ADHD is a long-standing psychological condition that primarily affects children and often persists in adulthood. As the name suggests, causes the patients to have problems like having trouble concentrating and sustaining attention, along with impulsive and hyperactive behaviour. Hence, it is known as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
One of the most frequent complaints raised by parents worldwide is that their child can’t concentrate on one thing (say studying). Or maybe their child is very hyperactive, and their performance in the school has dropped quite a lot. Their self-esteem might have taken a hit as well. Their relationships with their friends and loved ones might be quite fragile. All this will indicate ADHD. Although the parents might be able to control these symptoms to a certain extent, the patient might not be able to get over them completely in some cases.
But as with several other psychological conditions, there is no particular cure for ADHD. But the treatment might be able to help with the symptoms quite well. These treatments involve medications and behavioural therapies.
You must consult the doctor in the early stages, as they might subside the symptoms more effectively.
As the name suggests, the primary symptoms of ADHD are lack of attention and hyperactivity. Although the symptoms start appearing before 12 years of age, some children exhibit them just at 3. In addition, even though they start mild, the symptoms might go from moderate to severe as the patient ages into adulthood.
Men (and boys) are more at risk for ADHD than women (and girls). Especially hyperactiveness is more familiar with boys of young age than it is with girls of similar age. Girls more or less exhibit attention issues more quietly.
Here are a few common subsets of ADHD:
- Predominantly Impulsive/Hyperactive: Hyperactiveness coupled with being highly impulsive is one of the most common symptoms displayed by the patients.
- Predominantly Inattentive: The patients displaying inattentiveness can’t focus on one thing. They start doing something, leave it in the middle, and jump on the next thing. The concentration level goes down gradually.
- Combination: In this type of ADHD, the patients show the symptoms of both the types mentioned above. The patients have both, lack of attention and hyperactivity.
Although these subsets of ADHD are seen in children, they can last in patients over the ages of adulthood.
Let’s dive into the common symptoms of ADHD a little deeper.
- Impulsiveness Or Hyperactivity: It is pretty familiar with patients in their childhood. The common signs of hyperactivity are as follows:
- In school or college going patients, it becomes harder to stay put in a class for a long time. They will have the urge to get up or move constantly.
- Running and climbing in inappropriate conditions and places.
- Talking incessantly, i.e. going on to speak without a break or interruption.
- Not having enough patience to wait in lines and otherwise.
- Being too fidgety, i.e. tapping your feet or hands on the table too many times.
- Be always on the go.
- Not being able to stay quiet while playing a game or performing an activity.
- Interrupting the teacher or moderator too many times and not waiting for their turn. (It is mostly for children)
- Putting constant interruptions in other people’s conversations and plays.
- Lack Of Attention: It is pretty common for children to have a lack of attention. But there are several minor symptoms that come with it:
- Not being able to focus on the task at hand and jumping on to the next one.
- Shortcoming a task or homework even after clear instructions. Adults not being able to do simple chores.
- Having a dislike for tasks that require constant focus, like school or college homework.
- As the name suggests, being easily distracted while doing something.
- Not being able to focus in the classroom (for school and college students).
- Having no attention to someone speaking directly to them.
- Lack of planning, arrangement and structure.
- Constantly losing routine items like keys, wallet, phone, etc. (in case of students, losing pens, pencils and other stationery items).
- Being forgetful in daily routine and chores.
Now you might think that some of these symptoms depict common behavioural issues. But there are considerable differences between regular behavioural problems and ADHD.
It is pretty common for children to have a few symptoms mentioned above, like inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, etc. In fact, most of them do. In addition, they don’t like to stick to a particular activity for a long time, whether they like it or not. So it could be a matter of interest.
The same goes for hyperactivity. Teenagers and smaller children are quite full of energy. They naturally have higher energy than adults and older people. So they can’t be labelled as having ADHD just for that reason.
Often, people suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder usually exhibit only mild to moderate symptoms. But these symptoms might become severe with age, to the point of interfering in performing daily tasks. Being restless and impulsive are common signs of ADHD in adults. They also have a lower tolerance level.
If you or someone around you are exhibiting the symptoms of ADHD, it would be better if you consulted with the doctor at the earliest. Otherwise, they will become severe.
There are several factors that may lead to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. They are as follows:
- Premature birth: As it is a psychological issue, ADHD could be a birth issue. It could be due to the baby being born prematurely.
- Genetics: Genetics is one of the most frequent causes of most psychological disorders, including ADHD. If your parent, sibling or anyone in your blood relation has ADHD or suffers from some other psychological condition, there is an increased risk of you having it.
- Pregnancy: The risk of a baby suffering from ADHD increases if the mother has smoked, drank alcohol or consumed recreational drugs during pregnancy.
- Environmental Factors: ADHD could be due to certain environmental factors like staying around lead fumes (commonly found in pipes and paint).
Children are quite fragile when it comes to psychological disorders like ADHD. However, it can result in several issues around the school, college and home. Here are a few of them:
- They have more accidental injuries at school and home than the ones who are not suffering from ADHD.
- The patients who have ADHD are more likely to find it troublesome conversing with peers, teachers and other adults.
- Having academic problems due to not focusing in the classroom because of inattentiveness.
- Have poor self-respect, along with other social anxiety issues.
- They are more likely to go through a phase of excessive smoking and alcohol and drug abuse.
Although these are a few risk factors, the exact cause will only be determined upon a doctor consultation.
Diagnostic procedures differ from patient to patient depending upon age and several other factors.
- In Children: Although doctors don’t recommend a diagnosis of ADHD for children, there could be one of the symptoms that are too severe, before the age of 12, or they are constantly creating problems at home or school.
- Medical check-up: A regular medical check-up will help the doctor ensure the symptoms are not from some other psychological disorder.
- Medical History: After the check-up, the doctor will ask you about your family history, school records, etc., that may be inducing the symptoms of ADHD.
- Small Chat: The doctor will have a small chat or interview with the child about how they’re feeling. They will also talk with the parents, teachers, babysitters, etc.
- After that, the doctor will follow the routine criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder stated by the Indian Psychiatric Society.
- After following this process, the doctor will rate the child patient on a scale based on the extent of the condition, which will help determine the severity.
- In Adults: As the core symptoms are evident in childhood around the age of 12, they might not be apparent in the patient’s adulthood. Here are a few steps were taken by the doctor during diagnosis:
- Medical Exam: The primary medical check-up with the doctor helps rule out any causes other than ADHD.
- Medical History: After the check-up, the doctor will ask the patient about their genetic history, work issues, prior illnesses, prescribed medications, etc., that may be inducing the symptoms of ADHD.
- Afterwards, the doctor will follow the routine criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder stated by the Indian Psychiatric Society and rate the patient based on a scale.
An early diagnosis will help the doctor catch the issue in its early stage and provide a suitable treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
There are several complications that might occur alongside ADHD that can render the treatment more difficult. A few of them are as follows:
- Anxiety disorder
- Learning disability
- Mood disorder
- Conduct disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Substance use disorder
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
- Tourette syndrome
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Other psychological disorders
Homeopathy is an alternative medical science that helps treat illnesses with the help of natural remedies. The scope of treatment for ADHD through homeopathy is excellent. The medications are prescribed in tiny doses to ensure that even the children suffering from this condition administer them safely. They are considered to be quite safe as the ingredients involve natural substances, and they don’t induce dependency. The doctor provides treatment, medications, and remedies based on the patient’s age, gender, body type, extent of illness, etc.
Other than the treatment, here are a few techniques that can help prevent ADHD:
- Protect yourself and your child from exposure to lead and other toxins like cigarette smoke.
- Pregnant mothers might want to avoid alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking to ensure there are no complications.
- It is advisable that the children avoid too much screen time due to watching TV, video games and smartphones.
If you are looking to find more about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or its treatments, consult with the doctor at the earliest. Otherwise, the symptoms will become severe.