What is ADHD?

ADHD is a condition that affects a person’s behavior, ADHD is commonly known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It can definitely make it seem like they’re restless and they may have trouble concentrating. Quite often symptoms begin at an early age and often can become more noticeable when a big change happens in the individuals’ life.

Symptoms of ADHD

With ADHD it can be categorised into two specific types of behavioral problems these being inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. When it comes to talking about the inattentiveness side of things these symptoms can often include having a rather short attention span and getting very easily distracted. They might often make some careless mistakes this can be to do with schoolwork etc. They might be quite forgetful or lose things often, might struggle to stick to certain tasks that may be seen as tedious, struggling to organise things, and constantly feeling like they need to change activity.

When it comes to hyperactivity and impulsiveness the symptoms for this can be that they often feel they’re unable to sit still even more so when they’re somewhere quiet. They might constantly fidget and it might be hard for them to concentrate on certain tasks. They might often be quite excessive when they’re talking, finding it hard to be able to wait their turn. They might often act without thinking or have very little sense of danger.

Causes

As for many types of conditions, there is no exact cause for ADHD, but there are a few causes that may come into the factors when diagnosis occurs. These can be genetics, it can often run in families, by the genes that you inherit. It can also be to do with the brain function and structure overall, it is often suggested that those who suffer from ADHD, often have it where areas of their brain are particularly smaller then some are larger than someone who doesn’t have ADHD. Then there is also the case of having a certain imbalance to do with the level of neurotransmitters in the brain which means that those particular chemicals don’t work properly.

Coping with ADHD

Dealing with ADHD can be very difficult at times and often it can be quite hard to be able to cope with it, so it’s always best to make sure that you have a few ways to help you to be able to cope. It’s very important to remember that a child, in particular, can’t really help their behavior. It can help to be able to plan your day in particular, so they know exactly what to expect, by setting certain routines and that can then help them cope in general with everyday life. By having these small steps rather than a load of tasks they have got to do, means that they will be able to cope better.

Another great step could be to learn to create some clear boundaries, letting those around you know what to expect in terms of behavior. Trying to stay as positive as possible, which can often be quite difficult. Try to make sure to give praise, where you can. When giving out instructions, try and be more specific and when it comes to actually doing any homework then make sure to turn your phone off, as this will limit distractions massively. Try and get some exercise, exercise can help people that suffer from ADHD, whilst having ADHD it can make you feel very hyper, so being able to take breaks and release some of that energy is great.

Some other great ways to cope with ADHD, could be to try and stay focused even though this can be very difficult. Try and declutter your home and the office you work in, give yourself a work environment that works for you and keep important items close to you. Always try and reduce distractions if you can, trying to settle down in a quieter spot or putting headphones on can be a great way. Try and avoid procrastination, make it a thing that you try and avoid doing so that you can concentrate properly on the tasks at hand. Try and take one thing at a time, it can be quite difficult for those that have ADHD to be able to multitask, so it’s best to just take your time.

Treatments 

There are many different kinds of treatment for ADHD and by going through these, it can in turn help to relieve symptoms. It can be treated through both medicine and therapy, so it’s best to talk to your GP to figure out exactly what is right for you. There are five types of medication used to treat ADHD, these being methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, dexamfetamine, atomoxetine, and guanfacine. These specific types of medication are not to cure ADHD, but can help someone with ADHD, to be able to concentrate better and make sure they’re less impulsive and feel calmer overall.

Methylphenidate is the most common medication to treat ADHD, it is part of a group of medicines that are known as stimulants, which actually work to be able to increase brain activity. Lisdexamfetamine is a medication that stimulates certain parts of the brain at hand. Improving concentration helps to focus and makes sure to reduce impulsive behavior as a whole. Dexamfetamine is similar to Lisdexamfetamine and it works in a very similar way. Atomoxetine works in a different way to the other ADHD medications mentioned, it’s known as an SNRI which stands for a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, which actually means that it increases a chemical in the brain called noradrenaline. Guanfacine is one that helps the brain to improve on things like paying attention and it reduces blood pressure.

There are also many types of therapy, when it comes to ADHD, one of those being behavior therapy, which is something that helps provide a lot of support for children and their carers in general. Helping to identify certain types of behavior. It helps to learn how to structure certain activities and helps to make the individual feel better with small steps in progression. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy, which can help individuals to manage how they feel by changing the way they behave and think. There is also psychoeducation, which means that the individual or the person caring for them will be asked to talk about ADHD and the effects it has.

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Words: Karley Myall