Imagine what it feels like to have the sounds, the images and the thoughts changing rapidly in your mind, as scenes in a movie. You get bored quickly and also fail to focus on tasks. You're distracted by sounds and images that do not interest you and your mind switches from one activity to another. There is so much restlessness in your head that you don’t notice when a person is talking to you.
ADHD is a genetic disorder. ADHD has a strong genetic basis in the majority of cases, as a child with ADHD is four times as likely to have had a relative who was also diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. At the moment, researchers are investigating many different genes, particularly ones involved with the brain chemical dopamine. People with ADHD seem to have lower levels of dopamine in the brain.
The brain matures in a normal pattern but it is delayed in the regions involving thinking, planning and paying attention. It is not known what exactly causes this disorder, but the nutrition and the environmental factors surely play an important part. A mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk for ADHD.
ADHD, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is one of the most common brain disorders of childhood, but adults can suffer from it, too. This disorder involves three types of behavior: attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The three types of behavior don’t necessarily manifest themselves in ‘complete formation’. Among the symptoms, the most common are: difficulty in staying focused and paying attention, difficulty in controlling behavior and hyperactivity; children with ADHD struggle to follow instructions, they can’t focus on one thing/activity, have difficulties in completing tasks, they talk all the time and they can’t sit still, not even during the lessons or while eating, they are very impatient and act without thinking of consequences. A child suffering of ADHD may be perceived by adults as being naughty or having disciplinary problems.
The symptoms occur during childhood and they are noticeable starting at the age of 3. However, a child can not be diagnosed before the age of 6. Under this age, children are not allowed to use medication; parents can only suspect that their children suffer from this disorder. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must have the symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is grater than other children of the same age.
If the child doesn’t get any treatment during childhood, the symptoms will increase in intensity, having negative impact on the child’s development: drug and alcohol abuse, school abandon, theft, and so on.
Through medication, the symptoms will decrease in intensity: your child will be able to focus a little better or to remain seated during the lesson some longer period of time. But he still needs to be taught how to manage his thoughts or impulses. There are all kinds of support groups, social skills development courses, psychologists and therapists specialized in the difficulties encountered in such a disorder. Moreover, your child’s condition may be improved if you make sure he sleeps at least 9 hours every night. During the day, he must have a schedule of physical exercises, at least 30 minutes a day. Stimulate his frontal lobe of the brain by playing chess, puzzles and construction games.
Anxiety, depression and low self-esteem are permanent risk factors in the development of the child with ADHD. Be always on his side and encourage him! Be patient with him! Help him learn - the child wants it, as learning is a difficult thing for him. Remember that by combining medications with emotional support and your patience and sometimes with therapy or counseling, you can overcome many of the difficulties.
In general, when we talk about ADHD, we refer especially to children. However, ADHD may be encountered in adulthood, being accompanied by the specific symptoms of this stage of development. Many of the adults suffering from ADHD were not diagnosed with the disorder in childhood, either because symptoms were associated with another disorder (depression, anxiety) or because parents and teachers considered the child’s behavior as ‘just extra energy’ – which does not require specific corrective treatment.
ADHD in adulthood may be indicated by the following symptoms: difficulty completing responsibilities; risk of switching the attention to other activities; promises hardly kept or they are not respected at all; disorganization in everyday life; resistance to meet deadlines, etc…
Due to lack of attention, the adult suffering from ADHD rarely remembers the task he had to complete or the promise he had to fulfill. As a result of the criticism received from the others, both the personal and the professional life may be affected.
Diagnosing ADHD in adulthood is a difficult process that requires certain ambiguities that must be resolved to make the correct diagnosis. The treatment is also complex, involving both cognitive and behavioral therapy and medication. In addition, the treatment is long lasting and it doesn’t mean just taking some pills on time and going to therapy sessions; it is based on an entire plan in terms of life organization, overcoming emotional problems, etc…
If you have doubts concerning the presence of some of these symptoms in your behavior, do not hesitate to contact a specialist! The sooner you discover this disorder, the sooner you can return to a normal life. Although adults suffering from ADHD will never cure, they can lead normal lives if they ask for help in time. Here are some Hollywood celebrities who suffer from ADHD and still do well in life: Jamie Oliver (famous chef), Jim Carey (actor and comedian), Will Smith ( singer and actor), Michael Phelps (swimmer – awarded with 14 Olympic medals), Paris Hilton ( singer and actress), Solange Knowels ( Beyonce’s sister), Justin Timberlake (singer and actor).