ADHD Case Scenario
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental condition that includes not paying attention and distractibility accompanied by hypersensitivity. Patients with ADHD demonstrate a wide variety of symptoms, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD is diagnosed according to the DSM-5 diagnostic standards, which is a complex process. Traditionally, scholars recommend behavioral and non-medication interventions to control the illness (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015). This paper aims to present the case scenario describing the patient with ADHD, provide specific information on symptoms, and two suggestions for treatment interventions.
The Mental Health Diagnosis
Mental health is an individual state of mind and soul obtained under particular lifelong circumstances. According to the DSM-5, ADHD has three distinct forms: inattentive, hyper-impulsive, and combined (“Diagnostic and statistical manual,” 2013). All three forms must persist for at least six months to the degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with the developmental level for the diagnosis to be approved. The diagnosis is usually made based on DMS-5 guidelines and following complementary health tests like brain imaging scans.
Specific Information on Symptoms
The parents of a 9-year-old boy took him to the family practitioner because they were increasingly concerned about his behavior, displayed in school and at home. When the boy was in the first grade, the teacher reported that he demonstrated boredom, was disruptive, fought with his classmates, and was rude to his teacher and other children. At home, their parents said that the boy cannot sit still for a considerable time, and family meals have become unpleasant. The boy now wonders why he has been brought to the practitioner today. The parents have two older siblings who have described the boy as a spoiled child.
The parents mentioned there were no pregnancy complications or birth problems. The boy does not take any medication, and all the required immunizations were made. The described symptoms can be generalized as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and moderately aggressive states that arise due to erratic emotional states (Llanes et al., 2020). Further treatment interventions may include non-medication methods like special education, family education, support and involvement, behavioral management, and social skills training (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015). At the same time, complementary and alternative treatments like mind-body medicine, manipulation, and body-based practices can be suggested.
Suggestions for Treatment
More information and careful investigation are needed to define and suggest the treatment. Teachers and family members can share their observations and keep a behavioral diary that will feature the at-home and at-school behavior as a part of behavioral therapy intervention and the first treatment intervention (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015, p. 32). Behavioral therapy is an effective intervention in ADHD professional treatment. Behavioral parent training (BPT) and behavioral classroom management (BCM) are particular examples of behavioral management practices.
The healthcare practitioner should also develop educational materials for family education and share more general ADHD information with the teacher. No less important, the social skills of the patient should be trained since he sometimes showed inadequate behavior in school and with his siblings, which is the second intervention suggested. Additional psychological testing may be performed to evaluate the patient’s current state. The healthcare practitioner should make weekly visits and talk with the patient, which is a priority.
Parents shared their concerns about the overuse of medications and showed interest in behavioral interventions. Therefore, parental training should be directed at their understanding of ADHD symptoms as well as the behavioral management of their child. After receiving the initial diagnosis, the patient should receive a complex psychiatric evaluation and physical examination, but there are no laboratory tests that confirm ADHD. The Conners Parent-Teacher Rating Scale is a questionnaire and a useful tool in patient assessment, which is usually shared with the teacher and parents; The Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire is another practical assessment tool. CPTs – continuous performance tests are computer-based tasks that often are used to test attention and may be used in conjunction with clinical information to make a diagnosis.
Noteworthy, there is no clear correlation between mortality and ADHD. Still, ADHD is a significant risk factor for substance abuse problems, which are statistically closely related to high mortality and morbidity (Mochrie et al., 2020). ADHD does not entail any impairments or complications, only the symptoms that are described in the DSM-5 standards. However, parents and siblings of children with ADHD are more likely to develop ADHD symptoms than the general population, which complements the understanding of ADHD as a family issue.
For work with the patient, the main Biblical postulate of loving our neighbors should be applied. During the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). This message can be understood in a way, that whenever the medical practitioners work with patients who have mental health disorders, they should show their deepest compassion. This is critical since mental disorders are considered to be diseases both of mind and soul, and people with mental abnormalities are those who need the ultimate love, compassion, and professional treatment.
Thus, the case scenario describing the patient with ADHD was presented, and specific information on symptoms and two suggestions for treatment interventions were provided. Since no medication treatment has proven effective for ADHD, the healthcare practitioner should suggest behavioral therapy and educational training for the family and teacher. No less important, social skills training should be performed to improve the patient’s social interactions. To make the initial diagnosis, research tools like The Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire can be used.
Corcoran, J., & Walsh, J.M. (2015). Mental health in social work. Pearson.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. Web.
Llanes, E., Blacher, J., Stavropoulos, K., & Eisenhower, A. (2020). Parent and teacher reports of comorbid anxiety and ADHD symptoms in children with ASD. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50(5), 1520-1531.
Mochrie, K. D., Whited, M. C., Cellucci, T., Freeman, T., & Corson, A. T. (2020). ADHD, depression, and substance abuse risk among beginning college students. Journal of American College Health, 68(1), 6-10.