Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is an infamous brain disorder that affects many lives today

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is an infamous brain disorder that affects many lives today. It impedes many lives as they often harm cognition and development by giving those affected the traits of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. (The National Institute of Mental Health, 2016). Inattention means that an individual has problems focusing; hyperactivity is comprised of constant fidgeting like shaking a leg or tapping, and impulsivity can be apparent when one interrupts and makes actions without thinking. People with this disorder tend to face problems in daily life, and this includes the lack of focus in work settings and a sense of impatience in common conversations. Currently, scientists and researchers do not know the exact cause of ADHD; however, they do know a few things that may be related to the cause of ADHD. It is believed that ADHD is hereditary and is associated with certain parts of the brain. Some parts include the caudate nucleus, frontal lobe, temporal gray matter, and the cerebellum. Also, it is believed that an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters has a cause in this disorder, so medications often include dopamine and norepinephrine (Davidson, 2018).
As stated before, this disorder has three aspects that characterize it, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Medical professionals can diagnose patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in three types: inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, or combined type (Parekh, 2017) in 3 levels: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild can be identified by having the minimum amount of symptoms to be diagnosed and little effect in normal work settings; moderate is defined by a mix of mild and severe, and severe can be identified by having a several symptoms and a noticeable and harmful effect in normal work settings. (ADHD Institute, 2017).
The inattentive type and hyperactive/impulsive type can be distinguished with numerous symptoms. For the inattentive type, one can see failure in attention to mistakes and details, difficulty in sustaining attention during tasks, deficiency in listening during conversation, easily distracted by external stimuli, and forgetfulness in daily activities. On the other hand, for the hyperactive/impulsive type, one can see common fidgets like tapping with fingers or squirming, excessive talking, impatience, interruption, inability to remain quiet during leisure activities, and horseplay in socially unacceptable places. A patient will be diagnosed with the combination type if the three characteristics of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) are present and if six, if a child and five for older teens and adults seventeen and older, or more symptoms defined by the DSM-5 of both the inattentive type and the hyperactive/impulsive type are present for at least six months. To be diagnosed as predominantly inattentive, one must contain six, if a child and five for older teens and adults seventeen and older, or more inattention symptoms defined by the DSM-5 for at least six months, and to be diagnosed as predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, one must have six, if a child and five for older teens and adults seventeen and older, or more hyperactive/impulsive symptoms defined by the DSM-5 for at least six months (ADHD Institute, 2017).
Life with ADHD can be very frustrating and difficult for children as well as adults. When a child has ADHD, they exhibit hostile behavior; due to their ADHD, children have a sense of hyperactivity and want to get up and move, so saying no to something that a child really wants to do will cause them to act out aggressively. Additionally, children dealing with ADHD have social problems. They tend to demonstrate rude behaviors in social interactions like chiming in conversations when another is talking or not being engaged in the conversation. Because of this, children that interact with the ADHD diagnosed child can began to dislike and shun the child diagnosed with ADHD. Furthermore, parents can mistaken the child with some sort of disability. Parents can help their children who are diagnosed by beginning with maintaining their temper. If a parent does not maintain their temper, the child may be influenced by observational learning and continue to perform unmannerly behavior. Also, parents can work on teaching their diagnosed children about acceptable behaviors. Children diagnosed ADHD can have difficulty in learning social norms, so teaching them face to face may assist greatly (Miller, n.d.). ADHD has different effects on adults. Since the disorder hinders one’s attention, that alone can lead to frustration within the adult. Frustration can then cause the creation of depression or other various mood disorders. That stress can also form anxiety and psychiatric disorders, like substance abuse. Additionally, the stress may produce problems in workspaces or classes. Adults may face lower exam scores or less productive activity in work (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017).
Problems associated with ADHD can be quite troublesome but can be treated in various ways. Like said before, ADHD in children can be treated with behavior therapy. Both the parents and child get some form of education is this treatment. Parents get taught skills that can help manage a child’s behavior, while the child is taught to strengthen positive behaviors and to diminish negative behaviors. Behavior therapy is typically used on all kinds of children and is partnered with medication on children who are older than six years old (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). To minimize the effects of hyperactivity and impulsivity of ADHD, medication is used. ADHD medication benefits one’s thinking and working abilities. The most common type of medication used to treat this disorder is called a stimulant; it increases the amount of the particular neurotransmitters known as dopamine and norepinephrine, and both of the neurotransmitters play a role in cognition and attentiveness. Having an increased amount of both neurotransmitters will enable an ADHD patient to have enhanced attentiveness and focus. Similar to many other medications and drugs, stimulants also have risks that caretakers must be vigilant of. Stimulants have the chance of elevating heart rate and blood pressure, so patients with health problems, like heart disease, need to be cautious when using this type of medication. Other than stimulants, one may also treat ADHD with non-stimulants. Non-stimulants provide the same results as stimulants, but the main difference between the two is that non-stimulants take longer to go into effect; they are normally used to replace a stimulant when it causes side effects, when a stimulant seems to be having no effect at all on the patient, or to aid and reinforce a stimulant’s properties. Lastly, a medical provider can also use antidepressants to assist with this disorder; as of today, it is not certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but can help neutralize the disorder’s symptoms. Just like non-stimulants, it can also be coupled with stimulants if the patient has a mood disorder alongside ADHD (The National Institute of Mental Health, 2016).
The brain is an important organ in the human body as it controls bodily functions, our thoughts, memory, and much more. ADHD has an effect on this organ, and studies have shown that this disorder does in fact impact the brain. Specifically, this disorder affects the brain’s volume. Using an MRI, researchers studied certain regions of the brain the were thought to have been linked to ADHD, like the basal ganglia and hippocampus. As the results came through, researchers found that certain parts of the brain, like the nucleus accumbens, basal ganglia, and amygdala, were lesser than normal size in people with ADHD. These findings matched with children and adults, but the difference was more apparent in children than they were in adults. Changes in all of these parts have some sort of say in negatively affecting emotion. In the end, the researchers have come to the conclusion that this disorder causes a delay in the development of the brain (Radboud University, 2017).
As of 2016, about 6.1 million children from 2-17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD. However, on the bright side, about 77% of these children have received treatment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). These number have certainly impacted adults as only 4.4% of adults born have had ADHD exist throughout their lives (The National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). Today, the numbers that have been presented are definitely showing a good form of action against ADHD, but there is still so much to learn about this disorder and ultimately change the world’s take on it.


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