Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) effects people of all ages, although, it starts and is commonly known to be more prevalent in adolescence. This may be due to symptoms seeming juvenile in nature. Symptoms of ADHD can be suppressed with medication and/or years of practice but there is no cure for it. Also, on that note- we still don’t have a clear answer as to what causes ADHD. What we do know is that it starts when you are a child and varies in significance with each individual, which could be due to genetics or even environmental differences.
Not all cases of ADHD are the same, for example, some individuals have trouble maintaining attention but do not show symptoms of hyperactivity and vice versa while others show signs of both inattention and hyper activeness. Some of the more common symptoms may include forgetfulness, trouble following directions, trouble with organization, appearing to be always on the go, excessive talking or fidgeting, tapping of hands or feet, consistently interrupting others in conversation, and trouble remaining seated. Other less common symptoms may include irritability, paranoia, headaches, dark thoughts – possibly suicidal or homicidal thoughts, anxiousness, argumentative, controlling, low energy, low self-esteem, mood swings, and racing thoughts among many others.
As an adult, ADHD may be more subtle due to the relative maturity of adults and their ability to curb symptoms. When coupled with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, or a separate learning disability- symptoms may worsen, although, it has been reported that symptoms may lessen with age.
No one knows exactly how ADHD is caused although research is ongoing. According to health.com, ADHD is largely due to genetics, although, research also suggests environmental factors may play a role as well. Two separate studies were conducted in 2010 and one found that “children with higher urine levels of organophosphate, a pesticide used on produce, had higher ADHD rates.” The other study found that “women with higher urine levels of organophosphate were more likely to have a child with ADHD.” Also according to health.com, children who are exposed to tobacco smoke while still in the womb are 2.4 times as likely to have ADHD as those who are not exposed.
Being a parent is tough, and coping with a child that has ADHD can be extremely difficult. It’s important to remember that there are things both child and parent can do to minimize the stress. For example, create structure; Get the child into a routine and have them stick to it every day. This allows the child to have an understanding on what to expect and how they are to act at different moments. Also, help simplify the child’s life- limit distractions, encourage exercise and regular sleep patterns. Teach your child about ADHD and make them aware of the symptoms so they can practice on minimizing them. Self-control is like a muscle, it must be exercised in order to get stronger. Most importantly be patient with your child. They did not choose to have ADHD and most likely aren’t self-aware enough to even know that they have it.
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