By: Alyssa Meredith

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. This disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. ADHD is a disorder defined by inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity that affects functioning and development.
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Treatments of ADHD:

Currently available treatments for ADHD focus on reducing the symptoms and improving functioning. Treatments include medication, various types of psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments.

Medication for children: The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is a stimulant, which has a calming affect of children with ADHD.For many children, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work and learn. A "one size fits all" approach does not apply for all children with ADHD. What works for one child might not work for another. Any child taking medication must be monitored closely and carefully by caregivers and doctors. Medications come in different forms, such as a pill, capsule, liquid, or skin patch.

Medication for adults: Not all ADHD medication is approved for adults. Anti-depressants are sometimes used to treat adults with ADHD. Adult prescriptions for stimulants and other medication require special considerations.

Therapy for children: Psychotherapy for children may include organizing tasks or completing schoolwork, or working through emotionally difficult events. It teaches a child to monitor their own behavior. A goal for therapy for children is acting in a desired way, such as controlling anger and thinking before acting.

Therapy for adults: Therapy for adults teaches how to organize life with tools such as a large calendar or date book, lists, reminder notes, and by assigning a special place for keys, bills, and paperwork. Therapy can help change one's poor self image by examining the experiences that produced ADHD. The therapist encourages the adult with ADHD to adjust to the life changes that come with the treatment, such as thinking before acting or resisting the urge to take unnecessary risks.

Interesting facts about ADHD:

  • Many people with ADHD struggle with short term memory loss. They can remember where they grew up, but not the meeting their boss told them about three minutes earlier.
  • Many people with ADHD have trouble sticking to a healthy routine. Research shows that people with this disorder have sleep problems, impulsive eating habits, or not getting enough exercise.
  • There is not just one brand of ADHD. Everybody's traits, struggles, and ability to cope are different.
  • people with ADHD don'y have trouble paying attention. They just have trouble paying attention to the "right" things. What they do well is control what to pay attention to. If something isn't inherently interesting to them, it takes a huge amount of effort to tune in.
  • Not everyone who has high energy has ADHD. Many people with the condition struggle to get off of the couch. Aws adults, they may be unsure of what to do, or want to do so many things that they can't do anything at all.

Controversies of ADHD:

The controversies over ADHD are whether or not the collection of symptoms should be considered a mental disorder. Although there are brain differences and significant evidence of impairment in daily functoining of individuals with ADHD, a lot of people view that ADHD "symptoms" are simply an extreme expression of normal human behavior. People that argue if ADHD is a true disorder agree that individuals vary greatly in their activity levels and their ability to apply complex material. However, these individuals will also argue that most people with high activity levels and a tendancy towards impulsivity do not experience significant interference with their daily functioning as a result.

Many experts agree that ADHD is a neurological disorder that can be influenced by environmental factors. Despite research that has demonstrated differences in brain structure and function between individuals with ADHD and "normal" subjects, some experts continue to suggest that psychological factors are the primary cause of the disorder. Although some research suggests that psychological factors can be important determinants in the severity of the disorder, most research suggests that ADHD is biologically based.

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