Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Home Psychiatry Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD? 

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental condition in which children face difficulty in paying attention. This medical condition is often characterised by overly active behaviour in children, doing things without considering the consequences, and an inability to control impulsive behaviour, mainly characterised by a behavioural change in the affected person.

ADHD usually diminishes in intensity with age. Hence, the affected children may show few or no symptoms when they grow into adults, but in some cases, the issue persists.

What are the Symptoms of ADHD?

The ADHD diagnosis depends on the type of condition a person has. Hence, these symptoms can be categorised as inattentiveness-related or hyperactivity/impulsiveness-related signs.

Symptoms of ADHD-Inattentive:

  • Inability to stay focused and avoid distractions
  • Being forgetful
  • Lack of ability to stick to time-consuming or tedious tasks
  • Failing to listen and follow instructions
  • More prone to losing things

Symptoms of ADHD-Hyperactive:

  • Difficulty sitting still, particularly in a relatively calmer environment
  • Fidgety behaviour
  • Excessive talking
  • Excessive physical movement
  • Tendency to act without thinking of consequences
  • Impatience

ADHD-affected children and teens may also have problems such as:

  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
  • Depression
  • Conduct disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Sleep issues
  • Epilepsy
  • Dyslexia
  • Learning difficulties
  • Tourette’s syndrome

On the other hand, adults with ADHD may also have the following conditions:

What are the Types of ADHD?

Primarily, there are three main types of ADHD, as discussed below:

Inattentive type: As the name suggests, this ADHD type is characterised by a lack of attention. The affected individual usually gets distracted easily and has trouble concentrating and organising tasks.

Hyperactivity/impulsive type: The person with this type of ADHD exhibits fidgety behaviour, often talks excessively, and seems unable to slow down. They also have difficulty staying focused on the task at hand. Moreover, people affected by this type of ADHD are more likely to fall into their urge to take unnecessary risks.

Combined type: This ADHD type involves both hyperactive and inattentive behaviours.

What are the Causes of ADHD?

The exact reason for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not yet known. However, a body of research has concluded that genetics play a significant role in the majority of ADHD cases. However, it is not only confined to ADHD, there are some other factors too that could play an important role in developing this condition. The factors include: 

  • Brain damage due to an injury
  • Premature delivery
  • Children born with low birth weight
  • Malnutrition

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

As there is no simple test to diagnose ADHD, your practitioner may conduct a detailed assessment comprising several tests and evaluations. A typical ADHD assessment involves:

  • A physical examination of the patient
  • A detailed interview of the patient
  • Discussions with other people, such as parents or partners
  • The diagnostic procedure may differ between children/teens and adults

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Diagnosing ADHD in Children and Teens

Here is a list of conditions that the doctor may checks in your children for ADHD:

  • Your child has been showing ADHD symptoms for six months or longer.
  • They started showing these symptoms before turning 12.
  • Children have shown these symptoms in at least two different settings, such as at home and at school.The doctor will ensure that these signs haven’t occurred due to people’s behaviours in the surroundings.
  • They show symptoms that have made their lives more difficult in their areas of interaction.
  • They show symptoms that do not point more aptly to another condition.

Diagnosing ADHD in Adults

Adults can have ADHD for numerous reasons. Therefore, their ADHD diagnosis is often more complicated than children’s. Generally, doctors look for at least five symptoms of inattentiveness or five symptoms of hyperactivity to diagnose this condition in adults. You will also be asked if your symptoms are present from childhood. Your doctor may also ask your parents this question if you do not remember the problems you had as a child.

Your doctor would rule out ADHD in your case if you didn’t show its symptoms regularly in the past. This is because ADHD doesn’t have its onset in adulthood, according to the most recent studies.

ADHD Treatments

ADHD treatment may involve medications and behaviour therapy. In the majority of cases, experts around the globe recommend a combined treatment that involves both medication and therapy. The medications usually include:

Stimulants: Stimulants are a preferred option to treat ADHD. These medications include amphetamines and methylphenidate.

Non-stimulants: Patients who do not respond to or cannot tolerate stimulants are more likely to benefit from non-stimulants. The most common non-stimulants used to treat ADHD are guanfacine, atomoxetine, and clonidine.

Behaviour Therapy for ADHD

It is another approach used alongside medication to manage ADHD. According to studies, stimulant medication can help treat core symptoms of ADHD but may fail to address self-management issues, mental distress, and impairments originating from ADHD. These issues are effectively managed with counselling and social skills training during psychotherapy.

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What is the Difference Between ADHD and ADD?

ADHD refers to a mental condition that affects a person’s mental concentration, the ability to stay calm and composed, or both. On the other hand, ADD, or attention deficit disorder, is an outdated term, which is now called Inattentive Type ADHD. In other words, ADD is only characterised by a lack of attention and poor organisational skills, not hyperactivity or impulsivity.

Can ADHD be Cured Permanently?

You cannot prevent or cure ADHD. However, early diagnosis and timely treatment of this condition can help you or your child manage its symptoms.

What is the Most Effective Treatment for ADHD?

Every individual responds differently to various ADHD treatments. A treatment plan comprising medication and psychotherapy can help manage this condition most effectively.

How Can I Control My ADHD Without Medication?

Lifestyle changes are one of the ways to control ADHD without medication. You can also discuss cognitive behavioural therapy options with your psychologist during your next visit. In general, incorporating the following into your life can help treat ADHD without medication:

  • A good night’s sleep.
  • Physical workout.
  • Mindfulness through meditation.
  • Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Get Consultation Now

Do you need help with ADHD symptoms for yourself or your child? Euromed Clinic Dubai is here to help with its highly experienced and esteemed psychotherapists and practitioners. You can schedule your appointment by calling us at +971 4 394 5422. You can also book your appointment via WhatsApp using the same number.

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