ADHD Symptoms

Tell Me More about ADHD

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What exactly is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?

In a previous blog we discussed ADD; many of the features from ADD overlap into ADHD. Someone with ADHD may have some or all of the following symptoms:ADHD Symptoms

  • difficulty paying attention to details
  • making careless mistakes or producing work that is messy and seems careless 
  • be easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli
  • interrupt ongoing tasks because they are distracted by trivial noises or events usually ignored by others
  • unable to stay focused on tasks
  • find it difficult to finish schoolwork or paperwork
  • struggle with tasks that require concentration

Kids or adults with ADD tend to shift from one uncompleted activity to another. They often procrastinate and have disorganized work habits. They may exhibit forgetfulness in routine daily activities and have a hard time sticking to homework or chores. They tend to interrupt conversations, act like they’re not listening to others and have trouble following details or rules for social activities.

When all or many of these symptoms are accompanied by any of the following signs of hyperactivity, the condition is called ADHD instead of ADD. These hyperactivity signs include:

  • fidgeting or squirming when seated
  • getting up frequently to walk or run
  • running or climbing excessively
  • restlessness
  • difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
  • seeming to always be on the go
  • talking excessively

ADHD isn’t a condition of choice. While the specific causes are still unknown, science indicates that children with ADHD tend to have deficiencies in certain brain chemicals that control attention and activity (dopamine and norepinephrine).

Research has also shown that childhood ADHD is linked to mothers using tobacco and/or alcohol. Studies also suggest that ADHD may be associated with exposure to lead. Current research is also examining whether or not ADHD has a genetic link.

Some suggest that ADHD is related to nutrition, but other research has failed to confirm it. We do know, however, that no matter what causes ADHD excellent nutrition is a good idea for everyone.

Kids with ADHD are often accused of being dumb or lazy. But this isn’t necessarily the case. ADHD is a specific behavioral condition that warrants treatment by a trained therapist.

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.