Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a severe condition that causes problems for millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems that makes it difficult for people with the condition to be hyperactive, maintain attention, and cause them to behave impulsively.

In this article, we’ll learn all about ADHD, its types, causes, and quizzes you can try out.

What is ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is defined as a chronic condition that begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It causes low self-esteem and makes it difficult for anyone with this condition to easily navigate life, school, or work.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common types of disorder that affects children. It is estimated that 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be mild, moderate, and severe depending on the individual and they may surpass childhood periods and grow even into adulthood.

Also, ADHD is often first identified in school-aged children especially when they begin to have problems with their schoolwork or actively disrupt the classroom. 

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Research suggests that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is more common among boys than girls. Furthermore, the behavioral experience of the boys might be different from that of girls. For example, boys are likely to be more hyperactive while girls may be quietly inattentive.

Causes of ADHD

Similar to other types of disorder, the cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has not yet been identified by researchers. However, there is evidence to prove that it can be traced back to genetics.

According to studies, 3 out of 4 children with ADHD have a relative with this same disorder. But there are other factors that could contribute to the development of ADHD such as the mother experiencing extreme distress during pregnancy, and the baby being born prematurely.

Also, a mother smoking, or consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause a child to develop ADHD after being born. ADHD can also be triggered by a brain injury to a child.

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Famous People with ADHD

Here are some of the famous people in the world who also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • Michael Phelps

The Olympic champion was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9 but was heavily supported by his Mum. Michael's mum gave him the sports page from the newspaper when he didn't want to read anything else.

According to the champ, the encouragement from his mum led him to swim, which he says helped him develop concentration and self-discipline. He currently has 22 Olympic medals which by far is the most of any athlete in history.

  • Justin Timberlake

The Grammy-winning singer and actor Timberlake says: "I have OCD mixed with ADHD. You try living with that." He has not attributed his success to the condition but he hinted that he sometimes struggles to cope with it.

  • Will.i.am

According to the rapper, music helps him to deal with his ADHD. In his interview with Britain's Sunday Mirror: "Those traits work well for me in studios and in meetings about creative ideas. If I was stuck at a different job I'd be horrible and wouldn't survive. Music is my therapy. Music keeps me sane and keeps my mind on something. It's fragile up there."

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There are many more famous people living with this condition and other forms of the disorder. The most important thing is to recognize your symptoms and visit the hospital for proper evaluation so that you can begin your treatment as soon as possible.

Types and Subtypes of ADHD

There are three subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

  1. Predominantly inattentive: Children with this type of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder majorly have symptoms that fall under inattention. 
  2. Predominantly hyperactive or impulsive: The majority of symptoms of children under this category fall under being hyperactive and impulsive.
  3. Combined ADHD: This is a mixture of inattentive symptoms and hyperactive or impulsive symptoms.

Inattention

Children who show a pattern of inattention may regularly:

  • Refuse to pay close attention to details and then make careless and avoidable mistakes in their schoolwork.
  • May experience difficulty in following instructions.
  • They are also likely to have trouble organizing activities and tasks and they would refuse to partake in tasks that require mental effort.
  • They are likely to act like they are not listening even when they are spoken to directly.
  • They are easily distracted and they easily lose their items such as toys etc.

Impulsivity or hyperactivity: children who exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity are likely to show a pattern of:

  • Always being active. They are often running around especially in situations that are not appropriate.
  • They are always in constant motion.
  • They cannot partake in a quiet activity or play gently
  • They are always fidgeting
  • They like to talk at all times and mostly interrupt others.

It should be noted that most children are energetic and are always on the move trying to play with their toys or their friends. Children also have short attention spans and can be hyperactive. 

Hence, not all hyperactive children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also, children should not be classified as having ADHD because they do not play with their siblings or interact with them.

Only a proper diagnosis from the medical health practitioner should categorize a child as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

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How is ADHD Detected?

The first step of action when you notice that a child shows symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is to take the child to the hospital for proper diagnosis.

In the hospital, the doctor will assess the child based on the symptoms being experienced. However, ADHD is diagnosed as one of these three types that have been mentioned earlier.

  1. Inattentive type
  2. Hyperactive/impulsive type or 
  3. The combined type. 

The doctor will evaluate the symptoms experienced over the last six months before making a conclusion on the condition. 

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Best ADHD Tests & Quizzes to Try

  • Formplus ADHD Quiz: Formplus offers a detailed quiz that can help you assess your attention plan and capacity for prolonged concentration. Take the ADHD quiz here

  • Psycom ADHD test: Psycom offers a 3 minutes free attention deficit hyperactivity disorder test that parents can fill using the symptoms experienced by their child. The test can also be taken as a self-assessment by someone experiencing the symptoms of ADHD.
  • Psychcentral ADHD assessment: You can take the ADHD test on Psych Central to determine if you need to see a mental health practitioner about your symptoms. The test is free and you are guaranteed to get immediate feedback.

It is worthy to note that these tests or assessments do not serve as a proper evaluation or diagnosis for the condition. It is best to visit the hospital, see a doctor, and lay your complaints or share your symptoms. 

This is because doctors are in the best position to provide knowledge regarding your symptoms as it is their expertise.

Characteristics of ADHD

Here are some of the symptoms and signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

  • Children with ADHD often have short attention spans or they experience difficulty in sustaining attention.
  • They find it difficult to listen to others. This affects the children in school especially as they do not listen to the teacher.
  • They do not pay attention to details and they are easily distracted.
  • They are easily forgetful.
  • They exhibit poor organizational skills both in school and at home.
  • They are impulsive and they have trouble multitasking.
  • They have poor study skills because they do not listen.
  • They have a hard time prioritizing and focusing on a task.
  • They are often excessively restless and hyperactive. 
  • They also tend to lose things easily.

ADHD vs Autism

ADHD and autism share some similar symptoms even though the two conditions are not the same. It is more common for children with ADHD to have difficulty paying attention to the same thing for a long period.

Children with ADHD are easily distracted and can be disruptive. In the case of autism, the children may become obsessive over the things they are passionate about or the things they enjoy. 

Children with autism may also have little things that are interesting to them. Autistic children have a difficult time focusing on things they do not like such as reading school books while they become fixated on the things they like.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder usually dislike and avoid things they'll have to concentrate on.

Other Syndromes that Can be Mistaken for ADHD

There are some syndromes that are easily misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and they include:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders
  • Seizure disorder
  • Visual or hearing impairment
  • Social communication disorder
  • Specific learning disorder

To avoid any misdiagnosis, it is best to visit the hospital for proper evaluation of your symptoms so that you can be accurately diagnosed and you can get the right treatments.

Treatment and How to Cope with ADHD’s Syndrome

Here are some of the treatments that can help you manage and cope with your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

First, understand that there is no cure for ADHD but with the use of these treatments it can be managed.

Treatment for ADHD in children involves behavior therapy, medications, counseling, and education services. These treatments are proven to relieve many of the symptoms of ADHD.

Be patient with your child or your own recovery journey as it may take some time to determine what works best for your child or for you. Your doctor may also prescribe some stimulant medications.

Psychostimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD and they are effective. They boost and balance the levels of brain neurotransmitters or brain chemicals. 

Stimulants such as dextroamphetamine and lisdexamfetamine also help to improve the signs and symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity and sometimes, they do so in a short period of time.

Conclusion

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be triggered in a child because of the oversight of the mother during pregnancy. This is why it is important for all expecting women to go for regular checkups, and follow the instructions suggested to them by the medical health practitioners.

It is also important that the mother stay clear of cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy. Also, parents should watch out for any irregularities in their child and be quick to visit the hospital.



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  • on 8 min read

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