ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a chronic neuro-biological disorder characterized by inattention, restlessness, and impassivity. These signs must be manifested in childhood, but they can last for a lifetime if they are not properly recognized and treated.
The length of time an individual can concentrate on an activity. Attention span increases with age, visual and auditory acuity, language skills, intellectual level, motivation and interest. Emotional, physical, psychological difficulties and mental deficiencies all shorten attention span.A psychological, intellectual or emotional position that predisposes an individual to think or act in a predictable way.
ADHD is not a new disease. It has already been described in the mid-19th century and its frequency is the same throughout the world. According to the DSM.IV, the classification manual for mental illness, the syndrome can be classified into three types:
- ADHD with predominance of symptoms of inattention;
- ADHD with predominance of hyperactivity / impulsivity symptoms;
- ADHD combined.
In all age groups, those with the disorder are likely to develop comorbidities, ie to develop psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression . In adolescence, the greater risk is in the abusive use of alcohol and other drugs.
Although ADHD is considered a childhood disorder and always begins during childhood, it persists during adulthood in about half of the cases. Although the diagnosis can sometimes only be recognized in adolescence or adulthood, some manifestations should have occurred before 12 years of age.
In adults, symptoms include
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Humorous oscillations Impatience
Difficulty maintaining relationships
Hyperactivity in adults usually manifests as agitation and restlessness, rather than clear motor hyperactivity that occurs in young children. Adults with ADHD tend to have higher risk of unemployment, lower educational attainment and higher rates of substance abuse and crime. Accidents and traffic violations are more common.
Family problems can aggravate a picture of ADHD, but it does not cause it.
F) Other Causes
Other factors have already been suggested and later abandoned as a cause of ADHD:
1. yellow dye
3. artificial light
4. hormonal deficiency (mainly thyroid)
5. vitamin deficiencies in the diet.
All these possible causes were investigated scientifically and were discredited.
Treatment varies according to the existence or not of comorbidities or other associated diseases. It basically consists of psychotherapy and the prescription of methylphenidate (ritalin), a psychostimulant drug, and antidepressants. Children may require the care of a multidisciplinary team, due to the pedagogical and behavioral imbalances associated with ADHD.