“I Always Knew There Was Something Different About Me.”
Do you struggle to sit still, focus on a task, tend to interrupt others while they talk, find it difficult to concentrate or act impulsively without thinking things through?
Most of us experience this occasionally, but for a person with ADHD, these behaviours are uncontrollable and persistent. It interferes with their day-to-day living, so they struggle to learn, form lasting relationships or pursue a career. Attention deficit disorder is also known as hyperkinetic disorder.
Difference between ADHD and ADD
ADHD includes the symptom of physical hyperactivity or excessive restlessness–that’s the “H”. In ADD the symptom of hyperactivity is absent. Indeed, people with ADD can be calm and serene, not in the least hyperactive or disruptive.
ADHD is presented in three categories:
1. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation — Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity but not symptoms of inattention have been shown for at least six months.
2. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation — Symptoms of inattention but not symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been shown for at least six months.
3. Combined Presentation — Symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity have been shown for at least six months.
Note for diagnosis
- ADHD must be present before the age of 12 years (even if an adult is at first diagnosis).
- ADHD behaviour must also be present in two or more settings, for example, at home, school or the workplace. Someone who can pay attention at work but is inattentive only at home usually wouldn’t qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD.
Symptoms of Hyper-Impulsive ADHD:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaving the seat in classroom or their workplace)
- Running or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate
- Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question
- Talking excessively
- Interrupting or intruding on others
- Having difficulty waiting in line or taking turns
- Unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly
- Feeling very restless, as if “driven by a motor”, and talking excessively
Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD:
- They are not paying close attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities, often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another (e.g., fails to meet deadlines; messy, disorganized work; difficulty keeping organized)
- Becomes easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, like sights and sounds (or unrelated thoughts)
- Ignores instructions and makes careless mistakes, not finishing work, chores or duties
- Loses or forgets things needed for a task, like pencils, books, assignments or tools
- Avoids dislikes or is reluctant to engage in things that take a lot of mental effort for an extended period
- Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; returning calls, paying bills; keeping appointments)
In the above two presentations, a person should have five or more (6 or more for children and teens) symptoms present to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Symptoms of Combined ADHD:
- A sudden change in the child’s life (death in the family, divorce, job loss of a parent)
- Previously undetected seizures
- Middle ear infection, which can cause hearing problems
- Other types of medical disorders that may be affecting the child’s brain
- Learning disability
- Anxiety and depression
A person exhibiting hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention is considered to have the combined presentation of ADHD, which combines all of the above symptoms.
For a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms must also have appeared before the age of 7 (for childhood ADHD) and have continued for at least six months.
”In 50% of cases, symptoms persist into adulthood. In addition, adults diagnosed as children with ADHD are at increased risk for antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse, mood and anxiety disorders, marital problems, traffic accidents, legal infractions, and frequent job changes.
4.4% of adults diagnosed are more likely to be male and showed a wide range of difficulties at work and in their social lives. In addition, adults with ADHD are at higher risk for depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and antisocial personality disorder.” –Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Abnormal Psychology.
Treatment of ADHD
Medication, behavioural therapy, emotional counselling, and practical support will help a person with ADHD cope with the disadvantages of the disorder.
In psychotherapy (commonly cognitive-behavioural therapy for ADHD), the patient can be helped to talk about upsetting thoughts and feelings, explore self-defeating patterns of behaviour, learn alternative ways to handle emotions, feel better about him or herself despite the disorder, identify and build on their strengths, answer unhealthy or irrational thoughts, cope with daily problems, and control their attention and aggression.
Behaviour therapy is focused on helping individuals understand how changing their behaviour can lead to changes in how they feel. The goal of behaviour therapy is usually focused on increasing the person’s engagement in positive or socially reinforcing activities. Behaviour therapy is a structured approach that carefully measures what the person is doing and then seeks to increase chances for a positive experience.
Social skills training
Social skills training teaches the behaviours necessary to develop and maintain good social relationships, such as waiting for a turn, sharing toys, asking for help, or specific ways of responding to teasing. These skills are usually not taught in the classroom or by parents — they are typically learned naturally by most children by watching and repeating other behaviours they see. But some children — especially those with attention deficit disorder — have more difficulty learning or using these skills appropriately.
Social skill training helps the child to learn and use these skills in a safe practice environment with the therapist (or parent).
Skills include learning how to have conversations with others, seeing others’ perspectives, listening, asking questions, the importance of eye contact, and what body language and gestures are telling you.
Natural products vs drugs for ADHD treatment
The effect of Internet Technology on the brain. Internet Addiction Disorder also has symptoms similar to ADHD – anger, inability to concentrate, sleeplessness, weak memory and lack of self-control. Please explore this disorder as well.
You can learn more about ADHD by doing a quiz: ADHD Quiz.
Note: a medical professional can only diagnose ADHD. Seeing a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment is in your best interest.
Not giving close attention to details or making careless mistakes in …. https://www.coursehero.com/file/pmplvkr/Not-giving-close-attention-to-details-or-making-careless-mistakes-in-schoolwork/
About Behavior Therapy – Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/lib/about-behavior-therapy