What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental condition characterized by persistent challenges in maintaining attention for extended periods and a tendency for impulsive movements and restlessness. Individuals with ADHD often find it difficult to concentrate on tasks, remember information, stay organized, and learn from their mistakes. This multifaceted disorder can manifest in childhood and persist throughout the adolescent and adult years, impacting various aspects of daily functioning.

The genetic component of ADHD plays a significant role, influencing the individual's cognitive and behavioral patterns. Those affected may struggle with tasks that require sustained attention, exhibit impulsive behaviors, and experience difficulty in regulating their activity levels. Additionally, ADHD can affect social interactions, academic performance, and overall quality of life.

What causes ADHD?

ADHD is a disorder influenced by a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors. Strong genetic ties have been identified, with specific genes affecting neurotransmitter regulation and brain development playing a role. Studies reveal structural and functional differences in certain brain regions associated with attention, impulse control, and executive functions. Environmental factors, including prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke or alcohol, lead exposure, and premature birth, may contribute to the risk of ADHD. While traumatic brain injury can increase the risk, it's not a common cause. ADHD is a complex interplay of these factors, and ongoing research continues to deepen our understanding of its origins. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for effective management and improved outcomes.

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD generally manifests as hyperactivity in children, including symptoms, such as

  • Restlessness / inability to stay seated
  • Squirming or fidgeting
  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Talking too much
  • Making careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risks
  • Struggling to resist temptations
  • Having trouble taking turns
  • Inability to get along with others

In adults, symptoms can largely be the same but may present themselves differently, including

  • Carelessness and lack of attention to detail
  • Chronic Tardiness
  • Continually starting new tasks before finishing previous tasks
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Inability to focus or prioritize tasks
  • Frequently forgetting or misplacing items
  • Forgetfulness
  • Restlessness or edginess
  • Often interrupting others
  • Mood swings, irritability, quick temper
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Extreme impatience
  • Taking risks, often with little/no regard for the safety of themselves or others

People with ADHD may seem like they aren't paying attention during a conversation. They could have trouble waiting in long lines without feeling restless. They may find it challenging to keep entertained or keep themselves occupied. ADHD is not a personal flaw. It s a genuine medical condition that requires medical intervention.

Diagnosing ADHD

Serene Mental Health Clinic is your source for diagnosing ADHD.

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. Many other issues, such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can manifest with similar symptoms. The diagnostic process typically includes a comprehensive medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to eliminate other conditions with ADHD-like symptoms. Diagnosis often involves using a checklist to assess ADHD symptoms and gathering information from the patient themselves, as well as family members, teachers, or others close to the patient.

Treating ADHD

Serene Mental Health Clinic is your source for prescribing treatment for ADHD.

ADHD is treated through a combination of therapy, medication, and skills training. Central nervous system stimulants, enhancing dopamine and norepinephrine levels, are commonly used to improve focus. Non-stimulant medications may be a better option for some people. Finding a solution that works best for you involves regular assessments to fine-tune medication and other treatments. The objective is to help you feel more focused and organized while maintaining a sense of yourself.