Have you ever had trouble focusing on the current task? Has it ever been difficult for you to sit still or wait until someone else finishes talking? Have you done something impulsively despite knowing that it can be dangerous?
Such situations might be familiar to almost everyone, but those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience such challenges every day. ADHD can interfere with children’s development, and it can also have a serious negative impact on many areas of adult people’s lives.
In this article, we will consider common types of ADHD and their symptoms. We will also share some tips on how to know if you have ADHD so that you can figure out whether or not such challenges in your life are caused by this disorder.
ADHD in a Nutshell
ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder associated with such symptoms as hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsivity, and distractibility. While ADHD is particularly common among children, up to 5% of adults also have this diagnosis.
Symptoms of ADHD can have a significant negative impact on many areas of a person’s life, including education, work, relationships, etc. The good news is that this disorder is treatable.
There are various types of medication for severe cases of ADHD, and individuals can also benefit from talk therapy. Not only can you try in-person therapy, but you can also speak to a therapist online, with no need to commute to their office. Online ADHD treatment has proven to be effective, and it is also convenient.
Is ADHD a disability?
Yes, ADHD is a disability according to the Americans with Disabilities Act because this is a neurological disorder and it also impacts a person’s ability to work. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Centers for Disease Control, ADHD isn’t a learning disability but a developmental one. If you or your child have ADHD, you might be eligible for disability benefits.
What Does It Feel Like?
People with ADHD may find it difficult to focus on the necessary tasks at school or work. Sometimes, people with this problem daydream or cannot focus on one task at a time. ADHD also often leads to impulsivity. As a result, children may experience difficulties getting along with their peers, teachers, and parents.
Adults with ADHD often report feeling fidgety or restless. Impulsivity often leads to thoughtless decisions, which in turn may have a significant impact on various areas of people’s lives. ADHD has been shown to impact executive functioning, in general, which means that it affects decision-making, emotional regulation, and planning.
There are three major types of ADHD:
- Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is associated with disruptive or extreme behavior, as well as poor control over impulsive actions. This is the least common type of disorder, and it doesn’t involve problems with focusing.
- Inattentive ADHD leads to difficulty focusing, and a person with this type of ADHD may also easily get distracted. However, there are no symptoms of hyperactivity.
- Combined ADHD is the most common type of disorder, which features symptoms of both of the first two types.
Symptoms of ADHD
Inattentive symptoms of ADHD include difficulty concentrating, organizing activities and tasks, and focusing. ADHD may also negatively affect memory and make it challenging for a person to keep track of their things.
Hyperactive symptoms include restlessness, fidgeting, and difficulty sitting still. People with hyperactive symptoms of ADHD may also find it difficult to engage in quiet and slow-paced activities. Besides, they may not think things through before saying or doing something.
A person can be diagnosed with ADHD if they demonstrate several symptoms and these symptoms started before they reached the age of 12. Besides, this diagnosis implies that a person experiences difficulties in more than one setting — for instance, not only at home but also at work.
If the aforementioned symptoms appear later in life, a person cannot be diagnosed with ADHD. In this case, a therapist has to analyze other factors to come up with the right diagnosis. ADHD, as well as other mental health disorders, cannot be self-diagnosed and require proper treatment.
Causes of ADHD: Is ADHD Genetic?
ADHD isn’t caused by a single factor. This disorder can be caused by a combination of different factors, including genes and the neurobiological structure of the brain. Besides, the risk of developing ADHD depends on various environmental factors.
Studies show that ADHD does run in families so genetic factors play an important role in the development of this problem. People who have relatives with ADHD are at the highest risk of developing it. However, researchers have also found differences in brain activity and structure between people with ADHD and those who don’t have it.
ADHD impacts certain areas of the brain that are responsible for the ability to make choices, as well as focusing and short memory. Besides, people with ADHD have noticeable differences in their brain activity related to self-regulation which impact their ability to stay focused and manage their emotions and behavior.
As we’ve already mentioned above, the risk of developing ADHD also increases because of various environmental factors. For instance, children raised in high-conflict families who don’t have enough opportunities to learn self-regulation skills are more likely to have ADHD.
Alcohol and drug use during pregnancy is also linked to ADHD. Besides, children’s ability to concentrate can be affected by the lack of certain nutrients, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, and zink. Some environmental toxins can also impact behavior and brain development.
ADHD and anxiety
ADHD isn’t caused by anxiety. However, ADHD can contribute to the development of anxiety. Anxiety can exist independently of ADHD or it can also be a direct result of it.
For example, if a person with ADHD forgets or fails at something very important, they may feel extremely stressed out. Even thinking about the possibility of such a situation happening again in the future can make a person feel very anxious.
ADHD is a developmental disability that may manifest itself in different ways. Generally, symptoms of ADHD are categorized as either inattentive or hyperactive. However, most often, people experience combined symptoms of hyperactive and inattentive nature.
Given that ADHD can have a significant negative impact on people’s ability to focus, behavior, and decision-making, this disorder can interfere with many aspects of people’s daily lives. Therefore, if you have symptoms similar to those of ADHD, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
A licensed therapist can make the right diagnosis and come up with an appropriate treatment plan. While in-person therapy might be too time-consuming for people with busy work schedules, online therapy platforms like Calmerry offer a more flexible solution.
On online platforms, you can talk to a therapist via a video call or even opt for text therapy and exchange messages. Learn more about the benefits of talk therapy and don’t forget that there are also many ways to practice self-care that can help you cope with the symptoms.