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ADHD is the shortcut for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and it is a disease usually affecting children. Although it could seem like a mild affection, mainly characterized by the inability to focus or maintain attention on a certain subject or a given topic, it seems like it could degenerate into more serious health problems later on in life.
ADHD could cause serious psychological, emotional and social problems to the patient and the symptoms worsen when the condition is left untreated for longer periods of time.
This affection is a nightmare for most of the parents, but it should not be. It can be easily treated when given proper attention and when having the know-how in the process. The main problem is that it can be very difficult to diagnose and understood and another problem is that the causes are still unknown. The good part of the deal is that ADHD can be successfully treated provided that necessary measures are taken in time.
The child needs support and understanding and constant attention throughout the treatment because ADHD is not a one-way road. Even though it is impending to the social functioning, it is possible to be rectified over the course of childhood, so that it will allow the future adult a proper social development. This means, however, that measures need to be taken in the early stages of life and continued until the situation shows visible improvements.
ADHD Signs and Symptoms
ADHD is a neurological disorder and it is included in the neurodevelopmental category, meaning that it may impend the patient’s natural mental development. Most of the symptoms start manifesting around the age of 5 and sometimes could extend into adulthood, especially when the affection is not treated properly.
Among the most relevant symptoms that may occur and suggest ADHD, we mention:
- Low attention span. They find it hard to focus, they tend to miss certain details and information and they tend to jump between activities and topics of interest quite easily since they cannot be distracted by one in particular for too long.
- Daydreaming. A particularity of ADHD patients is that they tend to daydream a lot
- Have difficulties in following instructions
- Cannot fully understand and memorize detail
- Do not listen when being spoken to
- Impulsive talking, often without well-determined subjects
- Have difficulties in staying in one place for too long
- Manifest the need for constant motion, even when sitting
- Cannot keep it quiet, even when doing tasks requiring so
- They are constantly impatient
The more dangerous aspect is that, in almost 2 thirds of the cases, children diagnosed with ADHD will also develop other additional affections. Some of these are potentially debilitating, such as Tourette syndrome, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), PDV (Primary Disorder of Vigilance), characterized by a lack of attention and weak focus, combined with somnolence in most cases, anxiety, mood problems, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and many others.
ADHD Treatment and Therapies
The main problem with ADHD is that it has no cure. The only measure available is fighting against symptoms and there are several ways of doing so.
There are, overall, 5 types of drugs used in treating ADHD:
- Dexamfetamine – A known stimulant, activating certain areas in the brain and helping in moderating attention and general behavior.
- Methylphenidate- Another brain stimulant, strictly used in children, not adults.
- Lisdexamfetamine – Effective in moderating the brain functioning in both children and adults alike.
- Guanfacine – It reduces blood pressure, aiding ADHD patients in becoming more docile and less energetic.
- Atomoxetine – An SNRI (Selective Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor) as it is called, this drug is used in boosting the attention and focus.
- Behavioral therapy
The studies have shown that behavioral therapies are efficient in treating ADHD symptoms and keeping them under control. They are usually recommended and used in preschool children and they are divided into several techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, psychoeducational input, social skill training, parent management training, school-based interventions and several others.
This shows that treating the patients takes a lot of efforts, from all sides and all those around the patient need to get involved in the process.
- Lifestyle changes
It has been proven that regular physical exercise programs and more balanced diets could contribute to repelling the symptoms quite effectively, in both children and adults.
Overall, it is a team effort and with a bit of persistence and know-how, the person suffering from this affection could manage to live a normal life in the end.