March 20, 2024

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Causes, Symptoms, and Management

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ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder treated at Boise North End Wellness and Counseling, impacting both children and adults. Many individuals and their loved ones are often surprised by the diagnosis, but it provides answers to a host of often unaddressed questions and issues.

Characterized by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, ADHD significantly impairs daily functioning in various settings, such as school, work, or social situations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 6.1 million children and adolescents in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, which makes it a prevalent and common childhood disorder.

What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects the brain's regulation of attention, behavior, and emotions. Individuals with ADHD struggle with tasks, following instructions, completing assignments, and staying organized. They may also face challenges in impulse control, interrupting others, and waiting their turn. Counseling and therapy can aid in developing coping mechanisms, improving life quality. ADHD can persist into adulthood, with a higher occurrence in boys than girls, often co-occurring with things such as anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities.

While the exact causes of ADHD remain unknown, research suggests a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disorder. Abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, responsible for attention and behavior regulation, are often found in children with ADHD. Prenatal exposure to substances, low birth weight, and brain injuries have been found to increase the risk.

It's important to note that ADHD is a complex interplay of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors. The exact combination of these factors can vary from person to person. Diagnosing ADHD involves a thorough assessment by healthcare professionals based on specific criteria outlined in diagnostic manuals.

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect both children and adults. The symptoms of ADHD are typically categorized into two main types: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Not everyone with ADHD will experience the same symptoms, and the severity can vary. Here are the common symptoms for each type:

Inattention Symptoms:
  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Making careless mistakes in work or other activities due to lack of attention.
  • Trouble organizing tasks and activities.
  • Avoiding or being reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • Frequently losing items necessary for tasks and activities.
  • Easily distracted by unrelated stimuli.
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities.

Hyper-Impulsivity Symptoms:
  • Fidgeting or tapping hands or feet restlessly.
  • Inability to stay seated in situations where it is expected.
  • Running or climbing in appropriate situations.
  • Inability to play or engage in activities quietly.
  • Talking excessively.
  • Interrupting or intruding on others’ conversations or games
  • Difficulty waiting for one’s turn in activities.

ADHD and Mental Health
ADHD can often increase the risk of depression, especially for those struggling to manage their symptoms. Challenges in school, work, and social situations may lead to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Anxiety disorders are also common, with individuals worrying about task completion and relationship maintenance. Ultimately, ADHD can seriously impact relationships, causing communication and organization difficulties.

Dealing with ADHD
Boise North End Wellness and Counseling offers therapists trained in ADHD management. A comprehensive approach involves medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications like stimulants and non-stimulants reduce symptoms, while therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, helps develop coping strategies. Lifestyle changes like exercise and healthy eating can improve symptoms. Organizational strategies, time management techniques, and seeking support from family and friends are also vital for managing ADHD and its host of symptoms.

Ultimately, ADHD is a complex disorder requiring a holistic approach for effective management. Understanding symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment is crucial. With the right support, individuals with ADHD can succeed in various aspects of life. If you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD symptoms, seeking help from a qualified healthcare provider can prove to be essential and a game-changer.

Contact North End Wellness today to start on your journey towards creating your best life.