What Exactly Is ADD/ADHD?
ADHD is a brain disease that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects how you pay attention, sit still, and control your behavior. It affects children and teenagers, and it can last until adulthood. In youngsters, ADHD is the most often diagnosed mental illness. It is more common in boys than in girls. It’s generally detected in a child’s early school years when he or she begins to have difficulty paying attention. ADHD is not curable or preventable. However, early detection of ADHD, as well as a strong treatment and education plan, can help a kid or adult with ADHD manage their symptoms.
ADHD Symptoms or Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children
There are three categories of symptoms:
Inattentive. ADHD in a child:
- Is prone to becoming distracted
- Doesn’t follow instructions or complete duties.
- Does not appear to be paying attention and makes thoughtless blunders.
- Ignores day-to-day activities
- Has trouble keeping track of everyday responsibilities
- Doesn’t enjoy doing tasks that require her to sit still.
- Frequently misplaces items
- He has a proclivity towards daydreaming.
Hyperactive-impulsive. ADHD in a child:
When seated, squirms fidgets, or bounces a lot.
- Doesn’t seem to be able to sit still.
- Has a difficult time played quietly?
- Is always on the move, whether it’s running or climbing. (This is more commonly referred to as restlessness among teenagers and adults.)
- He talks a lot.
- Is constantly “on the move,” as though “powered by a motor.”
- Has a hard time waited their turn?
- Answers in a jumble
Others are disrupted
Combined. Other sorts of signals are involved in this.
Adults’ signs and symptoms
As a person grows older, the symptoms of ADHD may alter. They are as follows:
- Being late or forgetting things on a regular basis
- Low self-confidence
- Workplace issues Anger management issues
- Misuse or addiction to substances
- Having difficulty keeping organized
- Easily frustrated
- Often bored
- Trouble concentrating when reading Mood swings
- Relationship problems
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) vs. Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD was previously known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). In the 1990s, it was formally altered. Some individuals still refer to this one disease by both names.
Causes of ADHD
The etiology of ADHD is unknown to experts. It might be caused by a number of factors, including:
Genes. ADHD is a condition that runs in families.
Chemicals. People with ADHD may have an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters.
The brain evolves. Attention-controlling areas of the brain are less active in youngsters with ADHD.
During pregnancy, poor nutrition, infections, smoking, drinking, and drug misuse are all risks. These factors can have an impact on a baby’s brain development.
Toxic substances, such as lead. They may have an impact on a child’s cognitive development.
Diagnosis and Testing for ADHD
ADHD may be difficult to diagnose, especially in youngsters. No one will be able to detect it in a test. After discussing symptoms with the kid, parents, and teachers, and seeing the child’s actions, doctors diagnose ADHD in children and teenagers.
Doctors follow the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association, which are based on how many symptoms a person has and how long they’ve been present. They’ll also rule out any other factors that might be producing the symptoms, such as health issues or everyday troubles.
A kid may complete a battery of tests to assess their neurological and psychological state to validate a diagnosis of ADHD or learning difficulties. A pediatrician or mental health practitioner with experience diagnosing and treating ADHD should administer the tests. A psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist may be referred to you by your primary care physician. The following tests may be performed:
- Both the child’s and the family’s medical and social histories.
- A medical examination and neurological evaluation that includes vision, hearing, language, and motor skill assessments. If hyperactivity is linked to another physical condition, more testing may be required.
- Intelligence, aptitude, personality characteristics, or processing skills are all evaluated. If the kid is of school age, they are frequently done with assistance from parents and instructors.
- The Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System is a scan that analyses theta and beta waves in the brain. Children and adolescents with ADHD have a greater theta/beta ratio than children and adolescents without ADHD.
Treatment for ADHD
ADHD can be treated in a variety of ways. However, evidence shows that a multimodal strategy is the best method to treat symptoms for many children. This entails a combination of therapeutic approaches that function together. Medication and counseling can help with many of the symptoms of ADHD. It is critical that therapists, physicians, teachers, and parents work together closely.
Medication. Stimulants are the most widely given medicines for treating ADHD, despite concerns about probable misuse. They can aid in the management of impulsive and hyperactive behavior as well as the improvement of attention span. They affect brain chemicals like dopamine, which can exacerbate impulsive behavior.
The majority of adverse effects are mild and will fade with time. Doctors may reduce a dose to reduce adverse effects in specific situations.
Stimulants can have more significant adverse effects in rare situations. Some, for example, have been associated to an increased risk of heart disease and mortality in youngsters. They may also exacerbate psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety, or trigger a psychotic response.
Consult your doctor about the dangers and advantages of using ADHD medication for your kid. Remember that finding the appropriate medication and dose may need some trial and error.
Therapy. These therapies are aimed at altering one’s behavior.
A youngster with special needs might benefit from special education at school. Structure and regularity may be quite beneficial to children with ADHD.
Behavior modification teaches people how to replace negative habits with positive ones. Make it clear to your child what you expect of them. Make guidelines that are basic and easy to understand. When they lose control, have them confront the penalties you’ve established, such as time-outs or the loss of privileges. Keep your eyes peeled for excellent manners. Reward them when they control their urges.
Psychotherapy (counselling) can assist someone with ADHD in learning to manage their emotions and frustrations more effectively. It has the potential to boost their self-esteem. Counseling may also assist family members in better comprehending a child’s or adult’s behavior.
Taking turns and sharing are two habits that may be taught through social skills training.
Device for medical use. The Monarch External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System has been authorized by the FDA for children aged 7 to 12 who are not using ADHD medicines. It’s approximately the size of a cellphone and is connected to electrodes on a patch work on a child’s brow. It delivers low-level signals to the region of their brain considered to be responsible for ADHD.
Dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids have been found to help patients with ADHD.
A few lifestyle modifications can also aid in the management of symptoms for you or your child:
- Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Every day, get some exercise. Exercising helps youngsters with ADHD regulate their impulses and other behavioral issues, according to studies. Consider enrolling your child in a sports team like basketball, soccer, or baseball. Playing sports not only provides exercise for children, but it also teaches them crucial social skills such as following rules and taking turns.
- Limit the amount of time you spend on technological gadgets.
- Make sure you get enough rest.
- Reduce distractions in your child’s room, such as toys, and enhance organization.
When you’re raising a child with ADHD, it’s natural to feel irritated. If you participate actively in your child’s therapy, you will feel more in charge. Maintaining a clear plan and habit may be beneficial to you.
Discuss your expectations with your child in a straightforward and honest manner.
Make your directions clear and concise (“Make sure you brush your teeth. Now it’s time to get dressed.”) instead of “universal.” ” (“Get ready for school.”).
- When you’re chatting to your child, your whole focus should be on them.
- Set a good example by being calm and attentive.
- Maintain consistency in your discipline, and ensure that other caregivers follow your lead.
- Recognize and reward positive conduct.
- Increase your child’s self-confidence. Make every effort to raise your child’s self-esteem.
- Encourage your child’s unique abilities, especially in sports and extracurricular activities.
- Learn everything you can about impulsive behaviors and ADHD.
- Keep in touch with your child’s doctor, school, and therapists as much as possible.
- Join a support group to learn from other parents who have experienced similar difficulties.
Perspectives on ADHD
ADHD may make it difficult to deal with the demands of ordinary life if not treated. Learning and social skills development may be difficult for children. Adults may struggle with addiction and relationship issues. Mood swings, sadness, poor self-esteem, eating disorders, risk-taking, and confrontations with others might all be symptoms of the condition.
Many people with ADHD, on the other hand, enjoy happy and full lives. Treatment is beneficial.
Keep note of your symptoms and see your doctor on a frequent basis. Medication and therapies that were formerly successful may no longer be effective. It’s possible that you’ll need to alter your treatment strategy. Some people’s problems improve as they get older, while others don’t.
The relationship between red dye 40 and ADHD
Several research published in journals such as Pediatrics, The Lancet, and Journal of Pediatrics shows that artificial food colors may harm certain children with ADD/ADHD. According to other studies, artificial colors and tastes, as well as the preservative sodium benzoate, might cause hyperactivity in certain non-ADD/ADHD children.
Some youngsters with ADD/ADHD who are taking medicines for the illness improve so much after eliminating Red Dye 40 from their diet that they are able to quit using them.
Many parents incorrectly attribute greater hyperactivity in their children after eating a sugary snack to a “sugar rush.” Artificial food coloring, on the other hand, is frequently to blame.
Adults and children have also experienced stomach trouble, headaches, jitteriness, anxiety, and inability to concentrate after consuming large amounts of Red Dye 40. Artificial food colors, according to the CSPI, represent a “spectrum of hazards,” including anything from allergies to cancer.
The brain and red dye 40
Amen Clinics’ brain imaging research shows that Red Dye 40 has a significant impact on brain function. Consider the instance of Robert, a 15-year-old who visited Amen Clinics for brain SPECT imaging. SPECT is a type of functional brain imaging that monitors brain blood flow and activity.
When Robert ate or drank something bright red, his demeanor became angry and belligerent, according to his parents. He might easily weep and go out in a rage, or he may hurl things. They took him to Amen Clinics to validate their fears that he was having an allergic reaction to certain dietary additives.
Diagnosing ADHD in adults
Although there is no one medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, a trained mental health care professional or physician can conduct a diagnostic examination using data from numerous sources. ADHD symptom checklists, standardized behavior rating scales, a thorough history of previous and current functioning, and information acquired from family members or significant others who are familiar with the person are examples of these sources. In order to rule out a suspected learning impairment, some practitioners will administer cognitive ability and academic success assessments.
During the office appointment, the person may or may not display signs of ADHD, and the diagnostician will need to obtain a detailed history of the person’s life. The existence of co-occurring disorders must be taken into account while diagnosing ADHD.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, contains clinical criteria for diagnosing ADHD (DSM-5). These well-established recommendations are frequently utilized in clinical practice and research. The physician will try to identify the extent to which these symptoms now apply to the adult and if they have been present in the child throughout the examination. Adults need have at least five of the symptoms in order to be diagnosed. Because these symptoms might vary over time, adults may appear in different ways than children.
The most common symptom of ADHD is inattentiveness.
Makes thoughtless mistakes or fails to pay great attention to details.
Has trouble maintaining focus Does not appear to listen to Struggles to follow directions Has trouble organizing Avoids or hates jobs that require continuous mental effort
Is easily distracted and loses stuff
Is prone to forgetfulness in everyday tasks.
ADHD is characterized by a hyperactive-impulsive personality.
Squirms in chair or fidgets with hands or feet
Has a hard time staying sitting?
Excessive running or climbing in youngsters; severe restlessness in adults
It’s difficult to engage in quiet activities.
Acts as if driven by a motor; adults frequently feel as though they are being driven by a motor on the inside.
He talks a lot.
Interrupts or encroaches on the privacy of others.
Bringing the examination to a close
The clinician will integrate the information gathered from various sources toward the end of the evaluation, write a summary or report, and provide the individual and family with diagnostic opinions regarding ADHD, as well as any other psychiatric disorders or learning disabilities that may have been identified during the assessment. The doctor will next go over treatment choices with the individual and help them design a course of medical and psychological intervention that is right for them. Following that, the clinician will contact with the patient’s primary care physicians as needed.