ADD, known as Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD, known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the co-existence of attention problems and hyperactivity. Since 1994 the medical community has referred to ADD as ADHD formally, although ADD is a term frequently used by many people. Many observers of people suffering from ADHD dismiss ADHD sufferer’s symptoms as annoying behaviors, not realizing the underlying condition. If left untreated ADHD can interfere with a person’s education and interpersonal relationships. ADHD is a diagnosis that usually comes during childhood. Most children who suffer from ADHD will continue to suffer into adulthood. As adults, many suffering from ADHD develop coping mechanisms to compensate for their symptoms. ADHD is a more common diagnosis in boys rather than in girls. Some believe the discrepancy is due to the bias of referring teachers. Treatment for ADHD is usually a combination of medication, counseling, lifestyle changes and behavior modification.
Symptoms of ADHD include inattention, poor impulse control and hyperactivity. Symptoms are difficult to diagnose because it is challenging to determine what symptoms are just normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity and poor impulse control and what symptoms are crossing the line requiring intervention.
Symptoms of inattentiveness include difficulty focusing, difficulty completing a task or sticking with a task for more than a few minutes, forgetfulness, inattention to detail and difficulty following instructions.
Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulse control issues include non-stop talking, fidgeting, inability to sit still, difficulty with quiet tasks, impatience, blurting out inappropriate comments, difficulty controlling emotions and difficulty waiting in lines or for their turn.
While many studies are in progress the exact cause of ADHD is unknown. There are contributing factors that seem to bare some responsibility. These factors include social and physical environments, diet and genetics.
Currently there is no physical way to test for ADHD. A psychological evaluation is the tool doctors use to diagnose ADHD. Most people display some symptoms of ADHD from time to time. Someone truly suffering from ADHD will have symptoms that have a significant impact on their lives in a negative way. To receive an ADHD diagnosis the symptoms must be present for more than six months. It is also important that doctors rule out other issues such as sleep disorders and other possible medical conditions.
Common treatments for ADHD include medication. Physicians prescribe medications for ADHD to their patients. Medication comes in the form of stimulants and non-stimulants depending on the particular patient’s diagnosis. Medication for the treatment of ADHD symptoms is the most cost effective management option for patients suffering from ADHD.
Many patients receive behavioral therapy in conjunction with the medications that their doctors prescribe. The behavioral therapy is usually a combination of family therapy, social skills training and in the case of children, parent management training
More experimental treatments for ADHD include diet changes. Some doctors believe that an increase in the amount of Omega 3 supplementation may reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children. There is no evidence at this time that shows the effectiveness of vitamin and mineral supplementation and its effects on ADHD symptoms.
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