What Causes ADHD?
ADHD is a brain-based, biological disorder that, according to research, is likely genetic. Researchers suspect that a gene involved in the creation of dopamine, a chemical that controls the brain’s ability to maintain regular and consistent attention, may be traced back to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). In other words, it is not caused by bad parenting, too much sugar, or too many video games.
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
Pursuing an ADHD diagnosis can be a complicated process. ADHD is a nuanced neurological condition with three distinct subtypes — inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type — and there is no one test that determines whether ADHD is present in an adult or a child. A professional diagnosis usually follows symptom tests and interviews, a thorough medical history, and evaluations for conditions commonly diagnosed alongside ADD – including oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, mood disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.
What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?
Adults and children with ADHD typically exhibit some or most of the following symptoms:
- Short attention span, especially for non-preferred tasks
- Hyperactivity, which may be physical, verbal, and/or emotional
- Impulsivity, which may manifest as recklessness
- Fidgeting or restlessness
- Disorganization and difficulty prioritizing tasks
- Poor time management and time blindness
- Frequent mood swings and emotional dysregulation
- Forgetfulness and poor working memory
- Trouble multitasking and executive dysfunction
- Inability to control anger or frustration
- Trouble completing tasks and frequent procrastination
- Difficulty awaiting turn