ADHD

What is it?  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that can present in three ways: 
  1. Inattentive Type: This type is characterised by symptoms of inattention more than those of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Individuals with this type may struggle with impulse control or hyperactivity at times, but these aren’t the main characteristics. People with this type of ADHD are often very detail oriented. They can often catch mistakes that others may miss. They may have a rich inner life, with a vivid imagination, and can be very creative.
  2. Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: This type is characterized by symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity. People with this type can display signs of inattention, but it’s not as marked as the other symptoms. Individuals with this type of ADHD are often energetic, enthusiastic, and spontaneous. They are usually outgoing and have a lot of energy to burn. This can make them great at activities that require movement, quick thinking, and adaptability.  
  3. Combination Type: This type is characterised by a combination of symptoms of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviour. Those with Combined Type ADHD often exhibit strengths from both of the above categories. They can be highly creative, energetic, detail-oriented, and able to think on their feet. They often thrive in dynamic environments that require multitasking. 
Symptoms  ADHD manifests differently in individuals. Younger people often exhibit hyperactivity, making them restless and impulsive, which can overshadow their inattention and lead to issues at school. On the other hand, some people with ADHD may seem under-motivated due to their inattention.   Here is a list of possible symptoms for each type:  Inattentive Type Symptoms 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Forgetting instructions 
  • Moving from one task to another without completion 
  • Being easily distracted or daydreaming 
  • Having trouble remembering things 
  • Having difficulty organising tasks, activities, belongings, or time 
  • Losing things 
  • Not following instructions 
  • Not paying attention to detail and making careless mistakes 
  • Struggling to focus and concentrate on tasks they find boring or tedious 
Hyperactive-Impulsive Type Symptoms 
  • Fidgeting and squirming more than others 
  • Talking non-stop and interrupting conversations 
  • Blurting out answers before the question has been finished 
  • Reacting quickly to situations without thinking about the consequences 
  • Badgering their parent, partner, or friends when they want something 
  • Finding boredom intolerable 
  • Looking for stimulation 
  • Participating in risk taking or dangerous behaviour 
  • Choosing a smaller reward now rather than a larger reward later 
Combined Type Symptoms  Combined type ADHD is characterised by symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.  Causes  ADHD is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. Genetic studies suggest that ADHD is an inherited disorder, with individuals having a higher risk if they have first-degree relatives with the condition. Certain environmental factors, such as exposure to lead during childhood, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and premature birth, may also contribute to the development of ADHD. It’s important to note that these factors can interact in complex ways, and the causes can vary for different types of ADHD.  Interventions  Essentially, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be effectively managed. The crux of the issue appears to be certain areas of the brain having difficulty communicating as efficiently as they could. Individuals with ADHD often possess significant intelligence, but they may struggle to utilise it fully due to an overwhelmed internal brain communication system. This can result in easy distractibility and procrastination. Over time, if not addressed, this can lead to increasing frustration and potentially depression, which can further complicate matters by causing mood swings, anger issues, anxiety, and even substance abuse as a form of self-medication.   The good news is that, as mentioned above, once properly diagnosed, this condition usually responds really well to interventions – whether this is medication, therapy, lifestyle interventions, or preferably a combination of them.