Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 11 million adults in the United States, and 11% of school-aged children are diagnosed with the disorder. It can affect a person’s learning, relationships, career, and overall quality of life, but an ADHD treatment program can help.
For more information about finding an effective ADHD treatment program, contact Illumination Mental health today at 747.285.7504.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
The symptoms of ADHD typically present before the age of 12 and can be noticeable as early as three years of age in some children. Not every child or adult experiences ADHD in the same way. Symptoms may be mild or severe. Some symptoms disappear with time, and some linger into adulthood.
The exact cause of ADHD is still unknown, but it’s believed the problem stems from genetics, the environment, issues with the central nervous system, or all three. Risk factors for developing ADHD include:
- Having a blood relative with ADHD or another mental health disorder
- Use of drugs, alcohol, or smoking while pregnant
- Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead
- Premature birth
Diet, especially a diet high in sugar, is often blamed for hyperactivity, but scientific studies do not confirm a link between diet and ADHD. However, many issues can affect a child’s ability to sustain their attention span. An inability to sustain attention is not the same as ADHD.
While ADHD does not cause developmental or psychological problems, there is a strong link between having ADHD and a co-occurring condition such as an anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, or other learning disability.
There are three types of ADHD a person is likely to be diagnosed with: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, or combined. The list of symptoms for those types is related but different.
Inattention symptoms include:
- Having trouble staying focused, even on play or tasks that are fun
- Having trouble organizing tasks and activities
- Being easily distracted
- Being forgetful
- Failing to pay attention to details
- Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Appearing to not listen even when spoken to directly
Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity include:
- Being always on the go and in constant motion
- Being extremely talkative or unable to be quiet
- Interrupting others’ conversations, games, etc.
- Having trouble doing quiet activities
- Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in a chair
- Having trouble staying seated in a classroom or similar setting
- Blurting out answers or questions and interrupting others
Children or adults with the combined type of this disorder may exhibit signs of ADHD from both lists.
When to Seek Help for ADHD Symptoms
Every child or adult has occasional problems maintaining their attention or remembering details. Children are naturally energetic and exuberant. An occasional outburst or show of impatience is not a need for concern. Clinicians look for a pattern of behavior when diagnosing ADHD.
If you recognize ADHD symptoms in yourself or your child, it is important to undergo a complete medical evaluation. It is always possible that a treatable health problem is the cause of the difficulties.
When there is no illness or health condition present, the doctor will refer you to a specialist such as a psychologist or developmental-behavioral pediatrician for further evaluation.
ADHD is more than an inconvenience or troubling behavioral problem. The disorder can make life difficult for children, causing them to fall behind in school and lower self-esteem. Having ADHD can also make it difficult to interact appropriately with peers. Children with ADHD are also at a higher risk for accidents and injury.
It is recommended to seek treatment for yourself or your child as soon as you notice a problem.
Learn More About Symptoms of ADHD at Illumination Mental Health
Illumination offers comprehensive treatment for a variety of mental health and wellness issues, including ADHD. If you or someone in your life is struggling with ADHD, it is never too late, or too early, to get help. Call Illumination Mental Health today at 747.285.7504 for more information.