Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is it?

ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that commonly begins in childhood but can persist into adolescence and adulthood. ADHD is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning and quality of life.

The symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person but generally fall into three main categories:

  • Inattention: difficulty sustaining attention, being easily distracted, overlooking details, making careless mistakes, struggling to follow instructions or finish tasks, and being forgetful in daily activities.
  • Hyperactivity: excessive fidgeting, restlessness, difficulty staying seated, excessive talking, and a constant need for movement or physical activity.
  • Impulsivity: acting without thinking, interrupting others, having difficulty waiting for their turn, and engaging in risky or impulsive decision-making.

To determine if you have ADHD, it is essential to consult a qualified healthcare professional, who will conduct a comprehensive evaluation, which typically involves gathering information from multiple sources, including interviews, questionnaires, and observations.

Keep in mind that experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above does not necessarily mean you have ADHD. Many other factors can contribute to difficulties with attention and focus.

Treatment Options

The treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) typically involves a combination of medication, behavioural therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

  1. Medication: Stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamines (Adderall) are often prescribed to manage symptoms. They work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can improve focus, attention, and impulse control. Non-stimulants such as atomoxetine (Strattera) may also be prescribed.
  2. Behavioural therapy: help individuals learn skills to manage symptoms such as poor organizational skills, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can also help develop strategies to improve self-esteem, social skills, and emotional regulation.
  3. Lifestyle modifications:  These include getting regular exercise, following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, reducing screen time, and practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation.
  4. Supportive interventions: Other interventions such as occupational therapy, coaching, and support groups can also be helpful.

It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan for ADHD. The effectiveness of the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition.