Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), makes it hard for people to pay attention, concentrate, sit still, or wait their turn. ADHD especially makes it tough to stay on top of complicated tasks that take organization, planning, and focus. Because of this, people with ADHD have a hard time doing their best at school, home, or work. Usually ADHD is diagnosed in school-aged children, but it can continue to cause problems into adulthood.
It’s important to know that there are many options for treatment. People can find relief from counselling, making changes at home or at school, behavioural coaching, individual therapy, self-help groups, and medication.
What is normal?
Almost everyone feels distracted and restless at times. Normally, these feelings pass and we can easily get back to work. But ADHD is a real illness, and it’s diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your life or your child’s life.
What are common signs and symptoms?
For adults, signs of ADHD could include:
- Poor time management skills
- Problems focusing on a task
- Trouble multi-tasking
- Feeling restless
- Poor planning
- Getting frustrated quickly
- Mood swings
- Problems completing tasks
- Hot temper
- Trouble coping with stress
For kids, ADHD typically includes both inattention and hyperactivity:
- Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Trouble staying focused
- Appearing not to listen, even when spoken to directly
- Trouble organizing tasks at home or school
- Avoiding tasks that take focused mental effort (like homework)
- Being easily distracted
- Fidgeting and squirming
- Difficulty staying seated
- Running around or climbing when it's not appropriate
- Trouble playing quietly
- Talking too much
- Blurting out answers and interrupting others' conversations
- Difficulty waiting for his or her turn
Should I seek help?
If any of the listed symptoms disrupt your life on a regular basis, talk to your doctor about whether you might have ADHD.
If you're worried that your child shows signs of ADHD, see your family doctor or pediatrician. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, but it's important to have a medical evaluation first to check for other possible causes of your child's difficulties.
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