More than 7% of children worldwide are now being diagnosed with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and around 11% in the USA-and that number is growing. Countless adults undoubtedly have it as well, but have never been diagnosed.
If you suspect ADHD in your child or even in yourself, the first step will be to get an accurate diagnosis from your doctor, so that you can then determine the most effective treatments for the type of ADHD you or your child might have.
There are a lot of myths surrounding ADHD. But as with all disorders, there are specific symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder which you need to be aware of.
Many people who have children or family members with ADHD wait before seeing a doctor because they mistake the symptoms for something else. You don’t want to delay treatment if your loved one has ADHD.
In this article we will discuss the main signs and symptoms of ADHD in children and adults to help you recognize if you or your loved one needs to visit the doctor.
Children and ADHD Symptoms
You may not realize it but some ADHD symptoms are different in children than in adults. Therefore, you need to watch for the following signs and symptoms of ADHD in your children:
*Lack of Focus
Many people mistake the lack of focus associated with ADHD as the normal short attention span found in young children. However, there is a difference. Children with ADHD aren’t usually able to concentrate on anything for more than a minute or two, regardless of the child’s interest in the subject or activity.
Children with ADHD don’t want to be disruptive, but they just can’t help it. If your child has to always be in motion and is often disruptive regardless of your attempts to control the behavior, he/she may have ADHD.
*Acts on Impulse
Children with ADHD don’t have the ability to “think things through” and will often act on impulse. It may be that they interrupt frequently, ask irrelevant questions or have constant tantrums whenever their many impulsive wishes are not met.
*Always in Motion
Children with ADHD have a need to be in constant motion, almost as if they are being “driven by a motor,” according to some descriptions of the condition. Children with ADHD who have this symptom and the previous two are not ‘naughty’, they are just showing signs of their health condition.
As with all children, they will be eager to try to please parents and other adults, but the fact is that often they can’t sit still and behave well because of their hyperactivity.
Adults and ADHD
As mentioned above, the signs and symptoms of ADHD vary from children to adults. Below are the most common symptoms found in adults with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder:
Many adults with ADHD aren’t able to control their emotions and often have angry outbursts. If this is a normal occurrence for your loved one, he/she may have ADHD rather than an anger management issue or an impulse control issue.
*Lack of Concentration
This is a shared symptom of ADHD for both children and adults. Adults with ADHD often find it difficult to focus on one thing without their mind wandering off to another subject quickly. In these days of multi-tasking being a virtue, this may go unnoticed or seem normal, but if it interferes with productivity it can become a real problem.
*Lack of Organization
Adults with ADHD usually struggle with getting organized. This is true for both their homes and their work place. The lack of organization may even extend to their social lives too. They will often be late or not show up at all. Naturally there can be consequences to a lack or organization at work, with a loss of productivity and failure to meet deadlines.
A common technique many adults with ADHD teach themselves to do is to focus extremely hard on a topic or activity that they find fulfilling. This is known as “hyperfocus” and it is a way for those with ADHD to block out all the other distractions. However, while they are focusing on something, this is still a symptom of ADHD and should be checked out. Their intense focus means they are not able to deal with anything else, no matter how pressing it might be.
If you suspect ADHD in your child or yourself or an adult loved one, it is worth going to the doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. ADHD can make it difficult for people to succeed in all areas of their lives, from their personal life, to their educational experiences, to their professional lives in the workplace.
If the signs and symptoms that you have been noticing do turn out to be ADHD, there are a number of different types. ADHD is also accompanied by other disorders as well, such as obsessive compulsive disorder or bipolar (manic depressive) disorder. Therefore, an accurate and precise diagnosis is key.
In this way you can then explore the range of effective treatments and strategies available. These range from medication to various forms of natural remedies. They can be used alone, or in combination, for an effective treatment plan for ADHD.
Visit your doctor to discuss your concerns, and research as much as you can on ADHD, to discover if ADHD has been holding back you or your child from being all you might wish to be.
For more information on ADHD in children, you might be interested in: