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What is ADHD?

INTRODUCTION

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is behavioural disorder that is most found and diagnosed in children between the ages of 6 and 12. A diagnosis is carried out with a check list known as DSM or The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is a guide that has been published by the APA or American Psychiatric Association.

ADHD can be separated into two groups, one group shows a hyperactive behaviour and the other shows a lack of attention. HYPERACTIVE SYMPTOMS The first group of ADHD symptoms are known as Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation. Symptoms of this presentation include:

  • Runs about and climbs all the time

  • Cannot sit still for long

  • Fidgets when forced to sit still

  • Talks all the time

  • Impatience with taking turns or waiting

  • Interrupts others

  • Answers questions before question has been asked in full

  • Has an abundance of energy as though a motor drives them

These symptoms must be seen to be a daily occurrence before ADHD can be considered as a diagnosis.

LACK OF ATTENTION SYMPTOMS

The second group of ADHD symptoms are known as Predominantly Inattentive Presentation. Symptoms of this presentation include:

  • Forgets tasks carried out daily

  • Easily distracted

  • Easily loses things

  • Cannot pay close attention to instructions or details

  • Difficulty in following instructions

  • Has a short attention span

  • Cannot follow instructions easily

  • Appears to be not listening

  • Has difficulty with organizational skills

All symptoms must be present in at least two areas of a patient’s life such as at school and at home before ADHD can be considered.

CONCLUSION

It is important that should you notice your child suffering from any of these symptoms it is best to get them checked out by your local doctor. Before any diagnosis of ADHD is given, the child will be monitored closely and other conditions will be ruled out. This is because many of the symptoms of ADHD are closely related to other medical or mental health conditions.

Some ADHD patients can show symptoms of both types of ADHD. In order for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, they must show at least six symptoms and these symptoms must have been noticed for at least six months.

A diagnosis can be carried out either by a doctor or a mental health practitioner by using this simple check list. There is no cure for ADHD but symptoms can be managed with medication and CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy.

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