Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Symptoms, Causes and How to Treat

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting the children. Usually, ADHD is first diagnosed in childhood. Frequently, it lasts into adulthood. Well, here we will talk about ADHD including its symptoms, causes, and how to treat it.

Definition of ADHD

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the medical term for a mental disorder characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behavior. It is a disorder that affects the children and makes the sufferers have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time. This condition does affect the children, but the symptoms of ADHD can last until adolescence and even adulthood.

children with ADHD

ADHD is categorized into three main types, including:

  • Hyperactive-impulsive Dominant
    Generally, children with this type of ADHD have hyperactivity problems coupled with impulsive behavior.
  • Inattentive Dominant
    People with this type of ADHD are characterized by difficulty paying full attention to one thing at a time. Usually, children with this condition cannot pay attention well.
  • Hyperactive-impulsive and Inattentive Combination
    Usually, children with this type of ADHD show characteristics of hyperactivity, impulsive, and cannot pay attention well.

Symptoms of ADHD

In childhood and adolescence, the symptoms of ADHD are easy to recognize, while in adults they are more difficult to detect. However, the symptoms of ADHD in adults are signs that have been established since childhood.

Read also: Children with ADHD, What Parents Should Do?

Here are some common symptoms of ADHD:

  • Not paying attention
    The first common symptom of ADHD is not paying attention. This includes being easily distracted, forgetfulness, not following instructions, disregard for others, not being able to complete work or tasks at the school, loses focus, has problems with organization, and avoids tasks that need prolonged attention.
  • Hyperactivity
    The second common symptom of ADHD is hyperactive. This includes always appearing excited, talking excessively, unable to sit quietly, difficulty in waiting for their turn, stomping their hands or feet, always fidgeting, unable to sit for long periods of time, unable to play quietly, difficult to relax, running around or climbing in inappropriate situations, often disturbing others, and always giving answers before the question is resolved.
  • Impulsivity
    This is characterized by risky behavior without thinking regarding the consequences of their acts.

Causes of ADHD

Until now, the exact cause of ADHD is still unknown. However, this condition is thought to arise due to an imbalance of chemical compounds (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Here are some factors that are thought to be related to this condition, such as:

  • Genetic factors. Because ADHD can be inherited, so the risk of suffering from ADHD will increase if you have a family member who has the same disease or family members who have the same disease or other mental illness.
  • Environmental factors. It is thought to be related to exposure to lead, which is discovered in paint.
  • Premature birth, which is birth before 37 weeks of gestation, or a baby with low birth weight.
  • Mothers who smoke, consume alcohol, or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Brain damage or injury that may occur during pregnancy or at an early age.
  • Imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain or disturbances in brain performance.

Diagnosis of ADHD

Need to note that not all children who seem very active can be diagnosed with ADHD.

Here are some steps that a doctor will take to diagnose ADHD:

  • Exploring the history of the person’s disease course, family history of the disease, as well as school records.
  • Conducting a series of physical and psychological examinations that will be carried out by an expert doctor on the sufferer.
  • Conducting interviews or questionnaires with family members, caregivers, teachers, or people who know the sufferer well.
  • Conducting several image tests and laboratory tests to look for other causes.

ADHD Treatment

Until now, ADHD has not been cured. However, treatment of ADHD needs to be done immediately to help the sufferer adapt to the disease so that they have a better quality of life.

Here are some ADHD treatments:

  • Medications to treat ADHD.
    Usually, these medications are used to help people with ADHD calm down. Also, these medications are given to the sufferer to reduce impulsivity so that they can focus their attention.
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
    This therapy is used to help people with ADHD change their mindset and behavior when experiencing problems in their life.
  • Psychological therapy.
    Psychological therapy aims to help people with ADHD discover solutions to overcome the symptoms of the disease.
  • Social interaction training.
    This social interaction training aims to help people with ADHD understand behavior that is acceptable in society.

Also, parents and family of the sufferer should undergo some therapy to adapt and accept the symptoms of ADHD.

  • Behavioral therapy.
    This behavioral therapy aims to provide the parents or caregivers with strategies to help the sufferer navigate daily life or cope with difficult situations.
  • Training for parents of children with ADHD.
    This training aims to help the parents better understand the behavior of the sufferer and give guidance for the parents to live with the sufferer.

Prevention of ADHD

Based on the research, there is no specific prevention of ADHD. However, the risk of ADHD can be reduced, starting from the period of pregnancy, such as pregnant women are advised not to smoke and not to consume alcoholic beverages and drugs. Also, parents must keep their children away from cigarette smoke and exposure to toxic substances that can harm health.

Read also: 5 Healthy Food Recipes for Children with ADHD

When to See a doctor?

So, when to see a doctor? In the text above, we explained about the symptoms of ADHD. If it symptoms appear to your child, immediately you must take your child to the hospital for treatment.

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