ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)


ADHD is known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In this psychiatric disease, the patient suffers from attention problem and impulsive actions. There is hyperactivity and the patient acts in a way that is inappropriate for his age. Most patients have these symptoms by the time they are 6-12 years old. The disease is diagnosed when the patient has symptoms that last more than 6 months. If a school going child has symptoms of ADHD, the child loses focus due to which the school performance becomes very poor. The disease can affect children, adolescents and adults. The main causes, symptoms and treatment of ADHD are as follows.

Symptoms Of ADHD
The main symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsiveness and disrupting behavior. There is loss of concentration and a feeling of distraction. The patient forgets things and does not pay attention to details. There is problem in focusing on any task. If any activity is not enjoyable, the patient feels bored soon after the task begins. Children have problem in doing homework and there are academic difficulties. They lose important things related to their tasks like pencils and toys. The patient does not listen to the person who is speaking to them. There is hyperactivity and the adult patients have restlessness. The patient has relationship problems. There is a tendency to daydream. The disease causes confusion and the movements become slow. The patient cannot process any information in a fast and accurate manner. There is problem in following instructions.

Causes Of ADHD
The exact cause of ADHD is not certain. According to the present approach, the disease is known to occur due to genetic and environmental causes. The patient can inherit the disease from parents. Genetic factors can cause ADHD in children who take foods and drinks that contain dyes and preservatives. If a pregnant woman takes alcohol, it can cause ADHD in the child. The disease can affect a child if the mother has cigarette smoke exposure while being pregnant. Some patients have developed the disease due to brain trauma, injury and infection. Exposure to lead present in plumbing materials and paints can cause ADHD. The disease can be due to insecticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in children can cause ADHD. The disease can occur due to factors like extremely low birth weight and infections during pregnancy. ADHD can be due to premature birth. If a child has viral and bacterial infections at the time of birth or while growing up, it can cause ADHD.

Treatment Of ADHD
The treatment of ADHD is done with medicines, psychotherapy, counseling and training. The treatment can improve the patient’s condition but it cannot remove negative effects completely. Some medicines that help in treating the disease are stimulants, antidepressants and atomoxetine. Non-stimulant medicines like guanfacine are given. Medicines cannot cure the disease but can help in controlling symptoms. If children have ADHD due to zinc deficiency, such children are given zinc supplements. The treatment includes making dietary modifications. The patient should not eat foods that have food coloring. Behavioral therapy is another method of treating the disease. Some useful therapies for the disease are cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills training, family therapy and psychoeducational input. Parents and teachers should guide and help the affected child to perform well in the school.