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What Is ADHD and Its Symptoms? | Neurologist in Charlotte, NC

Children tend to experience trouble paying attention or staying still in their younger years. Because this is expected behavior, it can be dismissed as a phase that will pass once they grow up. However, this is not the case for all of them. ADHD is a common mental condition that can adversely impact those who have it in school, work, or social settings. This condition may prevent them from fitting in with others, creating a feeling of frustration that they cannot explain. This blog will illustrate what ADHD is, its symptoms, and where to find an excellent neurologist in Charlotte, NC, who treats it.

What Is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders, although it can also affect adults. This developmental disorder impacts the executive processes of the brain, such as impulse control, concentration, behavior, and organization. It is generally diagnosed during childhood and can last well into adulthood. It is estimated that around 2.5% of adults and 8.4% of children in the United States have ADHD, and it is most often found in boys than in girls.

ADHD cases tend to be divided into three primary types:

1. Inattentive Type: the person finds it hard to organize and finish tasks, pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and is easily distracted.

2. Hyperactive/Impulsive Type: the person has difficulty staying still for long, fidgets and talks frequently, has trouble controlling their impulses, and feels restless if not doing something or waiting for their turn.

3. Combined Type: the person simultaneously shows traits of both previously mentioned types.

ADHD Symptoms and Treatment

It is usual for young children to have trouble paying attention, listening to and following directions, sitting still for a long time, or waiting for their turn. This makes it tricky to recognize ADHD symptoms at first glance. However, children living with ADHD will show a greater level of hyperactivity and inattention than expected for their age, likely causing problems for them at home or school.

To obtain an ADHD diagnosis accurately, healthcare providers use specific guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). This standard makes it easier to ensure that patients are given the correct diagnosis.

Some of the symptoms to look out for included in these guidelines, divided by their type, are:

1. Inattentive Type

  1. Absentmindedness – difficulty focusing, concentrating, and staying on task.

  2. Trouble retaining attention for instructions or assignments.

  3. Trouble organizing and completing tasks and activities.

  4. Easily losing or forgetting things.

  5. Daydreaming or procrastinating things frequently.

2. Hyperactive/Impulsive Type:

  1. Fidgeting or squirming when needed to stay still.

  2. Getting bored and restless quickly when not actively doing something.

  3. Running, climbing, or jumping around when inappropriate or required to be sat in place.

  4. Talking and interrupting others constantly without realizing it.

  5. Lacking control over their impulses – doing things without asking permission, taking things that are not theirs, engaging in unsafe behavior.

  6. Having emotional outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, the person must have presented several of the mentioned symptoms before age 12; these must have shown in more than one setting (school, home, work); they clearly interfere with or reduce the quality of the person's social interactions or their performance at school or work; other mental disorders cannot better explain the symptoms.

Treating ADHD needs different solutions depending on each child and their family. The best option is to talk with your healthcare provider to learn which treatments might work best.

Treatment for ADHD usually includes:

  • Medicine: medications can activate the brain's ability to pay attention, slow down, and use more self-control. They might have side effects and work differently with each person.

  • Behavior Therapy: therapy can help develop the social, emotional, and planning skills that children with ADHD often lack. It can help eliminate problem behaviors and learn or strengthen positive ones.

  • Parent Coaching: Through coaching, parents learn more about the condition and how to create behavior management strategies to help their children.

Charlotte, NC, Neurologist | Premier Sleep and Neurology

ADHD, whether in children or adults, can significantly influence your life if left untreated. It can have an impact on education, work, and personal relationships. Treatment is necessary to reduce the severity of the condition's effects. At Premier Sleep and Neurology, our experienced team can provide comprehensive evaluations, cutting-edge treatments, and individualized follow-up care for this condition. Our doctor, Dr. Ashkin, is uniquely qualified to pinpoint exactly what the problem is and implement a proven effective treatment program. Visit our website for more information about our services, or call (704) 412-7859 today to schedule an appointment.

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