How to Know If You Have ADHD
If you have trouble concentrating and getting tasks done, you may have ADHD. An accurate diagnosis can help you get treatment and learn coping skills to live well with the disorder.
A doctor or other mental health professional can diagnose ADHD with a thorough examination, questionnaires and medical profile. Tests include hearing and vision exams, a brain scan and an EEG.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD
Everybody experiences a little bit of difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior from time to time. But for children who have ADHD, these symptoms are so intense that they interfere with their everyday life — at home, school or in their relationships.
Some kids who have ADHD may have other mental health problems, like depression or anxiety, as well. That’s why it’s important to talk to a doctor as soon as you see any symptoms.
The most common symptoms of ADHD are inattention and hyperactivity or impulsivity. They often occur together but can also occur independently.
Causes Of ADHD
ADHD is caused by a combination of genes and environmental factors. For example, prematurity, chromosomal microdeletions and lead in the environment all have been known to increase a child’s risk of developing ADHD.
A child with adhd often has problems paying attention and staying focused. They may also have impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Children with ADHD can have many skills that other kids don’t have, like being a great problem-solver or an inventive artist.
However, they can’t use these skills if they can’t focus and pay attention.
A doctor can diagnose ADHD by asking questions, talking with parents and kids, doing a health check and reviewing a child’s school records. They may recommend a referral to a child psychologist or psychiatrist, if needed.
Getting Diagnosed With ADHD
If you’ve been noticing symptoms such as trouble focusing on tasks, being disorganized or easily distracted, or having problems getting along with people, there’s a good chance you have ADHD.
The first step to getting a diagnosis is to see your doctor. They can refer you to a specialist, such as a paediatrician or child psychologist or psychiatrist.
You’ll need to fill out a detailed assessment with the health professional. This should include information from you, your child and their school.
A thorough evaluation helps to determine if other factors, such as stress or a physical condition, are causing your symptoms. Your health care provider may also ask questions about your past medical history, whether you’ve had any mental health problems, and if you have other symptoms that aren’t related to ADHD, such as depression or anxiety.
Risk Factors Of ADHD
A person’s genes and a combination of other factors can lead to the development of ADHD. For example, people with a particular gene called DRD4 are at risk of developing ADHD.
But a person can also develop ADHD from being exposed to environmental toxins, such as lead, PCBs, or pesticides. It’s also possible that a gestational mother’s health and habits during pregnancy can influence her child’s risk of developing ADHD.
Studies show that some babies are more likely to have ADHD if their mothers smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy. But they don’t say exactly how this relationship works. It’s likely that the parents’ genetic risk of ADHD is a factor, too. This makes it difficult to figure out how to screen pregnant women for ADHD.
Complications Of ADHD
ADHD can cause problems in many areas of a child’s life. It can affect their schoolwork, social relationships and family life.
It can also make them more prone to accidents. This is because of their impulsive and erratic behavior.
Having ADHD can also lead to other mental health problems in childhood and adulthood, including anxiety and depression.
The exact cause of ADHD is not clear, but research suggests that it has to do with genetics and/or issues at key moments in development. These could include being exposed to certain toxins (like lead) during pregnancy or premature birth.