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What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood behavioural disorder that can continue its progression into adulthood. About half of the adults diagnosed with ADHD have had the condition since childhood. Symptoms in children include difficulty staying focused, over-activity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD often find it hard to complete tasks and perform up to their peers and often have problems at school. Symptoms in adults can vary from that of children. Adults with ADHD can be restless, impatient, and interrupting, and can have problems at work and maintaining relationships.

Types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

There are three subtypes of ADHD which include:

  • Combined ADHD – involves symptoms of both lack of attentiveness and over-activity/impulsivity
  • Inattentive ADHD – previously known as ADD involves symptoms of lack of attentiveness and concentration
  • Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD – involves symptoms of over-activity paired with impulsivity without problems with attentiveness

Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The exact causes of ADHD are unknown. Some of the likely causes include certain genes, exposure to toxins, and brain injuries.

Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A diagnosis can often be made by a specialist based on various psychological tests. After obtaining a detailed history, a specialist will analyze a patient’s behavioural traits in various circumstances, look for specific symptoms, and rule out any other underlying conditions that may exhibit similar symptoms to appropriately diagnose ADHD.

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