Is there something you can do?
You can start by pinpointing symptoms that could mean you or a loved one are suffering from ADHD.
Attention deficit disorder is a neurological condition that is defined by consistent patterns of inattention and/or hyperactive behavior that interferes with day to day functionality. Examples would include an inability to sit still or stay focused in school, at work or in any structured setting. It regularly impacts children and adults alike. The question then becomes how you know when you or someone you care about may be suffering from this disorder.
The problem is that in children and adults the symptoms of ADD or ADHD often look very different. There are some universal symptoms, though, if you recognize any of these universal symptoms in yourself of a loved one you should seek the opinion of a professional immediately. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders a minimum of six of the following ADHD symptoms are present in almost every case whether it involves a child or an adult.
Inattention (whether it is taking place in school, at work or at home)
- Failure to pay close attention to details and/or makes careless mistakes that you/they would not normally make.
- Expresses difficulty keeping focused on one task, easily becoming distracted in situations requiring focus.
- Difficulty listening to someone even when being spoken directly to, or an inability to make eye contact.
- Cannot follow through with a course of action or instruction. Whether it is in a workplace or classroom.
- Difficulty organizing and prioritizing tasks in a manner that manages time effectively.
- Avoiding activities that require prolonged mental attention.
- Frequently losing things that are required to complete day to day activities at work or home.
Hyperactivity (at inappropriate times or constantly)
- Fidgeting or an inability to stay still (this is especially common in younger patients).
- Difficulty playing or engaging in structured activities.
- Constantly displaying excessive energy in the form of hyperactivity.
- Talking excessively or very rapidly.
Impulsivity (having difficulty taking turns or thinking things through)
- Cannot seem to wait their turn for anything showing a lack of patience.
- Constant interruption of others when you/they feel they have something of value to add.
- Blurting out answers or opinions out of turn or when it is not appropriate.
It is important to remember that these symptoms are not enough alone to decide whether you or a loved one are suffering from ADD or ADHD. That can only be determined by a health professional. They are the ones who can accurately diagnose the condition. Often the symptoms that leave no doubt that a person is suffering from this type of condition are not going to be easy to detect.
Once diagnosed there are a couple of different treatment plans your attending physician is likely to explore. The most common treatment that is likely to be attempted is medication. This can take the form of stimulant-based or antidepressant medication. One of the most common medications prescribed to children and adults alike are Dexedrine and Adderall. These two medications have both been studied extensively and are proven to be effective in combating the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.
No matter the medication your doctor prescribes, the dosage should start out low and be increased gradually until an effective level is achieved. This is also effective in ensuring that maximum effectiveness is achieved while limiting the negative side effects that are present.
Other less common but somewhat effective treatments have also revolved around cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. Though it has not been studied enough to say with certainty that they can be as effective as more traditional pharmaceutical treatment. You should discuss with your doctor what the best treatment option is for you or your loved one, every case is going to very and personalized treatment plans have shown the highest rate of success in counteracting the symptoms of the condition.