Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a mental disorder mainly in children, linked with poor attention. The disorder sometimes called hyperkinetic, causes many problems in a child, like restlessness, insensitivity, impetuosity and hyperactivity. In most cases, children having this disorder fail to learn, and eventually isolate themselves from others. Moreover, if the disease is not treated at early stages of child development, it will adversely affect their adolescent and adulthood development. The disorder is so much common in children aged below seven, and statistics reveal that: about half of the affected children live with it even to adulthood. At the moment, nobody can regard the disorder to be associated in childhood only, because; there are many adolescents and adults affected by the disorder. (Van & Leslie, 2008, pp. 27-36).Nevertheless, people can manage the disease by applying medications, altering behavior and lifestyles, and through counseling. Sometimes it can be difficult to realize the disorder as the symptoms almost resemble those of other disorders. This has led to serious debates among teachers, medics, parents and psychologists as whether the disorder is genetic or physiological. Nevertheless, scientific evidences indicate that, ADHD is a disorder, which can be diagnosed and treated. (Goldman, Genel, Bezman, Slanetz, 1998, pp. 1101-1105).
ADHD in Children
The disorder affects certain sections of the brain in child. Consequently, the child becomes unable to solve problems, fail to plan and do some tasks like homework simply because; the disease distorts understanding abilities. Under normal development, children aged seven years and below are prone to this disorder. Once a parent or a teacher identifies symptoms associated with ADHD, a span period of six months is usually enough to be sure of the disorder. Undeniably, the disease will affect the behavior of a child in either classroom, field, or in social gatherings. Nonetheless, it is not easy to identify whether a child is suffering from ADHD unless differential diagnosis establishes so. This is because; there are other child development behaviors, which can make a child, behave like the one having this particular disorder. For example, there are kids who enjoy assuming instructions, others like trouble and still others are either languid or willful. These characteristics resemble the symptoms of ADHD and therefore, nobody should consider the child to have ADHD until taken for diagnosis and the results become positive. Children with hyperactivity always talk when other are talking, move haphazardly, cannot sit when eating or fidget on seats. On the other hand, children with impassivity symptoms are impatient, interruptive and blurt without restraint, while those with inattention cannot follow instructions making them to struggle always.
ADHD in Teens
Like normal teenage behavior in normal adolescents, teenagers with ADHD have lower tolerance on top. Additionally, the disorder affects self-esteem of teenagers and makes them to struggle academically. They have a problem with understanding and it can even take a whole day to grasp the meaning of a paragraph. In most cases, ADHD teenagers will always be late in class due to restlessness and because they are lazy, they will hand in their homework very late. Additionally, these teens are talkative and will interrupt teachers or fellow students when talking. ADHD teens are always aggressive and want recognition. Consequently, many of them become promiscuous to receive attention. On the other hand, there are some who isolate themselves from others, leaving them lonely and dejected.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD children, who never received medical attention during childhood, continue with it until adulthood. Even at adulthood, the disorder is reversible through medication. Adults with this disorder lead a miserable life full of chaos and disturbances. Some of them decide to use alcohol and other drugs in order to continue with their normal life. Research indicate that, adults with ADHD disorders have psychiatric problems like drug abuse, learning disabilities, disorders with anxiety and bipolar, and depression. Nevertheless, it is not easy to diagnose ADHD adults because of their age, intelligence and comorbidities. (Valdizán, Izaguerri-Gracia, 2009, pp. 94-100).
Causes of ADHD
The real cause of ADHD is not yet known. Nevertheless, evidences suggest that, the disorder occur due to diet, genetic, physical and social surroundings. Under genetic transfer, scientists believe symptoms like hyperactivity are transferred through genes even though, no research has positively suggested gene type. Genes like dopamine transporter and dopamine receptor are among those believed to be carriers of the disorder. On the other hand, environmental factors like exposure of tobacco to pregnant women or smoking pregnant women, is also a possible cause of ADHD. Moreover, injuries on the head and infant diseases like measles and rubella are probable causes of ADHD. Research also point out diet as one of the causes of ADHD. Some unique food colors and preservatives cause hyperactivity hence, ADHD. (Arcos-Burgos & Acosta, 2007, pp. 233-237).
Prevention of ADHD
As of now, there are no clear modalities to prevent ADHD from invading a child or an adult. Nevertheless, some steps are paramount to take in order to ensure, children do not become disturbed emotionally, physically and mentally. For example, pregnant women neither drink nor smoke to minimize chances of ADHD. Additionally, parents and teachers should protect children from chemical substances, monitor their behaviors from morning till sleep, and avoid giving them food rich of preservatives. In addition to this, teachers should implement new learning techniques, which will hasten understanding and grasp of classroom ideas.
Medication and Side Effects of ADHD
There are many drugs used to treat ADHD but, it will be whether the disorder is genetic, environmental or due to diet. A stimulant, Ritalin, can treat ADHD by altering distorted biochemical brain conditions. Nevertheless, this drug has common side effects like lack of appetite, headaches, insomnia, stomach aches and nervousness. However, with time, these side effects will disappear and leave the child healed. (Owens, 2005, pp. 312-320).
Arcos-Burgos, M. & Acosta, M. (2007). Tuning major gene variants conditioning human behavior: the anachronism of ADHD. Curriculum Opinion of Genetic Development, 17 (3), 233-237.
Goldman, S., Genel, M., Bezman, R., Slanetz, P. (1998). Diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of American Medical Association, 279(14), 1101–1105.
Owens JA (August 2005). “The ADHD and sleep conundrum: a review. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 26(4), 312–320.
Valdizán, J. & Izaguerri-Gracia, A. (2009).Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. Journal of Review Neurology, 48(2), 94-100.
Van, C. & Leslie, L. (2008). Approaching ADHD as a chronic condition: implications for long-term adherence. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 46(8), 27–36.