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Mental Health Care for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Mental health care for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The diagnosis is made using checklists, rating scales, and gathering feedback from the family members and teachers.
The treatment for ADHD is done using:
  • Medication
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Combination of both medication and therapy
On this page
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About ADHD Treatment
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About ADHD Treatment
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Therapists / Counselors for ADHD Treatment
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FAQs
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A Quick Overview
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Major Causes
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How to Get Tested
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Effects on Children vs Adults
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Is it Different From ADD?
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How to Recover From Your Symptoms
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Find Help From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You
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Schedule a Virtual Appointment with a Counsellor Today

Mental Health Care for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Mental health care for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The diagnosis is made using checklists, rating scales, and gathering feedback from the family members and teachers.
The treatment for ADHD is done using:
  • Medication
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Combination of both medication and therapy

FAQs

Various studies have been conducted in India with regard to knowing the extent of prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A study conducted in Coimbatore points out the fact that its prevalence in India is more common than the world average, and it stood at 11.32 % during the time of the survey. Another study showed this data to be around 2% to 17%.
Though some of the symptoms of anxiety and ADHD might be similar, there is one major factor that can help you differentiate between the two. Just check in with yourself to find out the sort of feelings you are experiencing. Are you experiencing fear and nervousness, or are you experiencing a lack of focus and concentration?

If you are experiencing the former, you are most probably suffering from anxiety. But in case you are suffering from the latter, there is a greater chance of you suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The common signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are divided into 3 broad categories. They are:

  1. Difficulty related to attention - The major symptoms of it include the following:
    • Having trouble paying attention
    • Getting easily distracted
    • Having careless mistakes and being inattentive to details
    • Losing your belongings such as your school bag, water bottle, etc.
    • Forgetting to submit your homework in class
    • Having trouble completing your classwork and homework
    • Having trouble listening
    • Having trouble playing without making a huge noise
    • Having trouble following multiple commands at a time
  2. Hyperactivity - The major symptoms of hyperactivity include:
    • Being fidgety
    • Unable to stay seated for a longer duration
    • Being always on the go
    • Excessive running and climbing
  3. Impulsivity - The main symptoms of impulsivity are:
    • Being a chatterbox
    • Interrupting people while they speak
    • Giving answers abruptly and impulsively

The treatment depends from person to person. The most effective line of treatment is the combined use of medication and therapy. The most commonly used medications are stimulants and non-stimulants.

But in certain cases, especially in children, stimulants are avoided as they do more harm than good. They suppress growth hormones and result in further brain damage. Hence it’s important to avoid using these medications in such cases.

Also, behavioral therapy is extremely beneficial for adults suffering from it. But it’s quite difficult for the children to go through behavioral therapy as they fail to acknowledge the problem in the first place. So, it's very difficult for them to make changes in their behavior as per the given suggestion. However, certain techniques like reward and punishment work well with children.

Reductions of the symptoms are often a sign of reducing or stopping medications. Here are a few signs which indicate it’s time for you to stop these medications:

  • You have been symptoms free for about more than a year.
  • Your dosage hasn’t increased further, and you are doing better with each passing day.
  • Your behavior remains in check even though you have missed your medication dosage a few times.
  • You have suddenly found a new way to concentrate on things.

The above factors are indicators of when you can stop these medications. But make sure to consult your doctor before doing that.

A Quick Overview

According to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 6.1 million children in the United States were affected by ADHD in the year 2016. Another alarming data that came out of this survey was that 6 out of 10 children who had this disorder also suffered from other mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders.

Does that mean this is a child-only disorder? Well, absolutely not. In fact, according to another research, around 2.5% of the adult population suffers from this mental health disorder. But what exactly is ADHD? Let’s understand further.

ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, refers to a mental health disorder that leads to unusual levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors in the person suffering from it. It is often characterized by the lack of the ability to focus on one thing or sit still in one place for long durations.

Though it may seem similar to the inattention we face so often in our daily lives, it’s not the same. This means its intensity and frequency are much more extreme for a person who is suffering from this mental health condition. This can severely impact their daily activities like work, life, and studies.

Major Causes

Despite several researches made on finding the cause of this mental disorder, it’s still unclear what actually causes it. But there are certain studies that have attributed it to certain factors. These factors include:

  • Genetics - According to some research, genetics play a role in determining if a person will have this neurodevelopmental disorder. This research indicates that a neurotransmitter called dopamine has some role in triggering emotional responses and physical movements in a person, leading them to develop this disease in the future.
  • Neurology - These are some research that suggests a link between the prevalence of gray matter and this disorder. They suggested that people who had less gray matter volume in their brain have a higher chance of suffering from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Other causes - Other causes that supposedly trigger this neurological disorder in a person are drinking and smoking during pregnancy. According to a study conducted in 2012, those children whose mothers had drugs and alcohol while they were carrying them in their womb have a higher chance of developing this condition.

How to Get Tested

The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is quite difficult as the symptoms vary from person to person. In the case of children, it is dependent on the number, history, and persistence of the symptomatic behaviors. It is also dependent on how a child behaves in different settings. Hence, it’s wise to ask their parents and teachers for feedback regarding the child’s behavior.

The diagnosis of this medical condition in children involves comparing the child’s behavior with other children of the same age. In order to record and document their behavior, a standardized rating scale is used. A physical exam of the child is required, including a vision and hearing test.

Its diagnosis in adults isn’t easy either. In order to establish the fact that an adult is suffering from the disorder, he/she must have current symptoms that date back to his/her childhood. In fact, it has been widely seen that half of the adults who suffer from it suffered from this disorder as a child.

Here’s how the apt diagnosis is made:

  • By collecting the history of the person suffering
  • By collecting information from their spouse, parents, friends, etc.
  • By conducting a neurological test

Effects on Children vs Adults

The effects of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are different for both adults and children. It varies based on how they perceive things and life in general.

The children suffering from it mostly face problems with attention and concentration. Here’s how it affects the children:

  • They are constantly moving and unable to sit still for a long duration.
  • They are very hyperactive and display behavior patterns like repeating certain behaviors and actions, repeating certain words or sentences, etc.
  • They also mimic others and the words spoken by them.
  • They tend to make careless mistakes.
  • They tend to squirm and fidget.
  • They get distracted very easily.
  • They have difficulty finishing any task.
  • They also tend to lose their belongings like pencils, boxes, books, notebooks, etc.
  • They also tend to answer before the question is even asked
  • They have trouble organizing things and tasks

Now coming to its effects of the disorder in adults. Adults experience things differently than a child does, which makes the situations more drastic for them. The key difference between the way an adult experiences the symptoms of this mental health disease is that they tend to avoid and skip activities, situations, jobs, and relationships quickly.

Here’s how it affects them:

  • Skipping jobs too quickly.
  • Jumping from one relationship to another.
  • Being late for the office meetings on a regular basis.
  • Having chronic forgetfulness
  • Being short-tempered
  • Having a hard time finishing any activity/task
  • Responding immediately to something and finding it hard to control one’s behavior.
  • Having anxiety and lacking proper organizational skills
  • Having a low self-esteem

Is it Different From ADD?

Though ADD and ADHD are often used interchangeably, there’s a stark difference between the two. The person suffering from ADD has issues related to attention and concentration, but they lack the hyperactivity part. So, the people suffering from ADD have problems concentrating on a single thing and have a limited attention span. They are mostly calm and don’t show any signs of hyperactivity.

While ADHD, on the other hand, comes with attention problems along with hyperactivity. The person suffering from it displays symptoms like lack of concentration, trouble focussing on one thing for long, along with hyperactivity. So, such people have issues related to hyperactivity as well.

So, the difference between the two is due to the presence/absence of hyperactivity. In other words, ADD is ADHD minus hyperactivity.

How to Recover From Your Symptoms

Recovering from your symptoms can be quite tricky. Since there’s a, “no one size fits all” kind of treatment for it. It requires a bit of trial and error. So, finding a treatment that works for you is pivotal in treating it.

Though dealing with this disorder is a bit tricky, there’s a lot you can do on your own to manage your symptoms. Here’re a few ways that will help you cope better with it:

  • Maintaining a particular structure around things - Having a proper structure around things can help you cope with it better. So, make sure you stick to your routine by maintaining a proper schedule. This will ensure that you remain busy with activities that are healthy for you.
  • Setting clear expectations around things - If your child is suffering from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, make sure you set some ground rules to let them know what sort of behavior is expected of them. Let them know the consequence of following or breaking these rules. You can use reward and punishment techniques to train them to behave in a particular way.
  • Maintain a proper exercise and sleep routine - Following an exercise routine and maintaining a proper sleep cycle is extremely important when it comes to coping with this disease. As exercise helps improve focus and concentration, which is very important for proper brain growth.

    Having a proper sleep cycle is also important for optimum brain growth. So make sure you have at least 8 hours of sleep daily.

  • Have a healthy balanced diet - Having a balanced diet is a key factor in having a well-functioning brain. So, make sure to cut out all the junk and rely on foods that provide you with ample amounts of protein, carbs, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc.

Find Help From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You

Coping with the symptoms of ADHD can be extremely difficult for you or your child. Hence you must reach out to a trusted therapist who can help you manage it properly. Finding the right therapist is vital for the effective treatment of this disorder. The right therapist can help you cope with it better by teaching you the required skills to manage it better. They can also help you manage your behavior and change the negative thought patterns into positive ones.

The right therapist is the one with whom you can establish a connection so that it becomes easy for you to open up about your issues. But this may take some time. You need to give at least 3 to 4 sessions with a therapist to build that sort of connection and trust.

You can easily find the list of various therapists/psychiatrists on our website. You can easily choose from the various specialists with different qualities like being a good listener, empathetic, caring, and helpful. You can even pick a therapist from your own culture who easily understands you.

Schedule a Virtual Appointment with a Counsellor Today

If you or your child have been having a hard time dealing with attention deficit and hyperactivity, please don't suffer in silence. Reach out to us for help instantly. We at DocVita have various specialists from different fields that can help you manage and cope with your ADHD better. All you have to do is hop on to DocVita's book from the therapist page and book your first session.