What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the main symptoms of which include difficulties with attention, focus, overactivity and impulsivity. It is a condition that can respond to medicines, psychological approaches and, or, a combination of both. A subgroup of ADHD is Attention Deficit Disorder (also called ADD) where overactivity is not present. ADHD can be of varying severity from mild to moderate to severe.
When does ADHD start?
ADHD can start in early childhood. It is most commonly diagnosed when children are at primary school. However, the diagnosis in adults is becoming increasingly common.
What causes ADHD?
There is no single cause of ADHD. A number of factors can contribute to the development of ADHD, including genetic inheritance and things in the environment a child lives in. Many people now talk about an interaction between genes and the environment as being important in why some people develop ADHD.
What effect does ADHD have?
Where a child, teenager or adult
- has difficulty focussing or concentrating on tasks;
- acts impulsively; and
- has behaviour that is difficult to manage,
the possibility of ADHD or ADD should be considered. These symptoms may present from an early age.
Is ADHD treatable?
ADHD is treatable in a number of ways that include behaviour therapy; medication; and personal coaching. It is also important to address problems in school or work with measures such as remedial teaching and training for employers.
Who does ADHD affect?
ADHD affects children, teenagers and adults. It is thought that between 3 and 7% of children in the UK have ADHD, with boys being three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with the condition. Approximately 30% of those diagnosed with ADHD in childhood will continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
Are there long-term consequences of having ADHD?
Many people with ADHD can be very successful in life. However, without proper identification and treatment, there can be long-term effects that include
- Underperformance at school then work.
- The development of other psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
- Difficulty finding and holding down a job.
- Problems in relationships.
- Finding it a struggle to be a parent.
- Involvement in criminal behaviour.
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