6 symptoms of ADHD

What Is an ADHD Person Like?
A person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may experience the following symptoms, which range from a short attention span to procrastination.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which affects an estimated 4.4 percent of American adults, is a chronic condition that can last a lifetime. A person may begin to experience symptoms during their childhood and discover that they continue into their adolescence and adulthood.

Although no two people with ADHD present symptoms, in the same way, there are some similarities and is characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Short attention span: People with ADHD have difficulty focusing their attention on routine tasks (such as washing dishes, filling out reports at work, or emptying the trash). They may forget about a task entirely, begin it but not complete it or complete it hurriedly and carelessly.
  2. Distractibility: Individuals with ADHD are easily distracted. This is most likely due to a proclivity to notice more in their surroundings than others. They are easily distracted through sounds (such as phone notifications), lights, smells, and moving objects.
  3. Disorganization: Having ADHD is associated with issues with time and space organization. People with ADHD are disorganized and may be prone to being late or struggling to meet deadlines. They may struggle to keep belongings organized such as office desks and drawers, and their things in the home may be disorganized.
  4. Procrastination: People with ADHD frequently procrastinate until the last minute. They may not begin a project until a deadline is approaching or until someone else is angry with them for failing to do so.
  5. Poor internal supervision: People with ADHD frequently have poor judgment and impulse control. They tend to say or do things without thinking about the consequences, and they don't always learn from their mistakes.
  6. Lack of motivation: People with ADHD may have difficulty motivating themselves, which is one of the main reasons they are labeled as lazy.

3 types of ADHD

Three types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include:

  1. Inattentive: Individuals with ADHD are easily distracted or inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive.
    • Other signs and symptoms may include:
      • Paying insufficient attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork
      • Having trouble staying focused in class, conversations, or reading
      • Avoiding tasks that require constant mental effort (homework)
      • Failure to carry out instructions and a proclivity to begin but not complete tasks
      • Have trouble organizing tasks, activities, belongings, or time
      • Daydreaming or being easily distracted
      • Misplacing items
      • Not listening when spoken to
      • Being forgetful about daily tasks such as chores and appointments
  2. Hyperactive/impulsive: A person with ADHD exhibits signs of impulsivity and hyperactivity.
    • Symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive behavior may include:
      • Squirming and fidgeting
      • Running or climbing in inappropriate situations
      • Nonstop talking
      • Interrupting conversations, games, or activities or using other people's property without their permission
      • Answering a question before it has been completed
      • Difficulty waiting their turn
      • Leaving the seat in class or other situations where they are expected to sit
      • Constant movement, as if “driven by a motor”
      • Difficulty playing or performing tasks quietly
  3. Combined: Individuals with ADHD exhibit various symptoms, including hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity.

ADHD symptoms are typically noticed at a young age and may become more prevalent as the child's circumstances change, such as when they begin school. The majority of cases are discovered when children are aged between 6 and 12 years.

ADHD symptoms typically improve with age, but many adults who are diagnosed with the condition at a younger age continue to struggle. People with ADHD may have sleep and anxiety disorders.

SLIDESHOW

What Are the Symptoms of ADHD in Kids? Tests, Medication See Slideshow

What causes ADHD?

There are no definite causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children; however, the following factors may increase the risk of the condition:

  • Altered anatomy or function of the brain:
    • Brain scans have revealed that some areas of the brain, particularly those associated with activity and attention spans, differ between children and adults with ADHD.
    • According to some studies, people with ADHD have a slightly structurally different frontal lobe of the brain.
    • Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain may be disrupted. These neurotransmitters function as chemical messengers in the brain.
  • Genetics:
    • ADHD can sometimes be inherited. Several genes linked to ADHD causation have been discovered in studies, but the exact gene is yet to be determined.
  • Male gender:
    • Boys and men are more likely than girls and women to develop ADHD. This could be because of genetic or hormonal factors.
    • According to studies, because ADHD is commonly associated with violent and hyperactive symptoms, many girls with the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD may have gone undiagnosed.
  • Maternal drug abuse, alcohol intake, and smoking:
    • According to some studies, pregnant women who smoke, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs are more likely to have children with ADHD.
    • The exact pathology underlying this association is unknown. However, it is hypothesized that such abuse in utero, or within the womb, reduces neuronal activity and alters the nerve messenger chemicals neurotransmitters.
    • Pregnant women who are exposed to environmental toxins are at risk of having children with ADHD.
  • Exposure to toxins:
    • Toddlers and preschoolers who are exposed to environmental toxins and poisons are more likely to develop behavioral issues.
    • Lead exposure from paint and pipes in old buildings is notable because it has been linked to short attention spans and violent behavior in some children.
  • Traumatic brain injury:
    • In some studies, brain injury has been linked to ADHD. The number of children who have suffered such brain injuries, however, is insufficient to explain the increasing prevalence of ADHD.
  • Additives:
    • Some food additives, such as preservatives and artificial coloring, have been linked to ADHD aggravation and risk. There is no conclusive evidence in this area, so more research is needed.
  • Sugar:
    • Excess sugar in a child’s diet, according to studies and popular belief, frequently leads to behavioral problems.
    • Extensive research, however, has revealed that there is no link between excessive sugar in the diet and an increased risk of ADHD or even worsening of symptoms in children diagnosed with ADHD.
  • Food intolerance:
    • Certain food intolerances, such as those to milk, wheat, and nuts, have been linked to an increased risk of ADHD.
  • Exposure to television:
    • Concerns have been raised that excessive exposure to television at a young age may increase the risk of ADHD.
    • Although no studies have been conducted to prove this link, there is evidence that excessive television viewing may lead to inattention and an increased risk of ADHD later in life.
  • Other risk factors:
    • These include being born before the 37th week of pregnancy and having a low birth weight.
    • ADHD is linked to brain damage in utero or the first few years of life, as well as having impaired hearing.

A parent of a recently diagnosed child may blame themselves or their parenting, but the cause of the condition is more often than not unrelated to parenting at all. Parenting and environment, on the other hand, may play a role in exacerbating the child's behavioral issues.

What are the treatment options for ADHD?

Medication is frequently used as the first line of defense in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  • Some people use a combination of therapy and medication, whereas others do not use any medication at all.
  • The only way to treat conditions is for the person with ADHD to identify their primary complaint.

Treatment options for ADHD may include:

  • Education: To assist the individual and their family in better understanding and managing their condition
  • Lifestyle improvement: Reducing or discontinuing use of drugs and alcohol, as well as increasing physical activity regularly
  • Medication: Both stimulant and non-stimulant medications are used depending on the person’s symptoms
  • Psychotherapy: Addresses issues such as low self-esteem or substance abuse
  • Other therapies: Depending on the individual's needs, behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy teach anger management, organizational skills, and social skills
  • Vocational counseling: Increases a person's chances of success and job satisfaction
  • Joining a support group: May help people with ADHD overcome daily challenges
  • Family therapy: Therapy for families with ADHD teach them how to understand and take care of people with ADHD

People with ADHD may try various treatments to alleviate symptoms before finding the one that works.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no cure for the disorder, and children do not grow out of it. As adults, many children may seek additional treatment. Others may be able to cope on their own. Regardless of which one occurs, the person is never cured of the condition.

QUESTION

The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 1/19/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

What It‘s Like to Have ADHD: Presentations Change Throughout Life: https://chadd.org/adhd-weekly/what-its-like-to-have-adhd-presentations-change-throughout-life/

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd

The effect of ADHD on the life of an individual, their family, and community from preschool to adult life: https://adc.bmj.com/content/90/suppl_1/i2

ADHD & the Brain: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/ADHD_and_the_Brain.aspx