Definition of ADHD
ADHD stands for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It’s a neurological disorder that affects the areas of the brain responsible for our executive functions, such as focus, organization, and impulse control.
ADHD is not a mental illness, learning disability, or behavior disorder. It’s a developmental impairment of certain parts of the brain that can occur in both children and adults.
There are three types of ADHD symptoms. These types, along with example symptoms, include:
- Inattention: Lack of focus, trouble paying attention to details and following instructions, easily distracted
- Hyperactivity: Restlessness, fidgeting, constant movement, excessive talking
- Impulsivity: Frequent interrupting, struggles with waiting, prone to accidents/injuries
Depending on what types of symptoms a person with ADHD exhibits, they are diagnosed with one of three types of ADHD: inattentive ADHD, hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, or combined type ADHD.
There isn’t a cure for ADHD. However, treatment can be very successful in helping people with this disorder manage their symptoms. There are several types of ADHD treatment which may be recommended, including:
ADHD medication is considered to be one of the most effective options for treating this disorder. Stimulant medications for ADHD improve symptoms in 70% to 80% of children and about 70% of adults. Non-stimulants are available as well and can be a good alternative for people who don’t respond to stimulants or shouldn’t use stimulant medications due to certain health concerns.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be helpful for people with ADHD. It helps with overcoming negative though patterns and coping with ADHD symptoms in a healthy way. This type of therapy is primarily focused on mental and emotional support.
Behavior therapy is often recommended as a treatment option for children with ADHD. This type of therapy is aimed at developing practical skills to deal with ADHD symptoms at home and at school. These skills are typically reinforced with a system of rewards and consequences.
The General Prevalence of ADHD
About 11% of children and nearly 5% of adults have ADHD. The rates of ADHD diagnosis have increased significantly over the past two decades or so. This doesn’t necessarily mean that more people have ADHD than they did 20 years ago, however. It points to an increased awareness of the disorder and better access to medical care, which likely caused an increase in referrals for ADHD screenings.
Similarly, the stigma surrounding ADHD has also eased, and doctors are better trained to recognize symptoms. For example, more medical professionals and educators are aware of the differences in how ADHD tends to present in boys vs. girls. Boys are still more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, but the rate at which girls are diagnosed has doubled in the last 20 years.
If you think you may have ADHD and you’re interested in a medical screening, Done can help. We’re also here to provide 24/7 care for people who already have an ADHD diagnosis. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you, or search our Knowledge Base to learn more about ADHD.