Overview: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Overview: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD, formerly known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is characterized as a neurobiological disorder made up of a collection of complex of symptoms that fall under three main subtypes:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Inattention

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD patients present an ongoing pattern of one or numerous subtypes of inattention-hyperactivity-impulsivity that impact daily function, behavior, and development. ADHD affects roughly 11% of American children, ages 4 to 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, while ADHD is often considered a childhood disorder, it can also continue into and even be diagnosed in adulthood. ADHD presents differently depending on the subtype diagnosed. For instance, while patients who fall under the subtype inattention may have trouble staying focused or regularly lose personal items; patients who fall under the impulsivity-hyperactive subtype may be prone to fidgeting, talking, or aggressive behaviors. Here are the most common symptoms of ADHD:

1. Prone to daydreaming
All children daydream, however, when ADHD affects the brain, daydreaming can often make a child so withdrawn that they avoid social activity altogether. According to research from the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, kids with ADHD have difficulty switching off the “daydreaming” regions in the brain so tedious tasks are often impossible.

2. Lack of focus
Patients with ADHD often have trouble focusing on day to day activities like reading and homework. They may be easily distracted, have trouble listening and following detailed tasks or conversation, and frustration will cause they to overlook details and leave tasks or projects uncompleted.

3. Self-regulation

Self regulation and impulse control go hand-in-hand, and when compromised, many ADHD patients are unable to map their behavior to the future outcome or consequences. Many patients describe becoming so fixated with their own wants and needs that they ignore the feelings of others. They may act out when asked to wait in line or wait their turn.

4. Emotional outbursts

Children with ADHD are prone to anger outbursts, extreme frustration, or irritability when asked to wait for a desired result.

5. Restlessness
Many ADHD patients find it extremely difficult to remain quiet and still for even short periods of time. They tend to act fidgety or antsy in class or when asked to concentrate on a task or project.

6. Forgetfulness
Focus is difficult for ADHD patients, which means absorbing details, rules, and facts and numbers to memory can seem impossible. They may also have trouble keeping track of personal objects.