Despite the many myths that are out there, it is possible to overcome ADHD, and in fact, most people with the condition do well in school, work and social situations. But understanding what is adhd, how it’s diagnosed and treated is important to know before making any decisions or seeking treatment.
People with ADHD have problems with attention, focus and impulsivity that make it hard to keep up with schoolwork or work. They also have trouble paying attention to what others say, and often find it difficult to wait for their turn in conversations. They may have difficulty keeping track of their belongings and tend to misplace things a lot. They have trouble sitting still for long periods and are often restless, unable to concentrate or make plans.
Many adults don’t realize they have ADHD, so it isn’t diagnosed in them as easily as children. A health care provider can evaluate a person for the disorder by asking questions, reviewing symptoms and doing physical and mental exams. They can use rating scales or checklists and interview a parent, teacher or close friend about the behavior. They can also ask about other conditions like depression, anxiety or brain injuries that could cause similar symptoms.
Doctors can also test blood levels of certain chemicals that help with attention and brain function. They’ll also ask about your family history and what medicines you are taking (including over-the-counter ones). It can take weeks or months to find the right medicine and dose. If a medicine isn’t helping or causes side effects, your doctor might change the dose or try a different one.
The most common treatment for ADHD is prescription medicines. Doctors can recommend a stimulant or non-stimulant. Stimulants are more likely to have side effects, but they start working quickly and can help improve concentration and focus. Non-stimulants take longer to start working, but they stay in your body for 24 hours and can help with the impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Medications can help people with ADHD be more successful at home, in work and in school. But the best way to treat the disorder is with a combination of skills training and therapy. Skills training helps people with ADHD learn strategies to work around their challenges, like coping with distractions and getting organized. It can be done in talk therapy, with an ADHD coach or in a group with other people who have ADHD.
No one knows what causes ADHD, but it is believed to be partly genetic and partly related to how a person’s brain works. It’s also thought that some environmental factors, such as stress or a lack of good sleep can trigger it in some people. Whether it’s genes or environment, the important thing is that health care professionals diagnose and treat it so that people can get on with their lives. They can then find ways to manage their symptoms and live the life they want.