Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition affecting both children and adults. It is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children. While adults may have it as well, it often goes undiagnosed. Similar to what the name suggests, ADHD causes symptoms of inattention (inability to focus), hyperactivity (excessive movement or inability to sit still), and impulsivity (actions that occur without thought).
Symptoms of ADHD may present themselves differently in children and adults. Adults may have subconsciously found ways to deal with or hide their disorder to fit into social and professional settings, while children do not yet possess those skills.
While most school-aged children have high activity levels and difficulty sitting still for prolonged periods, children with ADHD will have symptoms that are noticeably greater than their peers.
Symptoms of ADHD may be broken into two categories: Inattentive type, Hyperactive/Impulsive type.
Inattentive type symptoms:
- Doesn’t pay close attention to details
- Makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or professional tasks
- Has difficulty staying focused during lectures, conversations or reading
- Does not seem to listen during conversation
- Does not follow instructions
- Difficulty organizing tasks or spaces
- Frequently losing items such as schoolwork, books, keys, wallet, phone, etc
- Forgets simple tasks, such as chores, returning phone calls, keeping appointments
Hyperactive/Impulsive type symptoms
- Frequently fidgets
- Consistently taps hands or feet
- Unable to stay seated at work or school
- Unable to play or do leisure activities quietly
- Talks too much
- Finishing people’s sentences
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completely asked
- Difficulty waiting their turn
- Interrupts others
Scientists have not been able to identify an exact cause of ADHD at this time. However, some suggest that genetics may contribute to ADHD. Three out of four children diagnosed with ADHD have a relative with the symptom as well, making genetics a probable link.
At Mile High Psychiatry, we find a combination of behavioral therapy and medication to be a suitable treatment for ADHD in children and adults. Behavioral therapy can help teach patients how to control their actions while providing strategies to improve structure and organization. Medication needs will vary from patient to patient, depending on the severity of their disorder.
Have questions regarding ADHD for yourself or your child? Schedule an appointment with Mile High Psychiatry to learn more.