ADHD is a brain disorder that affects focus, attention and impulsivity. It affects both children and adults. It can have a big impact on school, work and other aspects of life.
What Is ADHD?
Generally, ADHD is a disorder that begins in childhood. A diagnosis is made after a medical doctor identifies symptoms and performs tests. Usually, the doctor will use a checklist and rating scale to evaluate a child’s symptoms. They will also take a physical exam and may check for other health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.
What Are the Symptoms?
Typical ADHD symptoms include problems with attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty with social skills. Often, these symptoms are interwoven in different ways and can cause difficulties at different times in a person’s life.
The symptoms can also be accompanied by other physical and mental health problems, such as low self-esteem or poor social skills. These other issues may need to be addressed separately before a person can receive treatment for ADHD.
What Are the Medications?
Medications for ADHD typically work by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters. These include dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for transmitting messages between nerve cells in the brain, and they play a key role in regulating attention and behavior.
Dopamine is a chemical messenger that plays a key role in the coordination of movement. Individuals with ADHD have low levels of dopamine in their brain, which can cause them to lose coordination, shorten their attention span and increase impulsivity.
Stimulants are drugs that work quickly to boost the amount of dopamine in the brain, which helps with attention and impulsivity. They can be used alone or in combination with other medications to improve a person’s symptoms.
There are many different types of stimulants available. Some are immediate-release (short-acting) and last for a few hours, while others take longer to work.
Some of these medications can have serious side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, so they need to be taken with care. The side effects of ADHD medications may be less severe in children than in adults, and doctors will consider the risk/benefit ratio when deciding which medicine is best for a patient.
Medication trials are essential for determining which medication works best in each person, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Trials help determine which drug is most effective at what dosage.
Counseling is another important part of treating ADHD. NIMH experts say that counseling can help people with ADHD learn strategies for managing their symptoms and living with the condition. It can also teach parents and other family members how to support their loved one with ADHD.
Therapy can include cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches patients how to change their thinking patterns so that they are more productive and less likely to act out. Other kinds of therapy can include coping and stress management techniques, as well as communication strategies with family and friends.
Lastly, it is essential to maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. This can help reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD and also make people feel more comfortable with themselves.