ADHD Symptoms and Treatment

ADHD is a behavioral disorder manifested by children unable to concentrate on a particular activity. It is a medical problem that begins in childhood and if not discovered and treated properly, can extend over time, affecting adulthood. In the absence of a proper treatment it can have negative consequences on school activities, domestic life or professional relationships.

Symptoms

Recent studies have shown that 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD suffer from this condition even in adulthood (in the US there are 8 million people diagnosed with this disorder).
ADHD is a disease that has a genetic component; current research in the field tries to discover what gene is responsible. There seems to be a cause-effect situation between ADHD and smoking or alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The diagnosis is usually made between 6-12 years of age, at which the symptoms become bothersome for both the children and for those around them. The percentage of people diagnosed with ADHD during adult life is quite low.

ADHD has 3 major symptoms, which can be easily recognized:

  • Inattention– is the most common symptom, it’s the inability to concentrate and can cause major memory problems. The professional tasks and duties are almost impossible to complete.
  • Impulsiveness – adults suffering from ADHD are not able to keep the same job for a long time; they tend to spend money without measure and can not commit to a long term relationship.
  • Hyperactivity – this condition is mostly felt in children. Adults perceive hyperactivity as a permanent restlessness, which does not allow them to enjoy soothing and relaxing activities such as reading.
    ADHD- manifestations in adults
    Adults suffering from this disorder have trouble remembering various information, focusing and following indications to take part in different activities or to carry out tasks before the deadline. If these issues are not addressed properly, psychological, emotional, social and behavioral complications may arise.

ADHD Treatment

There is no cure for ADHD, but only a symptomatic treatment. In order to control the symptoms in children stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate  are used. Recent studies have shown the beneficial effects of the treatment- consisting of the administration of medication, providing psychological support and using therapy only addressed to behavioral disorders.

  • Medications
    For adults, the treatment is not significantly different from the one addressed to children; the classes of effective drugs are, in principle, the same.
    In the past, the first treatment was considered to be the one based on stimulating substances, and studies have shown over the years that about 2/3 of adults who have benefited from this treatment responded favorably, their condition is improving considerably.
    However, such drugs can lead to addiction, this problem being often encountered in patients. Also, the effect of some substances has a short duration, which requires managing multiple daily doses, which can be inconvenient for some patients.
    Some people use therapeutic methods that were not proven to be effective, such as dietary restrictions. Patients are advised to not resort to such methods of treatment in the detriment of conventional medical treatment. Some alternatives may even adversely affect the physical and emotional condition of the patient.
  • Behavioral Treatment
    Adults suffering from ADHD may -in addition to drug therapy and specific treatment of disease- can resort to a behavioral technique, which consists in:
    – finding strategies to increase self-esteem
    – using stress techniques to reduce anxiety, such as meditation or/and yoga
    – organizing personal and professional activities
    – finding ways to increase productivity at work
    Studies have shown that the types of therapy combined (pharmacological treatment, behavioral therapy, medication) has superior results by simply increasing the confidence of the patients and by helping to cope with this disorder.