The Basics of ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
- Difficulty paying attention
- Frequent daydreaming
- Forgetting or losing things
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty finishing what is started
- Making careless mistakes
- Difficulty staying seated
- Fidgeting or squirming
- Talking too much
- Constantly in motion as if “driven by a motor”
- Difficulty taking turns
- Often interrupts
- Speaks out of turn
Difficulty waiting for things
ADHD Symptoms commonly seen in Adolescents and Adults
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Poor time management
- Avoiding tasks that demand large amounts of attention
- Feeling restless all the time
- Selecting jobs that require high levels of activity and multitasking
- Low stress tolerance
- Making decisions without properly evaluating options
- Quick to lose temper and become frustrated
Yes, all people have these symptoms sometimes. The difference is that those with ADHD experience more severe and frequent symptoms than others do and they interfere with the person’s ability to function appropriately.
No, people may have predominantly one type of symptom or may have a combination of different types of symptoms. Regardless of which types of symptoms are present, it is still called ADHD.
- ADHD is the most prevalent childhood behavioral disorder. It is very challenging to accurately determine how many people have ADHD. It is estimated that 5-11% of children are affected by ADHD (picture of 20 people with 2 highlighted). It is also one of the most common adult psychiatric disorders with an estimated prevalence 4.4% (picture of 20 people with 1 highlighted).
- Males are about 2 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females. Males also tend to be diagnosed earlier as well (Picture of 2 males to 1 female). This may be due to that fact that females tend to exhibit more inattentive symptoms which are easily overlooked.
- Average age of diagnosis is 7 years old, but symptoms are typically present from preschool age.
There is no single cause of ADHD, but likely several factors contribute to its development. ADHD typically runs in families, so it is most likely that environmental interactions with genes lead to the majority of ADHD.
Factors that are shown to contribute to the development of ADHD:
- Prenatal alcohol or tobacco exposure
- Low birth weight
- Lead exposure
- Significant head trauma
Factors that have NOT been shown to cause ADHD:
- Excessive sugar intake
- Food allergies
- Food additives
- Excessive television viewing
- Poor parenting skills