Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Overview of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD Meaning in Urdu

یہ اعصابی بیماری سب سے زیادہ بچوں کو متاثر کرتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کے شکار بچوں کو توجہ مرکوز رکھنے میں مشکلات کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے۔ ایسے بچے جو اس بیماری کا شکار ہوتے ہیں ان میں عمر میں اضافے کے ساتھ اس بیماری کی علامات کی شدت میں کمی آتی ہے، تاہم اگر بڑی عمر کے افراد کو یہ بیماری متاثر کرے تو اس کی علامات کو کنٹرول کرنا مشکل ہو سکتا ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ اس بیماری کے شکار بچے زیادہ گفتگو کرتے ہیں اور چیزوں کو جلدی بھول جاتے ہیں۔

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a neurodevelopmental/ neurobehavioral disorder that causes elevated levels of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental issues among children. It is a behavioral disorder and includes symptoms like impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness.

Educational counseling, therapy sessions, and in some cases, medication, can help control the effects of this neurological issue. Most often, ADHD is diagnosed in early childhood. Usually, the condition improves with time but even adults diagnosed with ADHD face issues like sleep and anxiety disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Usually, the symptoms of ADHD are categorized into two types of behavioral issues:

  • Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness
  • Inattentiveness  

Usually, patients with ADHD have issues that occur in both types but in some cases, an individual may have only 1 type of behavioral issue. In that case, the symptoms may be too less obvious and the disease can go unnoticed.

High-Risk Group

Children aged between 6 years to 12 years are more susceptible to this condition.  

Symptoms in Children and Teenagers

As this condition is most common among children aged between 6 years to 12 years, the symptoms are pretty much well-defined. The child’s behavior in school or at home can determine his/her mental health.

The most common signs of Inattentiveness among children include:

  • Having an extremely short attention span
  • Being unable to listen or follow instructions
  • Making careless mistakes
  • No aptitude for tedious or time-consuming tasks
  • Difficulty to do organizing tasks
  • Not being able to stick to one thing/task
  • Losing things constantly
  • Daydreaming too much

The signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness include:

  • Not being able to sit in one place.
  • Sitting still, especially in calm and quiet surroundings is extremely difficult
  • Excessive talking
  • A need to move constantly
  • Waiting for their turn is quite tedious
  • Acting on their impulse
  • Too much physically active
  • Little or no sense of danger
  • Issues with discipline

As waiting for their turn is quite tedious, the child will constantly interrupt the conversations. All of these have adverse effects on a child's performance. He/she may have poor social skills and below-average school results.

Associated Conditions in Children

As a result of these issues, sometimes a child can have other conditions related to ADHD. This is not always the case, but sometimes the child may exhibit signs of associate problems like:

  • Sleep Issues – A child suffering from ADHD may find difficulty following a sleep routine. This can result in irregular sleep patterns
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder – As the social skills of an ADHD or autism spectrum disorder child are not much developed, he/she may develop ASD that further limits them from having proper social interaction.
  • Anxiety Disorder – A child over time may develop anxiety order. He/she can occur nervous and worrisome at all times.
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – As a child has difficulty paying attention and following discipline, he/she may develop negative behavior toward authoritative figures.
  • Learning Difficulties – A child may develop learning difficulties like Dyslexia.

Similar to children, ADHD also occurs in adults but the symptoms are somewhat hard to define. As it is a behavioral disorder, doctors and researchers are of the view that the symptoms of ADHD cannot simply be in an adult without showing its sign in his/her childhood.

The associated problems with ADHD during childhood can continue into adulthood. Most of the symptoms of ADHD in adults are the same as those during childhood. Over time, in adults, hyperactivity decreases, and inattentiveness increases.

Associated Problems of ADHD in Adults are:

  • Bipolar Disorder – In bipolar disorder an adult suffering from ADHD can have little or no control over his mood.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder –  In OCD, an adult has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior.
  • Personality Disorder – An adult with ADHD can have multiple personality disorders in terms of his/her thought process, feelings, and relatedness to others.

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Types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

There are three types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

In this type of ADHD, the person finds it very hard to pay attention to details or to follow the specific instructions. Finishing a task and organizing stuff also seems very tedious. One gets easily distracted and is unable to follow a routine.

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

In this type of ADHD, the person has a constant need to move and does excessive talking. There is this constant need to move around. One can easily become restless and act upon impulse. This causes behavioral issues like constantly interrupting conversations, being unable to wait for their turn, or following directions. As a result, a person with ADHD is more prone to accidents and has a lower sense of danger.

  • Combined Presentation

This type of ADHD patient suffers from both the above-mentioned types.

Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The exact cause of ADHD is still yet to be found although researchers conclude that ADHD is the result of multiple factors including Genetics Brain structures.  

Genetics – ADHD runs in families. Children born to parents having ADHD or have siblings suffering from ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. 

Brain Structure – research shows that people with ADHD have a slightly different brain structure than others. Certain imbalance in neurotransmitters in the brain can also result in ADHD. Lower birth weight and premature birth can also be a cause of ADHD.

Some other possible causes of ADHD can be:

  • Brain injury
  • Exposure to environmental chemicals like lead during pregnancy or at a very tender age
  • Alcohol/ tobacco consumption during pregnancy
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Risk Factors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Some of the factors that increase your chances of suffering from ADHD include:

  • Gender: The problem of ADHD is more common among boys than girls, so gender serves as an important risk factor.
  • Family History: ADHD runs in your genes thus, your family history plays an important role as a disease risk factor. 
  • Age: Children aged between 3-6 years are more likely to develop this condition.
  • Pregnancy Complications: Several pregnancy complications are next on the list of risk factors for ADHD. If the mother is into poor habits such as smoking, and alcohol consumption, bears high blood pressure, suffers from poor mental health, and is exposed to environmental toxins, then all these factors altogether increase the risk of ADHD among children. 
  • Premature Birth: Early birth increases the risk of suffering from ADHD. 
  • Toxin Exposure: Toxin exposure either during pregnancy or in early childhood years acts as an important risk factor for ADHD. 

Complications of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

If remains untreated, ADHD can be associated with many complications including:

Poor academic progress due to learning problems

 

  • Irritability and mood control disorder
  • Nervousness and overwhelming worry response
  • Autism spectrum problem affecting the social interactions of sufferers
  • Depression and manic behaviour
  • Substance abuse
  • Risky behaviour pattern
  • Eating disorders
  • Problems maintaining healthy relationships
  • Tourette's syndrome (TS) results in ticks making. Ticks are certain unwanted repetitive twitches, movements, sounds

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Prevention

The problem of ADHD arises from altered brain activity. You can’t prevent the onset of ADHD, however, maintaining a good diet and a healthy lifestyle can be of help. Further, foods children consume during early childhood can also impact hyperactivity behavior patterns.

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Diagnosis

Usually, as a parent, if you feel that your child is showing symptoms of ADHD, you should immediately consult your General physician. The diagnosis of ADHD is composed of many steps including:

  • Analyzing Family history    
  • Having a detailed assessment of one’s behaviors   
  • A waiting period for the symptoms to improve
  • Group-based therapy sessions 
  • Educational and parent training to handle a child suffering from ADHD and in some cases medication

Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | When to Consult a Doctor

In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and Medication. Usually, doctors recommend having therapy sessions rather than having medications. A therapy session can include:

  • Psych education
  • Behavior therapy
  • Parent counseling
  • Educational programs for parents and teacher
  • Social skills training sessions
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • ADHD can be made better by following a healthy lifestyle and taking the required supplements

Managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Living with an ADHD child can be quite challenging but with the right amount of patience and knowledge, you can go through this phase. As a parent you can do instill some of these activities in your routine:

  • Plan your day so that the child knows what to expect
  • Be very clear about the boundaries you set for the child and try to reinforce positive behavior
  • Be patient stay positive
  • Give brief and specific instructions.  Incentivize the daily tasks
  • Be more watchful of the early symptoms
  • Have short playtime and don’t force things on the child
  • Make sure that the child stays physically active throughout the day

As soon as you feel that your child is showing signs of ADHD, immediately seek help from a physician

Doctors to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Last updated on Monday 31/10/2022

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