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. We all have trouble paying attention or being patient at times, although, people with with ADHD have trouble with these sort of things all the time. There is no cure for this disease although individuals who suffer from it can train themselves to notice there symptoms and practice their self control in order to manage it. We still don’t have a clear answer as to what causes ADHD, although, we do know it starts when you are a child and varies in significance with each individual. It is still unclear as to whether genetics or environmental factors play a larger role in this disease.
Not all cases of ADHD are the same. Some individuals have trouble maintaining attention but do not show symptoms of hyperactivity and vice versa. Others show signs of both inattention and hyper activeness. Some of the more common symptoms may include forgetfulness, trouble with organization, excessive talking or fidgeting, tapping of hands or feet, and consistently interrupting others in conversation. Other less common symptoms may include irritability, paranoia, headaches, suicidal or homicidal thoughts, anxiety, 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 their awareness and ability to curb symptoms. When coupled with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, or a separate learning disability- symptoms may worsen. It has been reported that symptoms may lessen with age.
The cause of ADHD is still unknown. According to health.com, ADHD is largely due to genetics. Research also suggests environmental factors may play a role as well. Two separate studies were conducted on ADHD in 2010. One found that children with higher levels of organophosphate in their urine had higher ADHD rates. The other study found that women with higher organophosphate levels in their urine 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 were not.
Parenting a child with ADHD
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, creating structure.
Having the child on a routine and being consistent can help decrease some symptoms. Another great way to limit the severity of symptoms is to simplify the child’s life- limit distractions, encourage exercise and get the child on a consistent sleep schedule.
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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Dr. Ray treats many children who suffer from ADHD and has seen positive results in his practice. If you would your child to see Dr. Ray click here to schedule an appointment.