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ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that impacts specific brain areas responsible for problem-solving, planning, understanding others' actions, and impulse control. While most diagnoses occur in childhood, adults can also be diagnosed if symptoms were present in their youth.
ADHD symptoms fall into two categories: inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsiveness, with variations in how they manifest. For instance, boys may exhibit more disruptive behaviors than girls, and adults are less likely to display hyperactivity.
Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness Symptoms:
It's crucial to distinguish occasional restlessness from potential ADHD. If concerned about a child's behavior, consult their teacher or GP.
While ADHD doesn't develop in adulthood, symptoms might have been overlooked in childhood. Adult symptoms are subtler and include difficulty focusing, distractibility, daydreaming, struggling to complete tasks, and mood swings. Undiagnosed ADHD in adults can lead to life challenges and stress in work, finances, and relationships.
Individuals with ADHD are more prone to mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, conduct disorders, and substance abuse.
Although the exact causes are unknown, a combination of genetic and brain chemistry factors is likely responsible. Certain conditions, like premature birth, low birth weight, epilepsy, or brain damage, may increase the likelihood of developing ADHD.
If you suspect ADHD, consult your GP, who can discuss concerns and refer you for a specialist assessment. Treatment options, though not a cure, aim to alleviate symptoms and improve daily life.
Stimulant medication is often prescribed to enhance concentration and reduce impulsivity in ADHD.
Options include psychoeducation, behavior therapy, parent training, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapies aim to help individuals cope with ADHD symptoms. For more information, visit the NHS website for comprehensive details on ADHD treatment.
Individuals with ADHD can explore various self-care strategies, such as physical activity, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and reduced alcohol intake.