Understanding & Diagnosing ADD/ADHD

Understanding & Diagnosing in Order to Find the Right ADHD Treatment

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a dual neurological disorder. It combines hyperactivity and attention issues together so that the symptoms of both occur simultaneously.  This disorder affects both children and adults. Because the disorder is chronic, if present in a child it will more than likely continue to present itself into adulthood. Through the years children and adults have taken medication to treat the disorder as well as learned to cope with and control its effects.

For the most part, the emphasis of ADD/ADHD treatment is on managing the disorder. Some popular treatments are medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling.  Unfortunately, ADD/ADHD is often misdiagnosed and most medical professionals know little about the disorder and its treatments. There is much debate on how to properly diagnose and treat ADD/ADHD even though it has finally been considered a true disorder.

ADHD is a developmental disorder where impulse control is an issue.  It is seen to be a disruptive isorder as well as an oppositional defiant disorder, a conduct disorder, and an anti-social disorder. There are three types of ADHD:  mostly hyper-active, mostly inattentive, and combination of both.  When looking to diagnose ADHD there are three main things to look for:  inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The problem with diagnosing the disorder is deciding where to draw the line between normal and abnormal with these behaviors. The standard for diagnosis is that these three behaviors must be present for six months in two different settings, like home and school/work, and be more apparent than with other children or adults.

There are many symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Being easily distracted is the most commonly known of this disorder. That is actually part of the inattentive aspect. Some others are: forgetting things, switching from one activity to another quickly, having trouble focusing, seeming to not pay attention or listen, constant day dreaming, struggling to follow directions, and processing information slower than others to name a few. Most people can relate to these symptoms, but a person with ADD/ADHD finds them debilitating.

The hyperactive aspect is a more physical manifestation. Its symptoms include being overly talkative, not being able to sit still or to be constantly in motion, struggling to do quiet tasks, the desire and act of playing or touching everything within reach or sight, being impatient, and unable to restrain when expressing emotion. For most parents or colleagues these are the most frustrating parts of the disorder. The combination of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity makes this disorder difficult for everyone to deal with.

It is difficult to pinpoint the causes of ADD/ADHD. Depending on whom you ask, genetics, evolution, environment, diet, neurology, and socialization have all been found as a cause. Regardless of how ADD/ADHD begins, the emphasis now is on treatment. How does a parent or a person manage the disorder?

Medication has always been the main go-to for treatment. However, treatment is veering toward natural methods of management. These alternative ADD/ADHD treatment methods combine behavior modification and lifestyle choices.  There are programs available, both with a personal therapist or online, that can help the sufferer train themselves to control the symptoms of their disorder.  These techniques help with increasing attention and concentration, lowering hyperactivity, improving organizational skills, dealing with distractions, and improving self image and awareness.

If you or someone you know is suffering the effects of ADD/ADHD, know that there are ADD/ADHD treatments out there. They can help teach management of symptoms to help the ADD/ADHD child or adult function effectively in their daily lives.


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