If you struggle with restlessness and frequent distraction, it may not be anything out of the ordinary. However, if you become depressed, are subject to short-term memory impairment, or have difficultly completing or organizing duties, your behavior could be symptomatic of a deeper issue –Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD).
If it’s possible that you have ADD, you won’t be alone. Studies have shown that at least 5% of the U.S. population is affected by ADHD. It can be a real problem, especially if your job, or schoolwork, requires a certain degree of constant focus. It’s important to know where your distraction stems from in order to prevent further depression or feelings of failure.
Children and adults alike can be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD). Symptoms of ADD can be narrowed down into three distinct categories that directly affect behavior:
These three behaviors have their own symptoms, but they all point back to the root disorder. Those battling ADD/ADHD may exhibit some symptoms but not others. Yet, no matter the behavior, ADD/ ADHD can be treated to help an individual live a normal and healthy life.
- Can’t focus or pay attention to activities or conversations
- Constant daydreaming or slow movements
- Easily bored and does not take well to direction
- Easily excited with unusual amount of energy
- Unable to sit still and constantly fidgets or squirms
- Non-stop talking
- No restraint in emotions or when speaking
- Acts without thinking, dangerous behavior with no fear of consequences
Understanding these symptoms is a critical part of the journey to pinpoint a solution for you and help you live a better life. If you experience symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, a diagnostic evaluation by a mental healthcare professional is the only sure way to know if you need treatment. A diagnosis will lead to accurate further testing, counseling, and potentially helpful prescription medication.
Children and adults will receive distinctly different treatments. Onset of this disorder can begin as young as three years old and treatment options will differ greatly between age groups.
Though it is not fully understood what exactly causes ADD/ADHD, doctors believe the disorder is caused by unique factors that act in sync with hereditary genes, environmental factors like nutrition and social perception, as well as possible brain injuries that occurred during childhood.
Medical Treatment and Therapy
Since ADD/ADHD can be influenced by so many factors, a medical professional must gather the proper information, as well as submit the patient to easily performed tests. Once diagnosed, it may come to light that the patient is suffering from other illnesses or conditions, such as a learning disability like dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, or bipolar disorder. All of those are also treatable with therapy or medication.
Therapy to help those with this disorder cope will involve learning social skills to help overcome the main categories of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. Medication can be prescribed to those at even very young ages and will help them focus and stay calm.
You Aren’t Alone
Attention Deficit Disorder is a disorder that can be easily handled with the right combination of therapy and medication. If you believe that you have ADD/ADHD, know that you are not alone. Every year more than 4% of adults are diagnosed with this disorder, while 9% of children between the ages of 13 and 18 are diagnosed. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.