ADHD is defined as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it is characterised as a Neurological and Behavioural Disorder. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours, and often act with disregard to conscience.
Behaviours displayed by children include daydreaming and being forgetful. Children with ADHD are colloquially known as “being run by a motor”. These children may have a hard time concentrating, and as result make careless mistakes, and they may have a hard time resisting temptation. Often they have trouble taking turns and might face difficulties in getting along with others.
There are a few behavioural and neurological aspects to ADHD, for example, brain injury, exposure to environmental risks, during pregnancy, at a young age, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery or low birth weight.
Both neurologists and behavioural psychologists agree that ADHD patients primarily struggle with improper utilization of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and, to a lesser extent, norepinephrine. Dopamine significantly affects numerous behaviours, including movement modulation, cognition, mood, and attention. Many individuals with ADHD face trouble finishing tasks, due to fluctuation in dopamine levels. Many individuals diagnosed with ADHD also procrastinate to a great extent, they have trouble prioritising and seeing tasks to completion and this is known as executive dysfunction.
In ADHD cases primarily involving dopamine, clinical medication interventions can increase dopamine’s availability, significantly improve continuous task performance, decrease hyperactivity, and increase behaviour management in school. Hence ADHD medication is targeted at increasing dopamine, and serotonin levels to assist in improving reward systems and therapy outcomes.
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ADHD can also occur alongside other mental disorders such as depression an anxiety. ADHD though debilitating, can be managed well with therapy, coping strategies and medication, depending on the severity. Usually it is more commonly diagnosed amongst young boys, the symptoms can vary if manifested in adulthood and amongst girls. If you suspect you, or someone you know has ADHD, read and compare the symptoms, and seek help from a practicing counsellor