ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children today. Also referred to as ADD, it's usually initially identified in school-aged children who exhibit problems with schoolwork or are disruptive in the classroom. ADHD affects approximately 8-9 % of children and 2-3% of adults, and is more common in boys than in girls. Here are four important things to know about ADHD.
1. ADHD begins in childhood. "If attention problems begin after childhood, they're more likely caused by something else," said Amanda Johnson, PhD, Clinical Director of Capstone Behavioral Health Care in Newton. "Attention problems don't always mean a person has ADHD; they can be caused by depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and other cognitive issues, like an injury to the brain."
2. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention, an inability to stay focused, hyperactivity, and acting impulsively. "There are multiple types of ADHD," added Johnson. "One type primarily causes problems with attention, one primarily causes problems with hyperactivity, and another type causes problems with both."
3. There is no lab test to diagnose ADHD. "The most accurate way to diagnose ADHD involves thorough testing of a person's attention and intellectual abilities by a licensed mental health professional," explained Johnson. "A medical evaluation can sometimes rule out other medical problems. ADHD isn't diagnosed because a person is defiant or hostile, however, or because they're not able to understand and follow instructions."
4. There are many treatments for ADHD, including medications and therapy. "ADHD can cause problems across all settings, including home, school, and work," said Johnson. "If the attention issues are only occurring in one setting, it may not be ADHD, but an issue with the environment instead."
For more information about ADHD, including how to get diagnosed and what treatments are available, please contact:
Capstone Behavioral Health Care
1123 1st Avenue E, Suite 200
Newton, Iowa. 50208