Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD) is a psychiatric condition characterised by difficulty in controlling behaviour and difficulty in staying focused and paying attention. It is one of the most prevalent childhood disorders which may extend to adolescence and childhood. It is therefore very important to ensure that it is identified early enough and interventions undertaken. A few essential principles on ADHD Dallas residents may be eager to learn are hereby discussed in detail.
There are various criteria in place to help in the making of the diagnosis. In these criteria, the symptoms must have been observed for at least 6 months. Typically, symptoms and signs are first seen between the ages of 6 and 12. The prevalence has been observed to be higher in boys as compared to girls. Between 30% and 50% of cases of childhood ADHD progress into adulthood according to statistics. However, the prevalence of the condition in the adult population is just 4%.
It can be quite challenging to draw a line between normal and exaggerated levels of inattention and hyperactivity and therefore presenting symptoms may be difficult to define. The condition can broadly be divided into predominantly hyperactive impulsive, predominantly inattentive or both based on outstanding symptoms. About six or more related symptoms have to be present to ascertain predominant inattention or hyperactivity.
Hyperactive children tend to talk a lot, are unsettled and have problems handling tasks that involve silence and limited immobility. On the other hand, impulsivity in children is manifested by impatience and tendency to interrupt conversations or activities. Broadly, affected persons have challenges not only in anger control but also speech, language and motor development.
Although it is not very clear on what causes this condition, genetic and environmental factors play a major role. Children carrying certain gene varieties have thinner brain tissue in areas associated with attention. Research has shown that when these children grow up, the brain tissue assumes normal thickness. Studies also show a link between cigarette smoking and alcohol intake in pregnancy and ADHD. Additionally, exposure to lead and organophosphate increases the risk of ADHD. Other risk factors include low birth weight, premature birth and food additives.
There are a number of treatment modalities that ca be used to manage this condition. Commonly, pharmacological agents and psychotherapies are used. These may be used either singly or in combination. Stimulants were a common form of treatment in the past but there use has been strongly discouraged by experts. This is because stimulants have a high tendency for abuse and addiction.
For preschool or children with mild symptoms, behavioural therapy is recommended at treatment of choice. This is illustrated by parents actively participating in the day to day activities of the child such as doing homework. Social skills training can also be considered although the benefits are limited.
If they wish to get more information on ADHD Dallas residents can consult a qualified psychiatrist. The encouraging is that with proper management, affected persons can lead a near normal life. Social support from the family and colleagues in the work place is crucial.
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