Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a brain disorder which alters the neurological development of a person. This condition mainly affects children, teens, and young adults. This is the most common disorder that affects young people specifically children. This disease is common in the boy child than the girl child. An adult with this condition often has trouble in keeping time, holding jobs and setting objectives. Basically, this disease is a combination of perpetual problems. This disorder is marked with a sequence of inattention and or overzealous impulsivity. A person with this condition may have difficulty paying attention. Their minds wander off easier than others. These problems are not due to lack of understanding or comprehension by the person.
A patient with this disease is always on the move including scenarios which are not good or constant tapping, fidgeting or discussions. In grown-ups, it may be observed by the person wearing out the people around him or agitation. Lastly, a person affected with this condition may be influenced by impulsivity. Impulsivity is where when an ADHD patient makes a decision without even thinking about it, the effect it will have on him (Karceski, 2016). Basically, this person makes choices which he may come to regret later in time. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has an emotional cost attached to it. People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder go through shame and a sense of lack of success as they strive with their daily chores which other people seem to do without much effort (Karceski, 2016).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is common in children between the ages of 8 - 15 years. ADHD is common in children who come from a poor background than children from wealthy families (Efron, 2015). It should be noted that though children who come from poor backgrounds are the most affected with this ADHD, yet they are not given the drugs required to control the condition. The prevalence of ADHD is on the rise between school going children between the ages of 4 to 17 years. The prevalence rate is estimated to be around 11 percent which is rise from 7 percent in the year 2003 (Efron, 2015). Nearly a third of the children were found with this condition by the age of six years old. ADHD is more common in boys than girls by the ratio 4:1 for the overzealous type and the ratio 2:1 for the inattention type. The frequency of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder increases with an increase in the age of the children. In 4-10-year-olds the rate is at 7.7 percent, 14.3 percent among children between 11-14 years and in 15-17 years old the rate is at 14 percent (Efron, 2015).
Biological, Genetic, Sociological and Behavioral Factors associated with The Disorder
The indicators of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder vary from person to person. They consist of a combination of hyperactivity-impulsivity and or inattention. There is inattention where people have a hard time to keep a focus on anything. Also, these people like to procrastinate things due to the dislike of exerting mental effort. Secondly, there is hyperactivity whereby people are so restless (Barkley, 2016). School children with ADHD like to roam around and do not easily pay attention. They may seem to be children who like to cause chaos. Thirdly there is impulsivity whereby these people blurt out answers which they are not asked or without even thinking. For example, this person may hit other children or take a book from a classmate for no reason. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often concurs with other conditions like depression, learning disabilities, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and anxiety.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th edition for ADHD is a criterion used to diagnose people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Persons with ADHD often show a constant sequence of hyperactivity-impulsivity and or inattention that alters the development. When children up to the ages of 16 exhibit 6 or more indications of ADHD, or 17 years old children and adults show 5 or more signs of manifestation of ADHD for a period of at least 6 months they are suitable for developmental levels. These signs and symptoms include: failure to pay attention to schoolwork, jobs, and other activities, low attention span, having trouble structuring tasks, does not like tasks due to low mental effort, does not follow through with instruction or a task at hand, is often forgetful, easily distracted, and often misplaces or loses important things like school materials or job equipment (Barkley, 2016).
For people diagnosed with hyperactivity and impulsivity, they often show the following signs and symptoms. The first sign is the constant fidgeting and tapings of legs or hands. Secondly, the person may stand up from his seat when people are all expected to be seated. Thirdly there is the feeling of restlessness and in children moving up and down all over the place. Fourthly, the person is often very loud which makes it impossible to take part in recreational activities quietly. Fifthly, the person is often on the go and feels like a motor. Sixthly, the person talks a lot without losing energy. The seventh sign and symptom are these people often talk before they are even talked to. It seems they have a premonition of what you are going to ask them. The next important symptom is the person often interrupts others without courtesy. Lastly, the person does not like to wait for their turn when it comes to social places activities.
Furthermore, there are important conditions which are a must to be met first. There should be at least two or more inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms present before a person gets to the age of 12 years. Secondly, several indications should be seen in a work setting or a home setting. Thirdly, there should be a direct evidence which indicates that this condition interferes with the daily activities of the person e.g. job, schoolwork or reduce the quality of the social life. Lastly, the sign and symptom should not be observed during any other psychotic disorder or schizophrenia. Based on the different classes of symptoms there 3 different kinds of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The first ADHD is a combined presentation which is basically the presence of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity for a period of at least 6 months. Secondly, there is the predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation which is where there is the presence of hyperactivity-impulsivity rather than inattention for a period of six months. Thirdly there is Predominantly Inattentive Presentation whereby the inattention is outweighing the symptoms of hyperactivity in a duration of six months. It is important o note that due to the flexibility of the symptoms to change over time the presentations also change.
Biological factors are the root of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The neurological imbalances in the human mind are the main cause for the indicators of ADHD in people. In the brain, the neuron transmitters aid in the sending of information although out the body. People suffering from ADHD have a low quantity of these neurotransmitters which help to send messages in the body (Rucklidge & Johnstone, 2016). Though the neuron transmitters are present in people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the cause of ADHD is still not clear. The causes are mainly genetic since school children with family suffering from the same condition are at a higher risk of being affected with the same condition than children from families with no one suffering. In addition, this condition is prevalent in twins than siblings or no identical twins and there are a number of genes which have been identified that associate with ADHD.
When a woman is pregnant or after giving birth, there are factors that may lead to the damage of the brain or even change the way it functions. During the duration of pregnancy when the baby's developing brain is exposed to UV lights, drugs and alcohols may lead to the baby having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A child born with a moderate weight is at a risk of having this condition. Also, there are certain diseases which may attack the baby after birth which increases the risk of having ADHD. These diseases affect the development of the brain tissues and how the neurotransmitters send information to various parts of the body. For example, there is meningitis and encephalitis. In addition, the food additives and sugars may also contribute to a child being diagnosed with this condition.
Drugs Used to Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Drugs called stimulants help in the management of ADHD and increase the attention span of a person. These drugs include Methylphenidate, Adderall, Dexmethylphenidate, and Lisdexamfetamine. There also non-stimulant medicines which help in the management of this disease. These drugs include Clonidine, Atomoxetine, and Guanfacine. The action of the drug methylphenidate is that it blocks dopamine and norepinephrine transporter in the human brain. The results of this include increased transmission of neurons of both dopamine and norepinephrine. In other words, it increases activity in the central nervous region. It helps people become alert and help to combat fatigue. The common side effects observed in this drug include loss of weight, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, stomach pains and loss of appetite. This drug has the potential of being abused with very dire consequences which may include things like dependency and addiction. When the drug is misused it has the impact that cocaine has. Signs and symptoms of abuse of this dug include social withdrawal, hallucination, nausea, and vomiting.
Adderall is also used in combating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This drug operates by reducing certain substances that are present in the brain. It helps to increase attention, staying focus on a certain activity, and management of behavioral issues. In addition, this dug is also helpful when it comes improving the listening skills. The common side effects of this drug include dry mouth, stomach upset, nausea or vomiting, and insomnia. There is a potential of abusing this drug. The common ways include taking higher doses than recommended, taking someone else medication, taking the medicine for reasons not medically helpful like staying awake or the feeling of euphoria.
Barkley, R. (2016). Is There an Adult Onset Type of ADHD? Issues in Establishing Persistence and Remission of ADHD from Childhood to Adulthood. The ADHD Report, 24(6), 6-7, 13, 14. Doi: 10.1521/adhd.2016.24.6.6
Efron, D. (2015). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: The past 50 years. Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, 51(1), 69-73. Doi: 10.1111/jpc.12809
Eme, R. (2016). ADHD and Risky Substance Use in Male Adolescents. The ADHD Report, 24(3), 1-8. Doi: 10.1521/adhd.2016.24.3.1
Karceski, S. (2016). Diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neurology, 87(22), e272-e274. Doi: 10.1212/wnl.0000000000003393
Rucklidge, J., & Johnstone, J. (2016). The Role of Diet and Nutrient Supplementation in the Treatment of ADHD. The ADHD Report, 24(8), 1-8. Doi: 10.1521/adhd.2016.24.8.1
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