ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It is typically diagnosed in adolescents when they begin having trouble paying attention in school, however, ADHD can be found in adults as well. Some experience hyperactivity, while others struggle with the ability to pay attention, and some suffer from both.
ADD stands for attention deficit disorder. There is quite a bit of inconsistent information about ADD. Some believe that it is a completely separate disorder or a specific form of ADHD, but the truth is, it is just an antiquated term for ADHD. In the early 90’s the American Psychiatric Association updated their terminology to the now widely accepted name, ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Three Types of ADHD
ADHD does not present the same in every person and that is because there are several different types of ADHD. Individuals with ADHD can be categorized into one of three types: Inattentive, Hyperactive/Impulsive, or Combined. For Combined, children must show six signs of both categories, while adults present five of both.
Individuals with Inattentive ADHD have trouble paying attention, focusing, and get distracted easily, but do not show signs of hyperactivity. In order to be diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD children must show at least six signs, while adults need to present five. Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD include:
- Trouble focusing on tasks
- Getting bored quickly
- Difficulty paying attention
- Frequently making simple mistakes
- Trouble planning ahead
- Often misplacing their belongings
- Inability to be an active listeners
Someone who has Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD are constantly moving and fidgeting and can’t sit still no matter how hard they try. In order to be diagnosed with Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD, children must show at least six signs, while adults need to present five. Symptoms of Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD include:
- Constant fidgeting and moving
- Appearing restless in inappropriate situations
- Talking excessively
- Commonly interrupting others
- Unable to sit still
- Inability to participate in quiet activities
- Trouble remaining seated
The combined type of ADHD is exactly what it sounds like. It is when an individual suffers from symptoms of both Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD and Inactive ADHD. They have trouble sitting still, paying attention, listening, and may often interrupt others. It is often impossible for children and even adults to control these urges.
Causes of ADHD
What causes ADHD is not completely understood, however, there are a few theories. It is suspected that ADHD is genetic. Most children who suffer from ADHD also have relatives that have been diagnosed.
Another theory is that ADHD may be caused or worsened by the mother smoking, drinking, or experiencing extreme stress during pregnancy. There may also be a correlation between premature birth and ADHD, but further research is needed to confirm any of these theories.
Medications and Side Effects
Medications for ADHD come in both stimulants and non-stimulants. They are both designed to help balance the chemicals in the brain. Many common ADHD medications increase levels of dopamine or serotonin. Some side effects that often occur with ADHD medications are:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Lack of appetite
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At the Functional Medicine Centers, we can help you or your child with your ADHD symptoms. Contact us to learn more about our services.
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