schedule and routine. Do things consistently every day, such as wake up, eat breakfast, go to bed, get dressed, and do homework following the same schedule on the weekend as the weekday. Include time for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Keep the plan on the refrigerator or bulletin board in the kitchen. Write changes on the bulletin board as far in advance as possible.
  • Have a place for everything (such as clothing, backpacks, and toys), and keep everything in its place.
  • Use homework and notebook organizers. Use organizers for school material and supplies — stress the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books to your child.
  • Be clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.
  • Give praise or rewards when following rules. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Instead, look for good behavior and praise it.
Helpful Tips for Adults with ADHS

 

  • Keep routines.
  • Making lists for different tasks and activities
  • Using a calendar for scheduling events
  • Use reminder notes.
  • Assign a special place for keys, bills, and paperwork.
  • Breaking down large tasks into more manageable, smaller steps to complete each part of the job provides a sense of accomplishment.
Treatment

 

  • Treatment includes several options and often involves a combination of medication and therapy. Three primary therapies are available: behavioral, cognitive/behavioral, and family/marital.
  • The National Resource Center on ADHD, a program for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD®) supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has information and many resources. You can reach this center online or by phone at 1-866-200-8098.

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

https://add.org/adhd-facts/

The National Resource Center on ADHD

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