Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects the brain. It is most common in children but may also show up in teens and adults. It is a chronic condition that can interfere with an individual’s daily life, work and relationships.
Symptoms of ADHD typically begin when kids are young, around age 12 on average. But a child’s symptoms can be more pronounced earlier in life, particularly for those who are hyperactive or impulsive.
When you or someone you know is showing signs of ADHD, it’s important to get the correct diagnosis so that the correct treatment can be given. The first step is to see a doctor, who will conduct a thorough evaluation of your symptoms. This includes a full medical and physical exam, as well as an interview with you. You will be asked to describe your symptoms in detail, including how they interfere with your work and social lives.
Your doctor will likely want to see you for a follow-up appointment, usually within 3 to 6 months. This is so that you can see how well the medication is working for you.
You and your doctor will discuss what type of treatment will be best for you and how often you need to take it. It is likely that you will need to try a variety of medications and dosages to find the right combination for you.
The most common type of medicine used to treat ADHD is a stimulant, which increases the body’s levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals are essential to the brain’s functioning and help people focus, pay attention and learn.
They are also used to treat anxiety and depression. They are safe to use and under medical supervision they can be very effective at treating the symptoms of ADHD.
It is important that your child takes any medication carefully. Taking too much can cause dangerous side effects.
Medication can be combined with other types of treatment, such as behavioral therapy, to improve the long-term effect of medication. This may include changing behaviors, such as avoiding distractions, and using positive parenting strategies to keep your child focused on their tasks.
If you think your child may have ADHD, it is important to talk with their school about a referral for an evaluation. This is free and can lead to accommodations at school and help your child succeed in their studies.
What’s more, the evaluation will likely provide you with helpful information and a referral to a child psychologist. This person can provide therapy to help your child develop the skills necessary to deal with their symptoms.
In addition, the results of your child’s evaluation may indicate whether or not your child needs a referral to a psychiatrist, a specialist in ADHD who can prescribe medication and other forms of treatment. This is a good option for those who have symptoms that are not responding to behavioral therapies or other treatments.