What Is ADHD?


ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders, although it can continue into adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD include inability to stay focused or concentrate, difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

According to WebMD, there are three different categories of symptoms for ADHD: inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Signs of inattention are not immediately noticeable, causing many children with this form of ADHD to be overlooked and go untreated for a long time. Symptoms include not paying attention to details, making careless mistakes or becoming easily distracted. Impulsivity symptoms include blurting out words without thinking, frequently interrupting others or starting conversations at inappropriate times. Hyperactivity symptoms include not being able to sit still, constant fidgeting, getting up to walk or run around and squirming.

While the specific causes and risk factors of ADHD are unknown, research as of 2014 suggests that genetics play an important role, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists are also studying other possible causes, such as brain injury or trauma, drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy, low birth weight and environmental exposure. The CDC states that once diagnosed by a medical professional, ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. Every person is different and will respond best to different forms of treatment; therefore, it is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.