Attention Deficit Disorder: Understanding and Treating It
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are chronic conditions that usually begin in childhood, though cases of adult-onset attention deficit disorder do occur. While ADD and ADHD are fairly common, the condition can make certain parts of life challenging for many people, and some even develop anxiety related to ADD and ADHD. Luckily, there are some ways you can help to keep ADD and ADHD under control, but before you begin to treat the conditions you need to understand it.
Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder:
The most common symptoms of attention deficit disorder include a combination of concentration problems, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity, especially in children. Typically the problem isn’t noticed until children begin to have trouble in school because of ADD or ADHD. Adult attention deficit disorder symptoms are similar, but they can affect interpersonal relationships and performance at work, where a certain level on concentration and dedication is expected. Many adults with attention deficit disorder realize they have a problem concentrating or focusing at work, but they aren’t sure why. This can lead to serious self-esteem problems, especially in adults that want to work hard and succeed in their personal life and job.
Diagnosing ADD and ADHD:
While there’s no specific test for children or adults that may have ADD or ADHD, most doctors will conduct an exam that involves a series of questions that ask about the person’s overall health, past medical problems and any problems they may be experiencing at school or work. Generally this process is a bit easier when it comes to diagnosing ADD or ADHD in children, whose symptoms are likely more obvious than deficit attention disorder in adults. In some cases, there are disorders that mimic ADD and ADHD. Most commonly, these are depression, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome.
The most common treatments for ADD and ADHD in both children and adults is a combination of medication and counseling. Typically, stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Concerta and Daytrana, as well as their generic counterparts, are prescribed to treat ADD and ADHD. In some cases, non-stimulant drugs like Atomoxetine are prescribed for adults and children with ADD and ADHD who do not respond to stimulant drugs or who have a history of heart problems and cannot take stimulant medications. For both adults and children, counseling is usually beneficial to help ADD and ADHD sufferers find ways to accept, deal with and work through their condition.
What You Can Do
While medical treatment is often necessary when it comes to treating moderate to severe ADD and ADHD in both children and adults, there are some things you can do at home. Keeping a regular schedule is beneficial for many people, since breaking up tasks and activities into predetermined time-frames can improve concentration. Identifying situations that are particularly difficult for you and your child is also important. Difficult situations shouldn’t be avoided, especially if they’re things you or your child needs to do, but extra time should be scheduled in to make sure the task is completed.