ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a person's ability to pay attention, control impulsive behaviors, and may cause them to be excessively active. People with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on tasks, organizing activities, and may exhibit impulsive or hyperactive behaviors. This condition often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood.
Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry)
The symptoms of ADHD can be categorized into two main groups: Inattention and Hyperactivity-Impulsivity.
· Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
· Easily distracted by unrelated stimuli
· Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
· Forgetfulness in daily activities
· Avoidance or dislike of tasks requiring sustained mental effort
Hyperactivity and impulsivity:
· Excessive fidgeting or squirming
· Difficulty remaining seated when expected to do so
· Often "on the go" or acting as if "driven by a motor"
· Difficulty waiting for one's turn in group activities
· Impulsive decision-making without considering potential consequences
The exact causes of ADHD are not fully understood, but research suggests that it may be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. Some potential factors that might contribute to the development of ADHD include:
Genetics: ADHD can run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the disorder.
Neurological factors: Differences in brain structure and functioning, particularly involving neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, may play a role in the development of ADHD.
Environmental factors: Prenatal factors such as maternal smoking, alcohol use during pregnancy, premature birth, and low birth weight might contribute to an increased risk of ADHD.
Brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries and certain medical conditions affecting the brain may also be linked to the development of ADHD in some cases.
While these factors are known to be associated with ADHD, the precise interplay between them and how they contribute to the development of the disorder is still being researched.
Treatment for ADHD typically involves a combination of approaches tailored to an individual's specific needs. These may include:
Medication: Stimulant medications like methylphenidate and amphetamines are commonly used to help improve attention and focus. Non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine may also be prescribed.
Behavioral therapy: Behavioral interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), social skills training, and parent education programs, can help individuals develop coping strategies and improve behavior.
Education support: Providing structured learning environments, academic accommodations, and support from teachers can help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms in educational settings.
Lifestyle adjustments: Encouraging regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can also contribute to managing symptoms of ADHD.
Support groups: Participating in support groups or therapy sessions can offer emotional support and practical coping strategies for both individuals with ADHD and their families.
It's essential to consult a healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the specific needs and challenges of the individual with ADHD.
Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry)
Sehajta Sehgal (Psychologist)
Faith Hospital, Chandigarh