The Facts About ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity that interferes with functions at home, work and school, and in social situations. One of the most common childhood disorders, ADHD can continue through adolescence and adulthood.
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Three Subtypes of ADHD
There are three subtypes of ADHD: primarily hyperactive-impulsive, primarily inattentive and the combined type. However, people with ADHD may have multiple symptoms of each type.
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No Known Exact Cause
The causes of ADHD are still not completely understood. The condition does seem to run in families and is often thought to be inherited. Researchers, however, have ruled out some causes, such as a child's surroundings and upbringing. Environmental factors may make a case of ADHD more pronounced, but do not cause the disorder.
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ADHD Affects All Ages
ADHD is not just a problem for kids and teens. In fact, only about a third of young people outgrow ADHD by adulthood.
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There Are Many Myths
Somehow, the more we know about ADHD, the more myths about it seem to arise. Get the facts about ADHD myths and misconceptions.
ADHD Treatment Options
The best treatment plan for ADHD varies from person to person, but it will likely begin with medication. Behavioral treatments or other types of social support may also help. Together, you and your doctor can determine what types of additional support will benefit the most.
7 Steps for Managing ADHD
For most people with ADHD, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing symptoms. Getting a handle on ADHD requires a comprehensive approach, one that includes not only professional help but also key lifestyle changes aimed at meeting your unique needs.
Next: Reaching out is key . . .
Reach Out, Get Help
Let your doctor know if you're having problems, but don't be surprised or ashamed if a psychiatrist visit is recommended. Psychiatrists can point you toward the treatments and skills you need to control your symptoms and live a successful life.
Next: Living the healthy lifestyle . . .
Live a Healthy Life
As you follow your treatment plan, don’t forget to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle as well. That means getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthful diet and practicing stress-reduction strategies. Doing these things will help you stay at your physical and mental best.
Next: Check in with yourself . . .
Monitor Symptoms Closely
Be honest with yourself, and assess how well you're managing your ADHD symptoms every day. Keep a symptoms journal, noting the areas of your life that ADHD is really affecting -- from your relationships to your career. Share this journal with your doctor to make checkups more productive and effective.
Next: Look beyond ADHD . . .
Look Beyond ADHD Symptoms
It's not clear why, but people with ADHD are more likely to experience depression, sleep disorders, learning disorders and various addictions, as well as a handful of related mental health issues. Identifying and treating these related conditions will make it easier to manage your ADHD.
Next: Get organized . . .
One of the biggest challenges for people with ADHD is staying organized. Luckily, good organizational habits can be learned. Getting organized will help you feel more capable because you'll get more things done, meet more deadlines and follow through on more plans.
Next: Focus on your relationships . . .
ADHD can sometimes cause problems in relationships by hindering communication skills. So it's good to be aware of how your ADHD symptoms are affecting your personal life. If ADHD seems to be putting a strain on things, it's time to focus on your communication skills and your commitments.
Next: The bright side of ADHD . . .
Look on the Bright Side
ADHD can be challenging to live with at times. But it doesn't have to be defined in negative terms. In fact, there are some very positive characteristics and qualities that people with ADHD tend to possess such as keen insight, greater empathy, endless energy, and tremendous creativity. You can leverage these assets to great success in relationships and on certain career paths.
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The number of children ages 3 to 17 that have been diagnosed with ADHD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lara Honos-Webb, PhD
How is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosed?
To make sure your child has gotten a thorough evaluation, both you and your child should be interviewed to rule out other possible alternative diagnoses. In my practice, I tell parents I will not give a diagnosis before three full . . .
ADHD Action Plans
Are ADHD symptoms interfering with your life, or that of your child or spouse? Take control with our action plans.
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