How to Know If You Have ADHD
If you have questions about ADHD, it is best to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. They can diagnose ADHD and provide a treatment plan that can help you or your child get relief from the symptoms.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, a person must meet specific criteria listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). These criteria include symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention deficit, and organizational problems that cause significant difficulties in daily life.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD
The symptoms of adhd vary from person to person, but they typically include problems paying attention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They also include frequent or repetitive behavior problems that interfere with school or work.
ADHD can be diagnosed in children by a doctor or other mental health professional using a detailed history, observations and psychoeducational testing. The doctor may also use behavioral tests to rule out other disorders and evaluate specific skills, such as listening, speaking, problem solving, memory or concentration.
In general, the symptoms of ADHD tend to fade with age. However, many children and adults still struggle with inattention or hyperactivity.
Causes Of ADHD
Several factors can cause ADHD. Genetics, chromosomal microdeletions, severe head injuries, prematurity and environmental toxins (such as lead) all appear to have an impact on the development of the disorder.
Children with ADHD may have a higher chance of developing psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and substance abuse later in life. They are also less likely to succeed in school and earn a good income.
People with ADHD have a decreased ability to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with reward and pleasure. When dopamine levels are low, people with ADHD tend to seek out risky behaviors to raise dopamine to normal levels. These behaviors include impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness. They can also be disruptive and have an adverse effect on social relationships and job performance.
Getting Diagnosed With ADHD
Diagnosis of ADHD can be complex, with overlapping symptoms and comorbid conditions that can make it difficult to pinpoint the cause. It’s best to get a diagnosis by a trained specialist who takes their time with a comprehensive clinical interview and evaluation.
A child may be diagnosed with ADHD before they’re 12 years old, if they have symptoms of hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that affect their ability to function in multiple settings, such as home, school, and work.
Children with ADHD often also have learning problems, oppositional and defiant behavior, or mood and anxiety disorders. Treatment for these issues often helps with ADHD.
Risk Factors Of ADHD
There are many factors that may increase your child’s risk of developing ADHD. These include a family history of the disorder, prenatal exposures to alcohol, smoking and other substances and head injuries during early infancy.
There is also some evidence that environmental factors can contribute to the development of ADHD. For example, lead and other toxic chemicals can affect brain growth and behavior in children.
Genes play a big role in ADHD, but other factors — such as non-inherited environmental risk factors and developmental factors — also contribute. The relationship between genetic and other factors is complicated, so it’s not easy to disentangle the effects of one factor from the other. However, researchers are working hard to understand the causes of ADHD and how to improve the lives of those with it.
Complications Of ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause problems at home, school and work. It is a common neurodevelopmental condition that usually begins in childhood.
Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity can be treated by medications that help children focus and stay calmer. These medicines are safe and have been proven to greatly improve concentration, impulsivity and hyperactivity in about 4 in 5 children with ADHD.
There are many different treatments for ADHD, but it’s important to start treatment early. This may include medication, parent therapy and behavioral education.