What is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder characterized by impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and inattention.

Know the basics

What is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a disorder characterized by impulsive behavior, hyperactivity and inattention. It’s usually diagnosed in childhood, but symptoms of ADHD can continue into adolescence and adulthood.

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive: People with Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive  ADHD mostly struggle with hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
  • Predominately inattentive: People with Predominantly hyperactive ADHD mainly have symptoms of inattentiveness.
  • Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive: People in this group have symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness.

How common is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is extremely common. It is considered to be one of the most common disorders in children. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

The common symptoms of ADHD in children are :

  • People with ADHD often find themselves:
    • Dislikes and avoids tasks that require long periods of mental effort, such as homework.
    • Has trouble with organization;
    • Does not follow instructions, fails to finish schoolwork or chores, and loses focus or is easily side-tracked;
    • Ignoring a speaker;
    • Being forgetful;
    • Being easily distracted;
  • Symptoms of hyperactivity are:
    • Appearing to be always on the go;
    • Excessively talking;
    • Having severe difficulty waiting for their turn;
    • Squirming in their seat, tapping their hands or feet, or fidgets;
    • Getting up from a seat when remaining seated is expected;
    • Running around or climbing in inappropriate situations;
    • Being unable to quietly play or take part in leisure activities;
    • Blurting out an answer before a question has been finished;
    • Intruding on and interrupts others constantly.
  • People with ADHD may behave in a risky manner without care for consequences.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if your children’s behaviors are affecting your life. Remember that ADHD is controllable with the help of medication and support.

Know the causes

What causes attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

There are not enough adequate information about what cause ADHD. However, scientist believe that it might have to do with the brain chemicals. When the brain chemicals are imbalanced, they might affect your behavior as well.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

There are many risk factors for ADHD, such as:

  • Genetics (ADHD runs in families);
  • Environmental exposure, especially to lead;
  • Alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy;
  • Brain injuries.
  • Premature birth or low birth weight.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) diagnosed?

Although tests can diagnose AHDH, diagnosing ADHD is mostly based on observing your behavior and how you react to certain situation:

  • Medical exam: Your doctor might do some imaging tests and lab tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms.
  • Information gathering: such as any current medical issues, personal and family medical history, and school records.
  • Interviews or questionnaires performed for family members, child’s teachers or other people who know child well, such as baby sitters and coaches.
  • ADHD criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • ADHD rating scales to collect and evaluate information about your child

How is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) treated?

Standard treatments for ADHD in children include medications, education, training and counseling.

Medications may help improve the signs and symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity, for example:

  • Amphetamines including dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), dextroamphetamine-amphetamine (Adderall) and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).
  • Methylphenidates including methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin, others) and dexmethylphenidate (Focalin).
  • Atomoxetine (Strattera).
  • Antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin, others).
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex).
  • Clonidine (Catapres, Kapvay).

Some alternative medicine treatments that have been tried, including:

  • Yoga or meditation helps children relax and learn discipline.
  • Special diets.Most diets promoted for ADHD involve eliminating foods, such as sugar, and common allergens such as wheat, milk and eggs.
  • Proprietary formulations made from vitamins, micronutrients and other ingredients that are sold as possible treatment supplements for children with ADHD.
  • Essential fatty acidsincluding omega-3 oils that are necessary for the brain to function properly.
  • Neuro feedback traininghelps children learn to keep brain wave patterns active in the front of the brain.
  • Exercise can have positive effect on behavior in children with ADHD when added to treatment.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with ADHD:

  • Behavior therapy: helps teachers and parents learn behavior-changing strategies, such as token reward systems and timeouts, for dealing with difficult situations.
  • Psychotherapy: allows older children with ADHD to talk about issues that bother them, explore negative behavioral patterns and learn ways to deal with their symptoms.
  • Parenting skills training: helps parents develop ways to understand and guide their child’s behavior.
  • Family therapy: helps parents and siblings deal with the stress of living with someone who has ADHD.
  • Social skills training: helps children learn appropriate social behaviors.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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