ADHD: Overview

People with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Although ADHD can't be cured, it can be successfully managed and some symptoms may improve as the child ages.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.[

Source: CDC NCBDDD1

   •   •   •

Back to: « ADHD

   •   •   •

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.

Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including situations in which it is not appropriate when it is not appropriate, excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.

Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.

Source: NIMH (NIH)2

   •   •   •

Do you feel that you have struggled throughout your life with poor concentration, inattention, impulsivity, or getting organized? Have you wondered whether you might have attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Our society has become more aware of ADHD as a condition that affects adults as well as children, and there are many adults who struggle with this disorder. At the same time, other life stressors or mental health conditions can cause similar symptoms. Consider getting an evaluation from a psychiatrist or psychologist who has experience in diagnosing ADHD. Getting an evaluation can help you find the right answer to your struggles and identify the treatment you need to feel better.

Source: NIMH (NIH)3

   •   •   •

ADHD is a common mental disorder that begins in childhood and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. It makes it hard for a child to focus and pay attention. Some children may be hyperactive or have trouble being patient. For children with ADHD, levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors are greater than for other children in their age group. ADHD can make it hard for a child to do well in school or behave at home or in the community.

ADHD can be treated. Doctors and specialists can help.

Source: NIMH (NIH)4

   •   •   •

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3-5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate inhibition (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral). Some of the warning signs of ADHD include failure to listen to instructions, inability to organize oneself and school work, fidgeting with hands and feet, talking too much, leaving projects, chores and homework unfinished, and having trouble paying attention to and responding to details. There are several types of ADHD: a predominantly inattentive subtype, a predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype, and a combined subtype. ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, although the condition can continue into the adult years.

Source: NINDS (NIH)5

   •   •   •

Is it hard for your child to sit still? Does your child act without thinking first? Does your child start but not finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems in school, at home and in social situations.

ADHD is more common in boys than girls. It affects 3-5 percent of all American children.

The main features of ADHD are

No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. It sometimes runs in families, so genetics may be a factor. There may also be environmental factors.

A complete evaluation by a trained professional is the only way to know for sure if your child has ADHD. Treatment may include medicine to control symptoms, therapy, or both. Structure at home and at school is important. Parent training may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Source: MedLinePlus (NIH)6

   •   •   •

Fast facts

  1. Treatments include medication, various types of psychotherapy, education and training, or a combination of treatments.
  2. ADHD currently has no cure, but there are effective treatments for both children and adults with ADHD.
  3. Costs associated with childhood ADHD have been conservatively estimated at $38 billion or more, annually, states the CDC.
  4. About 1 in 10 children in the United States, 4-17 years of age, have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)7

   •   •   •

References

  1. Source: CDC NCBDDD: cdc.gov/ ncbddd/ adhd/ 
  2. Source: NIMH (NIH): nimh.nih.gov/ health/ topics/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/ index.shtml
  3. Source: NIMH (NIH): nimh.nih.gov/ health/ publications/ could-i-have-adhd-qf-16-3572/ index.shtml
  4. Source: NIMH (NIH): nimh.nih.gov/ health/ publications/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-basics/ index.shtml
  5. Source: NINDS (NIH): ninds.nih.gov/ disorders/ adhd/ adhd.htm
  6. Source: MedLinePlus (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ attentiondeficithyperactivitydisorder.html
  7. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ spring14/ articles/ spring14pg15-16.html

   •   •   •

Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.