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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder abbreviated to ADHD, is a disorder that develops early in childhood usually before the age of seven. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and a normal perhaps boisterous child behaviour. If there are symptoms of ADHD in only some situations, it is unlikely it is caused by ADHD. However if symptoms are present in most situations of a child's life such as school, home, and play, ADHD should be considered.

There are three primary characteristics of ADHD, these include:

  • Inattention – short attention span, easily distracted, making careless mistakes, forgetful or losing things, unable to stick to tedious or time consuming tasks, lack of concentration, constantly changing activity, difficulty organising tasks.
  • Hyperactivity – not being able to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings, fidgeting, not able to settle tasks, excessive physical movement, excessive talking.
  • Impulsivity – not being able to wait for a turn, acting without thinking, interrupting conversations, little or no sense of danger

Children with ADHD may not have all three characteristics present, for example they may be inattentive, but not hyperactive or impulsive. This form of ADHD is known as ADD.

ADHD can affect adults in the same way as children, but can also lead to other symptoms such as:

  • Inability to focus or prioritise
  • Restlessness and edginess
  • Difficulty keeping quiet and speaking out of turn
  • Blurting responses and poor social timing when talking to others
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Extreme impatience

There are different treatments for ADHD including:

  • Prescribed Medications from a specialist such as paediatrician or psychiatrist, or GP
  • Psychotherapy Therapy- different therapies are thought to be useful
  • Behaviour therapy – involves behavioural management, which uses a system of rewards and penalties to encourage children to control their ADHD.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – talking therapy that can help manage problems by changing the thought and behavioural processes.
  • Diet- for some people there may be link between certain types of food and worsening of their ADHD symptoms, therefore monitoring diet and eating healthily to reduce worsening symptoms
  • Regular Exercise – is an important with people with ADHD- helps to produce the feel good hormones that can help relieve other conditions such as depression.

* The contents of this condition is for information purposes only.