Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Commonly referred to as ADHD, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. Individuals who suffer from ADHD generally have problems paying attention; have a difficult time following instructions or tasks; are easily bored; or do not stop to think before they act.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Although the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, researchers continue to study the brain for clues. According to researchers, there are several factors that may contribute to the condition, which include chemical imbalance, heredity, head injury and brain changes.

Symptoms of Acute-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Symptoms of ADHD are generally grouped into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Symptoms of Inattention:

  • easily distracted
  • does not follow directions or finish tasks
  • does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking
  • does not pay attention and makes careless mistakes
  • is forgetful about daily activities
  • has problems organizing daily tasks
  • avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort
  • often loses things, including personal items
  • has a tendency to daydream

Symptoms of Hyperactivity:

  • often squirms, fidgets, or bounces when sitting
  • does not stay seated as expected
  • has difficulty playing quietly
  • is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as a sense of restlessness)
  • talks excessively

Symptoms of Impulsivity

  • has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
  • blurts out answers before the question has been completed
  • often interrupts others

Treatment Options for Acute-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Unfortunately, ADHD is not a curable disease. However, many of the symptoms that interfere with functioning and cause distress can be controlled. Treatment for ADHD often includes a combination of medication and various psychosocial therapies.

Stimulant drugs to treat ADHD include:

  • Adderall and Adderall XR
  • Concerta
  • Dexedrine
  • Focalin and Focalin XR
  • Metadate CD and Metadate ER
  • Methylin
  • Ritalin, Ritalin LA
  • Vyvanse
  • Desoxyn

When stimulants and nonstimulants are not effective or well-tolerated, several other medications are available to treat ADHD.

These medications include:

  • Pamelor or other tricyclic antidepressants
  • Catapres or Tenex
  • Wellbutrin
  • Effexor

Review Sources

WebMD – this website informed me of the three separate types of ADHD


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