ADHD and ADD
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. Both are essentially the same and result in attention-related problems at home, work, and school for both adults and children.
Both are defined as neurobehavioral disorders characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. A person with ADHD or ADD is oftentimes hyperactive, unable to control impulses, and has trouble paying attention. Although it can be manageable without treatment and medication, if the symptoms are severe enough, problems managing time, staying organized, setting goals, holding down a job, and much more can lead to problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addiction.
The cause of these disorders is not known, but research has shown many things can lead to ADHD or ADD, including genetics, a chemical imbalance in the brain, or problems that occurred in development such as the mother not eating well or smoking and drinking while pregnant. Another cause is a severe injury to the frontal lobe of the brain, often caused by trauma. This often results in a person having difficulty controlling their impulses and emotions.
A common misconception is that too much sugar in one’s diet in the main cause of ADHD and ADD. This is not true. Another false ideology is that the disorder can be prevented or cured. Once diagnosed, the individual is often medicated and asked to participate in therapy to address behavioral and environmental changes that will teach clients how to cope and manage their symptoms.
Symptoms an adult with ADHD may experience include:
- Trouble getting and staying organized
- Reckless driving and traffic accidents
- Marital trouble
- Easily distracted
- Poor listening skills
- Restlessness or having trouble relaxing
- Trouble starting a task
- Being late
- Angry outbursts
- Trouble prioritizing issues
Symptoms a child with ADHD may include:
- Inability to sustain attention
- Constant distraction
- Difficulty in maintaining eye contact
- Difficulty sleeping
- Ability to “hyper-focus” on things that hold interest
- Excessive hyperactivity or always moving
- Lack of interest in reading or cuddling
- Difficulty calming down
- Highly impulsive, taking risks, or acting without thinking first
- Accident prone, difficulty with impulse control