To help you out understand some of the key factors of mental health problems and the relevant therapies and benefits associated, we have prepared some articles on each individual condition. These articles are based on scientific studies and they are written to facilitate and encourage you to come to face the problems you are seeking…
Not only children can suffer from ADHD as also adults can be very much affected. It is not a sign of inferior intelligence as people with ADHD are in fact on the high end of the intelligence spectrum.
There are multiple signs to show that you might suffer from ADHD, some symptoms are hyperactivity, lack of concentration, lack of attention, impulsivity, hyper focusing (which means focusing so much on one thing to forget all the rest around it that might be also more important to do).
Like most psychological disorders, ADHD can’t be pinned down to one thing, but tends to be caused by a combination of things that include genetic, biological, and environmental factors, and causes will vary by individual.
It is thought that a defect in a certain gene that affects the brain could be a contributing factor of some cases of ADHD, although the research proving this was done only on mice. This theory seems to be supported by studies that show ADHD does run in families, with around one third of ADHD sufferers also having a parent with symptoms of the condition. Other biological reasons that research has suggested are certain areas of the brain being different sizes compared to the brains of people who don’t have ADHD, or that levels of neurotransmitters are different.
Experiences in early childhood are very often a contributing factor to an individual developing ADHD. This can begin at the very start of a child’s life – complications before and during birth are thought to be related, including low birth weight, a mother experiencing high stress while pregnant, and medications, or drugs and alcohol, taken during pregnancy.
Childhood trauma is increasingly connected to ADHD. Trauma has now been proven to affect the growth of the brain, and many children and adults who manifest ADHD come from an unstable upbringing that involved difficult events. Of course, this is not always true, but statistics do show that children with ADHD have a higher chance of coming from an upbringing where they are exposed to poverty, violence, abuse, and/or parents who are divorced or who abuse substances.
All children, by their very nature, will at some point manifest signs of ADHD – they will struggle to pay attention if there is something more exciting to do, they will impulsively grab a toy off another child, or will forget instructions you told them only five minutes ago. So it’s important not to jump to conclusions that your child has ADHD or make a diagnosis by yourself.
The only way to be sure is to consult a pediatrician or psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD and has the right experience. As for self-diagnosing as an adult, it’s better to seek the help of a mental health professional who is an expert. It is possible that you are suffering from something else instead, such as severe stress, alcohol or drug abuse, depression, or anxiety disorder. You can’t just apply childhood symptoms to grownups.
Adult ADHD tends to be more subtle, with many adults not suffering from hyperactivity so much as concentration and attention difficulties. The symptoms of Adult ADHD are most likely to be noticeable when you are going through a period of change where your typical structures are not as strong. This might be something like starting a new job or moving house. Adult ADHD is divided into five general categories: disorganization, hyper focus, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and emotional difficulty.
ADHD in children is diagnosed by a pediatrician or child psychologist with training and expertise in this area. They will first rule out other medical conditions which can cause similar symptoms, like a learning difficulty, conduct disorder, or thyroid issue. Then your child and you will be asked specific questions that look at the way both your child and your family functions.
ADHD rarely exists by itself, but rather coexists with other issues. Your doctor will carefully look at what these other issues might be for your child.
The recommended way forward will then be discussed with both you and your child – it is important that your child is included and understands in their own way what they are experiencing and how they can now be helped.
The doctor you work with will not just use their own judgement but will adhere to professional guidelines, which in the UK is the advice of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
As for diagnosis of ADHD in adults, it can be harder to diagnose Adult ADHD. This is because by the time one is an adult other commonly co-occurring psychological conditions tend to be more fully defined, such as personality disorders and depression. These can mask the ADHD so it is overlooked. Again, it’s important to be diagnosed by a proper expert.
In the UK, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed by psychiatrists who specialize in the condition. They will ask you to fill out several questionnaires then very thoroughly ask you about your life history before making a diagnosis.
Other psychological conditions connected to ADHD
In children, co-existing mental health issues tend to be: mood disorders, conduct disorders, anxiety disorders, learning difficulties, sleep problems, communication difficulties, motor difficulties.
In adults, mental health issues that can occur in tandem might also include: personality disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse, depression, schizophrenia.
You can’t, unfortunately, ‘get over’ ADHD, as it’s a diagnosis that refers to the way your brain works. You can, however, find support and learn to manage your ADHD to the extent it has much less power over you and your behavior.
Recommended treatment in the UK for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder varies according to age group.
Young Minds UK Charity Resources for young people with ADHD.
Living With ADHD UK For parents, carers, and teachers, as well as for child and adolescent sufferers themselves.
ADD Up UK Practical support for parents and families in the Havering, Barking and Dagenham areas.
Adders Help for both children and adults with ADHD, as well as their families.
ADDISS UK The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service, providing information, support, and training for parents, those who have ADHD themselves, as well as professionals dealing with ADHD.
ADHD Voices A research project funded by the UK’s Welcome trust that works to bring the perspectives of children themselves to the debates around ADHD including the use of drugs in treatment for children.
The ADHD foundation The ADHD Foundation works to improve understanding and management of ADHD for both individuals and their families as well as with doctors and teachers.