Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition in which a person is not able to control his behavior. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is observed in children and it is difficult to diagnose the disorder in early stages. When a person having problem in processing neural stimuli and show an extreme high level of motor activity, there is a high possibility of developing ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) generally effects children, mostly boys and show its symptoms when children are started to going school. Children are found to be hyperactive and lost concentration to focus on something due to this disorder. Even, parents also do not realize that their child is facing ADHD, until they went to school. A child with ADHD may be highly distractible, very talkative, and not able to remain still. ADHD is diagnosed in a child by interviewing him and his parents and by observing their behavior. Sometimes, it is diagnosed with the use of standardized screening instruments. ADHD needs a good treatment plan that can help to manage with the symptoms and control its effects on the child.
Unfortunately, the causes of ADHD are not known but several conditions that help to develop disorder are
- Chemical imbalance: chemicals present in the brain may be not balanced or not in proper composition
- Active mode of the Brain : sometimes, areas in the brain that controls attention are not working properly or less active that can develop disorder
- Heredity: if ADHD is present in their family history
- Diet: poor diet or nutrition
- Smoking, drug use and drinking during pregnancy
- Use of toxic substances such as lead
- A brain disorder or a brain injury
Symptoms of ADHD include
- Generally makes mistakes or not pay attention on details
- Less concentration during leisure activities or tasks
- Not pay attention to listen anything and zone out when direct talking to them
- Often failed to follow instructions or complete assigned task
- Short attention time
- Often dislikes, avoids, or resist in participation
- Easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or external environment
- Often show absent mindedness/forgetfulness
Hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Often not pay attention to stay seated
- Frequently engage in tapping hands or feet, playing, or squirming
- Generally talks excessively
- Often interrupts while others talking
- Not willing to wait for his or her turn
- Not willing to complete any activity quietly
- Wants to complete multiple activities at one time
- Often show restlessness
Basically, these children have active suboptimal memory and they are less capable to show attention consistently on tasks or activities that are less pleasurable. Sometimes, ADHD children also have some sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or low sleep efficiency.
The signs of ADHD are poor concentration, impulsive nature and hyperactivity. Children with ADHD act on impulses and have poor attention even while they are involved in playing. You can find these signs in the children during the age group of 3-7 and is more prominent in boys than girls.
There are three types of ADHD
- Predominately impulsive/ hyperactive
- Predominately inattentive
- Combined types (hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive)
There are number of environmental, biological, and social risk factors are present that can cause ADHD in children. Some medical conditions such as asthma, seizures, gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease are also responsible for ADHD.
Biological risk factors include
- Maternal stress during pregnancy
- Exposure to lead
- Low birth weight of the child
- Exposed to tobacco
Social risk factors include
- Low family income
- Low paternal education
- Sudden changes in the life
- Childhood trauma
- Behavioral trauma
Environmental risk factors include
- Environmental toxins such as fluoride, lead and other toxic substances
- Use of drug acetaminophen during pregnancy
To diagnose ADHD, professionals perform an extensive physical and medical examination as a part of the assessment. The assessment also determines that the child behavior is normal or influenced by ADHD. The assessment also examine a child learning ability, mental health problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, asperger’s syndrome, anxiety disorder and other autism spectrum disorders. The assessment also examines behavioral disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. The assessment also conducts medication test, x-ray, brain scan, or other imaging techniques to determine the cause. The assessment also conduct a self-test or questionnaire to properly understand the child behavior.
No direct treatment is available to cure ADHD. Behavior therapy helps the children to control their hyperactive nature and impulsive behavior. In some cases, children with ADHD may develop problems related to learning like dyslexia and anxiety which may require proper treatment. Counseling is recommended for the family or parents of children who suffer from this disorder. Yoga and massage therapy helps to control hyperactivity and herbal medicine provides relief by improving the concentration and relaxing the muscles. Diet also play a role in streamlining body metabolism and avoid giving spicy foods and sugary items which can stimulate hyperactivity.
- Medication includes stimulants that can help to control impulsive and hyperactive behavior of the child and increase attention span. Stimulants such as Dexmethylphenidate(Focalin), Lisdexandetamine (Vyvanes), Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine) are commonly used for ADHD.
- Doctors may prescribe non-stimulant medication to the children above 6 years, such as Clonidine (Kapvay), Atomoxetine (Strattera) or Guanfacine (Intuniv).
- Dietary supplements that include omega 3s shows benefits in ADHD, but available only by prescription.
Therapy includes some treatment methods, such as
- Special Education – to regularize a child daily routine and learning ability
- Behavioral Therapy – to teach a child about proper behavior and manners. The behavior of a human is important in their overall development. The growth of the child is depends on his behavior. If the behavior of the child is good, then it affects his growth in a positive manner and if the behavior of the child is rude or wired then it affects his growth in a negative manner. The behavior of the human is sparingly important to succeed in the life.
- Psychotherapy – CBT is a form of psychotherapy and very effective in treating depression. CBT is widely used by the Psychologists to identify and understand the factors that are responsible for depression in people. Cognitive Behavior therapy is a very useful primary therapy modality used in many treatment strategies. Cognitive behavior coaching, counseling and educational interventions are very useful, practical and helpful in the initial phase of the treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a primary treatment modality which is focusing on the symptom relief and behavioral change. This therapy includes techniques to stop or reduce the unwanted behavior related to emotional or behavioral problems.
- Relaxation Techniques – Include controlled breathing, mindfulness medication, visualization and progressive muscle relaxation, which reduce the emotional or behavioral problems and develop the feeling of relaxation
- Support Groups – to teach social behavior and sharing.
Natural Home Remedies
There are some home remedies that contribute in reducing ADHD, such as
- Fish oil
- Herbs such as ginkgo, biloba, green oats, brahmi, and pink bark
- Natural sources of Vitamins B such as animal product (fish, meat, eggs), dried beans, legumes and soya or rice milk
The research says that breastfeeding to the new born up to 6-8 months helps in protecting from developing ADHD. Prevention or treatment of environmental, social, medical or biological risk factors is also recommended to avoid developing ADHD.
It is a truth that people suffering from ADHD can live a happy, lively and successful life. It is all about proper treatment and guidance. It is recommended to visit doctor regularly and pay proper attention on the symptoms on time. Many people, who suffered from ADHD, have a better adulthood and life.