Somehow, it appears that mental conditions are the new buzzwords. It’s not unusual to see random people ‘diagnose’ some of these conditions based on little or no evidence. Of all, ADHD (Attention Hyperactivity/Deficit Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and a few others top the list. You can learn all about OCD here. This article will focus on ADHD. Let’s get to it!
What Is ADHD?
The name gives away several cues. First, ‘attention deficit’ refers to the inability to concentrate on something. ‘Hyperactivity’ means excessive movement that is not expected in certain settings. There’s also ‘impulsivity,’ which refers to acting without initial thoughts. More often than not, the condition is first diagnosed in school-age children and is more common in boys than girls.
Come to think of it, any child can express any of those behaviors. It’s quite normal to see a hyperactive and inattentive child. They also tend to be impulsive too. However, parents may notice that their children express these behaviors more often than their siblings and other children. It’s also a cause for concern when it affects the child’s functioning among friends, home, and school.
It is crucial to note that only a qualified psychiatrist, specifically a child psychiatrist, can diagnose the condition. There are universal guidelines for the process. Let’s see some of the symptoms of the condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD?
The condition is divided into three types: inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, and a combined type.
Symptoms of the inattentive type include:
- Failure to pay attention to detail and often making careless mistakes.
- Easily distracted during tasks.
- Failure to listen when addressed.
- Difficulty following through on instructions during school activities and house chores.
- Often misplaces important things such as school books, eyeglasses, pencils, e.t.c.
- Easily forgets to do routine tasks.
For the hyperactive type, they often:
- Run around inappropriate places.
- Fail to stay seated anywhere.
- Fidget or tap hands or feet.
- Talk too much.
- Blurt out an answer before the question is completed.
- Interrupt or intrude on others.
How Do Psychiatrists Diagnose These Conditions?
There are no lab tests for ADHD. Doctors gather information from the children, parents, teachers, or even friends using checklists. They also try to rule out other medical causes.
To date, there is no known cause for the condition. Genetics may play a role, and the nature of the mother’s pregnancy- smoking, alcohol, stress may also contribute.
How Are They Treated?
Psychiatrists usually combine drugs and behavioral therapy. However, they like to start with parent training in behavior management first, before any medication. The aim is to identify and strengthen positive behaviors and eliminate unwanted ones. Drugs are also effective in managing some symptoms of the condition.