The jury is still out on the actual cause of sleep disorders in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some experts speculate the stimulant medications taken for ADHD may cause difficulties in falling asleep. Some people with ADHD may have problems relaxing at night, causing them to have sleep difficulties. Other problems that add to sleep difficulties include primary sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome.
1 AnswerDonna Hill Howes, RN , Family Medicine, answeredChildren with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have problems with learning and concentrating. They may also be hyperactive or have trouble controlling impulses. While the causes of learning disabilities are unknown, these may contribute:
- Genetics. Learning disabilities may run in families.
- Brain development. Pregnancy-related concerns may be associated. These include low birth weight, lack of oxygen, and premature birth. Young children receiving head injuries may be at risk.
- Environmental impacts. Toxins (poisons) can affect infants and young children. Lead paint or pipes in old homes are serious threats. Early poor nutrition may result in later learning disabilities.
1 AnswerInattentive attention deficit disorder (ADD) is the second most common type of ADD. Those suffering with this type are usually quiet, more introverted and appear to daydream a lot. They may be labeled as unmotivated -- even slow or lazy. Inattentive ADD is common in girls and boys but is often missed because children with this type tend to have fewer behavioral problems. They don’t draw the negative attention to themselves as do those with classic ADD.
Inattentive ADD single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan findings show normal activity at rest, but during concentration there tends to be decreased activity in the underside of the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia.
Inattentive ADD is the perfect example of why the general term attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not fit all ADD types. If clinicians and parents are looking for hyperactivity to reach a diagnosis, those with this type (absent of hyperactivity) may be left untreated and go on living life below their true potential.
1 AnswerThe brains of people with attention deficit disorder (ADD) work differently. Ideally, when we concentrate, blood flow should increase in the brain, especially in the prefrontal cortex; this increased activity allows us to focus, stay on task and think ahead. In the brains of most people with ADD, blood flow actually goes down when they concentrate, making it harder to stay focused. In other words, the harder they try, the harder it gets.
1 AnswerClassic attention deficit disorder (ADD) is usually evident early in life. As babies, they tend to be colicky, active and wiggly. As children, they tend to be restless, noisy, talkative, impulsive and demanding. Their hyperactivity and conflict-driven behavior gets everyone’s attention early on.
Parents of these kids are often tired, overwhelmed and even embarrassed by the behavior of their non-stop and hard-to-control children. Classic ADD tends to be more frequently seen in boys.
Classic ADD is often called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with an emphasis on the hyperactive behavior trait.
Classic ADD single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scan findings show normal activity at rest, but during concentration there tends to be decreased activity in the underside of the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are structures deep within the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is critical to motivation, attention and setting the body’s idle speed.
1 AnswerIn limbic attention deficit disorder (ADD), the prefrontal cortex is underactive during concentration while the deep limbic area -- which sets your emotional tone, controlling how happy or sad you are -- is overactive.
Depression is also associated with overactivity in the deep limbic area, yet a person’s developmental history in addition to some subtle differences on single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scans (between limbic ADD and depression) helps differentiate between the two conditions. This helps set the best course of treatment to resolve symptoms.
Limbic ADD SPECT scan findings typically show increased deep limbic activity (thalamus and hypothalamus) at rest and during concentration. There is also decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia during concentration.
1 AnswerIf you have adult attention deficit disorder (ADD), you may feel like you need to be moving to think. Many adults with ADD do. For some people, thinking and inspiration seem to be visceral activities -- activities that are rooted in the body. When you move your body, you may be able to think more clearly or with more focus. Or your mind may wander as your body does, allowing you to mentally cover a lot of ground, thus enhancing your creativity. Many people who have gone on to be athletes were once thought to be hyperactive.
Imagine that your abilities to think and plan and understand the world all have a bodily component. As you move, so you think. Now picture a small child in a playpen. Such a child's mind and body can wander and wonder only so far before being frustrated by environmental boundaries. Now imagine that same small child, wandering through a forest with trees, flowers, rocks, and animals to engage and provoke thought.
6 AnswersDr. Michael Roizen, MD , Internal Medicine, answeredBeing a teen is tough. Your body is changing, you feel like your parent (or teacher) is always yelling at you for something, and all you want to do is sleep.
Well, if you add attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), functioning is that much harder.
So it is no surprise that teens with ADHD can have trouble with anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse.
Luckily, a combination of medication and therapy works as well as Batman and Robin to reduce ADHD symptoms and emotional problems.
1 AnswerThe following are some common reasons that adults with ADD fail:
- Not listening to others
- Not following directions
- Not paying attention to details
- Disruptive behavior
- Unreliable behavior or performance
1 AnswerIf you are an adult with attention deficit disorder (ADD), it may help you to remember the difference between trouble and symptoms. Trouble is what you get when others are upset by your devotion to your own agenda. Symptoms are what you get when you ignore your agenda. For example, if you choose to honor your need for adventure in a way that other people don't understand, you will get trouble. However, if you try to fit your need for experience into a smaller life, you will get symptoms of depression, anxiety, and despair. If, at the top of your game, you tell people it's time for you to make a change, you will get trouble. On the other hand, if you stay, you will get symptoms of porn addiction, gambling addiction, or other compulsions. The sad truth is that often when we make decisions to avoid trouble, we create symptoms.
Find out more about this book:The Gift of Adult ADD: How to Transform Your Challenges and Build on Your Strengths