What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological disorder most commonly observed in children that can continue into adulthood. ADHD results in lack of attention and highly impulsive behavior in children. Children with ADHD are always high on energy and cannot sit calm for even a few minutes. They have restless minds full of wandering thoughts all the time, which prevent them from keeping a constant focus.
What are the Causes of ADHD?
Genes play a crucial role in the development of ADHD. Children with ADHD are found to carry a gene, which is responsible for thinner brain tissue development in the areas of brain associated with attention. ADHD is largely a genetic disorder but environment and certain complications may also play a role. Environmental factors like exposure to heavy metals such as lead, or smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy are high-risk factors for development of ADHD. Sometimes brain injury, premature birth and low birth weight may also result in ADHD.
Some facts and myths regarding ADHD are listed below:
- The average age at which ADHD is diagnosed is 7 years. Approximately 6.4 million children in America, 4-17 years of age, have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. Each year about 4.1% American adults are affected by ADHD.
- It is an interesting fact about ADHD that boys are at higher risk of developing ADHD than girls.
- There are three types of ADHD. In one type, children have a problem focusing but are not excessively hyperactive. In the second type, the child is very impulsive and hyperactive but has lesser problem paying attention. The third type is the combination of both, which is the most common of all.
- Medication can reduce the symptoms and make it easier to manage daily life but cannot cure ADHD completely.
- Social environment and household conditions play an important role in benefitting or worsening the child’s condition. A supportive outlook towards child with ADHD could help reducing its impact.
- It must be remembered that every child who is less attentive at school and is impulsive in nature does not suffer from ADHD. Its diagnosis is a multi-step process of evaluation through various psychological and physical testing. Only after that one can confirm of ADHD.
- High sugar intake is not a cause for ADHD; most researches have denied it over the period of time.
- Medical conditions like learning disabilities, depression, anxiety disorder, sleep disorders and bipolar syndrome can co-exist with ADHD. Diagnosis is confirmed only after differentiating these conditions from ADHD. Among people diagnosed with ADHD, about 30% children have anxiety disorder and about 70% people face depression in their lifetime.
- A popular ADHD myth says that it is caused by bad parenting and poor teachers but the fact is that it is totally a medical disability which has no relation with parenting techniques.
- ADHD treatment includes reducing the symptoms along with improving daily functioning. It is a combination of medication, counseling sessions, psychotherapy, proper food habits, behavioral support and educational training.
- Supervised and controlled medication helps improve the symptoms and do not make person drugged.
- ADHD has nothing to do with one’s intellectual capabilities. They can be as smart as others.