ADHD: Types, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD, is the most common mental health disorder affecting (young) children. About 5% of the children in our country are affected by the disorder, which can make their lives pretty hard. Especially if the child doesn’t know why he or she had such a hard time. ADHD, being a common mental health disorder among children, doesn’t mean you grow out of it at a later age. Sometimes, the diagnosis is not made until much later in life – think as an adult. Most patients wish they would have been diagnosed much sooner because, with the proper treatment, ADHD patients can live wonderful life. Unfortunately, diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be quite hard, which is why it’s good to know what the difference is between a child with behavioral issues and a child suffering from ADHD, and how you can recognize the mental health disorder.

ADHD illness concept with word written with colored crayons on white paper sheet

Causes & Types of ADHD

The main cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is still unknown, but scientists do know that genetics play a big part in if a child gets ADHD or not. Additionally, we know that a number of risk factors increase the likelihood of ADHD in a child. So ADHD in a child can have a variety of reasons, and often it is hard to really tell if something is really the reason or if it is a confluence of circumstances. The risk factors of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are:

  • Brain injuries
  • Exposure to environmental risk during the pregnancy
  • Drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight

There are 3 types of ADHD. They are called predominantly inattentive presentation, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation, and combined presentation; all types have their own symptoms and over time this too can change. It may very well be that as a child you suffered from combined presentation, but as an adult, you only exhibited the symptoms of one of the other 2 types. Of course, the big questions remain, how can you recognize ADHD in a child? When should you contact your professional healthcare provider? And is ADHD treatable – or perhaps even curable?

The picture that is often painted of children with ADHD is that they are incredibly busy and cause a lot of problems at home, as well as at school and other places. Of course, this does not have to be the case. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder manifests itself differently in every person. In addition, it is good to know that all children sometimes have difficulty maintaining focus and sometimes exhibit difficult behavior. This does not mean that your child is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Child with ADHD does not pay attention to his mother

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The big difference between a child with ADHD and a child without ADHD is the word ‘sometimes’. Unfortunately, children suffering from ADHD won’t grow out of this “phase.” So make sure you know how you can recognize ADHD in your child or in the children of your loved ones. Possible symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – in addition to not being to focus or acting out (at home or in school) – are:

  • A lot of daydreaming
  • Forgetting or easily loosing things
  • Squirming or fidgeting
  • Talking too much
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Difficult to resist temptations
  • Having trouble taking turns
  • Having difficulty getting along – with others
  • Having difficulty with organizing
  • Finding it hard to sit still for long periods

Treatment Options

If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, (one of) your children or in other children, you might want to start the conversation or even enlist the help of your professional healthcare provider right away. He or she will make the correct diagnosis and if this indeed turns out to be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, they will immediately look at possible treatment plans, such as:

  • Medication, like (non-)stimulants & antidepressants
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Therapy for parents
  • Healthy and balanced diet
  • Physical activity

Treatments are always very personal, so it’s always a good idea to talk about this thoroughly with your professional healthcare provider and do your own online research, or maybe you’re in doubt if you – or a loved one – suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Start your search here:

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