ADHD/Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Do you find it hard to pay attention?
Do you feel the need to move constantly during times when you shouldn’t?
Do you find yourself constantly interrupting others?
If these issues are ongoing and you feel that they are negatively impacting your daily life, it could be a sign of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a disorder that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. He or she may also be restless and almost constantly active.
ADHD is Not Just A Childhood Disorder
Although the symptoms of ADHD begin in childhood, ADHD can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Even though hyperactivity tends to improve as a child becomes a teen, problems with inattention, disorganization, and poor impulse control often continue through the teen years and into adulthood.
What Causes ADHD?
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and across the country are studying the causes of ADHD. Current research suggests ADHD may be caused by interactions between genes and environmental or non-genetic factors.
People with ADHD show an ongoing pattern of three different types of symptoms:
Difficulty paying attention (inattention)
Being overactive (hyperactivity)
Acting without thinking (impulsivity)
People who have ADHD have combinations of these symptoms:
Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
Seem to not listen when spoken to directly
Fail to not follow through on instructions, fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace, or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked
Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as doing tasks in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, keeping work organized, managing time, and meeting deadlines
Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers
Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
Become easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
Forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments
Signs of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity May Include:
Fidgeting and squirming while seated
Getting up and moving around in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or in the office
Running or dashing around or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate, or, in teens and adults, often feeling restless
Being unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly
Being constantly in motion or “on the go,” or acting as if “driven by a motor”
Blurting out an answer before a question has been completed, finishing other people’s sentences, or speaking without waiting for a turn in conversation
Having trouble waiting his or her turn
Interrupting or intruding on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities
Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean a person has ADHD. Many other problems, like anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms. If you are concerned about whether you or your child might have ADHD, the first step is to talk with a healthcare professional to find out if the symptoms fit the
diagnosis. The diagnosis can be made by a mental health professional, primary care provider, or pediatrician.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, currently available treatments may help reduce symptoms and improve functioning. ADHD is commonly treated with medication, education or training, therapy, or a combination of treatments.
Medication - For many people, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn.
Therapy - There are different kinds of therapy that have been tried for ADHD, but research shows that therapy may not be effective in treating ADHD symptoms. However, adding therapy to an ADHD treatment plan may help patients and families better cope with daily challenges.
For Children and Teens: Parents and teachers can help children and teens with ADHD stay organized and follow directions with tools such as keeping a routine and a schedule, organizing everyday items, using homework and notebook organizers, and giving praise or rewards when rules are followed.
Hypnotherapy - Allows the child to gain a sense of control, increase self-esteem and competence, and reduce stress. Children usually readily accept the suggestion, and hypnosis bridges the child’s inner world of imagination and therapeutic change. Hypnotherapy is particularly helpful when integrated into a multimodal treatment context and adapted to the child’s developmental age.
For Adults: First, the deep relaxation experience produced by hypnosis may influence directly in the
hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms. Second, hypnosis itself may exercise the brain’s attentional and executive functions.
Hypnotic induction and suggestions contain focusing or narrowing the attention. Third, hypnosis might influence the emotional regulation.