Signs and Symptoms of ADHD: What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that involves a range of chronic conditions, such as attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviour.

Symptoms of ADHD begin in early childhood and continue in adulthood. In certain cases, once the child is an adult, it is hard to diagnose ADHD. Because symptoms of ADHD in adults are not clear as childhood. However, hyperactivity can decrease in adults, but other problems can persist such as impulsiveness, restlessness and difficulties paying attention.

Symptoms

According to Mayo Clinic, some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they age, but some adults continue to have major symptoms that interfere with daily life. In adults, the major symptoms of ADHD may include difficulty paying attention, impulsiveness and restlessness. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Many ADHD adults don’t know they have it, they just know that daily activities can be a struggle. It can be difficult for adults with ADHD to concentrate and focus, leading to forgotten meetings or social plans.

Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • trouble multitasking
  • excessive activity
  • restlessness
  • poor planning
  • low frustration tolerance
  • frequent mood swings
  • disorganization
  • problems prioritizing
  • poor time management skills
  • trouble focusing on a task
  • problems following
  • trouble completing tasks
  • hot temper
  • trouble coping with stress

At some point, almost everyone has some symptoms close to ADHD. You definitely do not have ADHD if your problems are new or happened only rarely in the past.

ADHD in Children

ADHD is commonly diagnosed in children by the time they are teens. The average age is 7 years for mild ADHD diagnosis.

Common signs of ADHD in children include:

  • self-focused behavior
  • interrupting
  • trouble waiting their turn
  • emotional turmoil
  • fidgeting
  • problems playing quietly
  • unfinished tasks
  • lack of focus
  • making mistakes
  • daydreaming
  • trouble getting organized
  • forgetfulness

ADHD symptoms vary and are often hard to identify. Any child can encounter many of the symptoms. So, your child’s doctor will need to examine your child using multiple parameters to make a diagnosis.

ADHD Treatment

Typically, treatment for ADHD requires behavioural therapies, drugs, or both. You or your child will explore how ADHD affects your life through talk therapy, and ways to help you handle it. Behavioral therapy is another treatment type. This therapy will help you or your child to learn how to control your behaviour and handle it. Some practical remedies for ADHD, however, may be also useful and can decrease the symptoms.

When you’re dealing with ADHD, medicine can also be very effective. Medications for ADHD are intended to manipulate brain chemicals in a way that helps you to control your thoughts and behaviours.

Causes

Although it is not clear what causes ADHD. But researchers believe that there could be many variables that play a role in determining whether someone might develop ADHD. Factors such as genetic, environment, and problems with the central nervous system development may be involved in causing ADHD.

Risk factors for ADHD include:

  • Your parent or sibling has ADHD or other mental health conditions
  • You were exposed to environmental pollutants as a child
  • Your mother smoked, drank alcohol, or used medications when she was pregnant.

The health and habits of a mother during pregnancy may play a role in ADHD development. Inadequate nutrition and infections during pregnancy can also increase the risk of ADHD. However, ADHD is predominantly an inherited disease. It is estimated that the hereditary contribution to ADHD is over 70% (1).

Related: The link between ADHD and depression

The Bottom Line

Speak to your doctor if you have ADHD, or any of the symptoms mentioned above which constantly interrupt your life. Different health care professionals can diagnose and oversee treatment for ADHD.

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