Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month on September, 2023: how to fight Attention Deficit Disorder?
September, 2023 is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month 2023. What is ADHD? Find Out More About ADHD. Learn About a Treatment Option.
Attention Feficit Disorder also know as Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Children with ADHD have impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school, and in relationships with peers. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood.
Symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, and include:
1. Impulsiveness: a child who acts quickly without thinking first.
2. Hyperactivity: a child who can't sit still, walks, runs, or climbs around when others are seated, talks when others are talking.
3. Inattention: a child who daydreams or seems to be in another world, is sidetracked by what is going on around him or her.
For decades, medications have been used to treat the symptoms of ADHD.
Psychotherapy works to help people with ADHD to like and accept themselves despite their disorder. It does not address the symptoms or underlying causes of the disorder. In psychotherapy, patients talk with the therapist about upsetting thoughts and feelings, explore self-defeating patterns of behavior, and learn alternative ways to handle their emotions. As they talk, the therapist tries to help them understand how they can change or better cope with their disorder.
Behavioral therapy (BT) helps people develop more effective ways to work on immediate issues. Rather than helping the child understand his or her feelings and actions, it helps directly in changing their thinking and coping and thus may lead to changes in behavior. The support might be practical assistance, like help in organizing tasks or schoolwork or dealing with emotionally charged events. Or the support might be in self-monitoring one's own behavior and giving self-praise or rewards for acting in a desired way such as controlling anger or thinking before acting.
could i have Attention Deficit Disorder?
Your symptoms may be consistent with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; however, an accurate diagnosis requires a comprehensive and thorough evaluation, which should only be made by a qualified health care provider. It is possible that the symptoms you are experiencing are due to another cause. I have included some information below to assist with familiarizing yourself with the criteria used for making a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD based on the DSM-IV, and other possible causes (differential) that should be ruled out.
Other possible causes for symptoms resembling ADH include thyroid problems, hearing/visual impairments, lead toxicity, head injuries, seizures, sleep disorders, learning disabilities, or other psychiatric or mental disorders. These should be ruled out before an accurate diagnosis of ADHD can be made. 1, 4, 5
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria is the most commonly used in the diagnosis of ADHD. There are three different subtypes of ADHD, which include inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type or a combination of the two subtypes. For inattentive ADHD, a patient must meet at least 6 of the 9 following criteria for a minimum of 6 months (inattentive to details, unable to sustain attention, does not listen when spoken to directly, does not follow through on instructions or complete tasks, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, reluctant to engage in tasks requiring mental effort, often loses things, easily distracted, forgetful in daily activities). 1, 2, 3, 4
For hyperactive/impulsive ADHD, a patient must meet at least 6 of the 9 following criteria for a minimum of 6 months (fidgets with hands/feet or squirms in seat, leaves seat when should be seated, runs or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations, difficult playing in leisure activities quietly, “on the go/driven by a motor”, talks excessively, blurts out answers before questions have been completed, difficulty awaiting turn, interrupts or intrudes on others). Some patients may also experience a combined type of ADHD. This requires 6 of the 9 inattentive behaviors AND 6 of the 9 hyperactive/impulsive behaviors (total of 12 behaviors) to be met for a minimum of 6 months. 1, 2, 3, 4
The previously mentioned symptoms should be present to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the patient’s developmental level. Symptoms should be chronic in nature with some symptoms having caused impairment before age 7. Some impairment from these symptoms should be present in > 2 settings (i.e. school/work and home). 3
In order to accurately diagnose a patient with ADHD, a clinical interview is essential. This generally includes the patient as well as a parent, caregiver, spouse, etc. During the interview, a complete childhood history (including assessment of report cards and conduct reports) is discussed along with family history (including all psychiatric disorders). Symptom onset, severity and frequency would also be addressed during the clinical interview. 1
When applying the DSM-IV criteria to adults, there are some limitations. Some symptoms are inappropriate for adults or may not be apparent at work. Adults may have fewer symptoms which are more severe or may have impairing symptoms not listed as part of DSM-IV criteria. Additional scale may be used for evaluation of ADHD in adults; however, these scales should not be used alone to diagnose. 4
Before seeing a healthcare provider, it is useful to keep a diary of daily symptoms experienced in order to help with your assessment. Below are some websites to access ADHD service providers and additional information.
1. The National ADHD Directory:
2. American Pediatric Association:
3. National Resource Center on ADHD:
How do people get diagnosed for Attention Deficit Disorder?
Diagnostic criteria for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
A. Either (1) or (2):
(1) inattention: six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
(a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
(c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
(d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish school work, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
(e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
(f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
(g) often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
(h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
(i) is often forgetful in daily activities
(2) hyperactivity-impulsivity: six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
(a) often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
(b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
(c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
(d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
(e) is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
(f) often talks excessively
(g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
(h) often has difficulty awaiting turn
(i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7 years.
C. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).
D. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
E. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental
disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorders, or a Personality Disorder).
PS. Take the pills until you learn to manage your ADHD through various skills.