What You Need to Know About ADHD Symptoms

Do you or someone you know have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? This disorder not only impacts your concentration and productivity, but it might even affect all aspects of your life. 

The adverse effects of ADHD change from preschool to primary school to adolescence and beyond. Various aspects of the disorder are more prominent at different stages. ADHD can also persist into adulthood, causing disruptions in your professional and personal life.

What exactly is ADHD? How do you diagnose and treat it? And in what other ways does this disorder affect your daily life?

Below, we explore the answers to these questions and the best way to navigate life with ADHD.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a chronic disorder that can be debilitating. It’s one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood and is usually first diagnosed in childhood but often lasts into adulthood. Neurodevelopmental refers to the way the brain grows and develops.

Recent studies suggest that 30% to 60% of affected individuals show ADHD symptoms into adulthood. ADHD can impact a child’s academics and social skills, and it often causes impulsive behaviors and over-activity. As such, children diagnosed with ADHD are at greater risk for long-term negative outcomes, such as lower employment attainment.

There are three different types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation — This type of ADHD makes it difficult to finish a task, remain organized, pay attention to details, or follow instructions. The individual is often distracted and forgetful.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation — Individuals with this type of ADHD fidget or squirm a lot and find it difficult to sit still. Young children may jump, climb, or run constantly. The person may also feel restless and make impulsive decisions or struggle to wait their turn. This individual is also more prone to injuries and accidents than others due to impulsivity and reckless behavior.
  • Combined Presentation — This type of ADHD combines symptoms of the above two types. 

What are some ADHD symptoms?

Many children struggle to focus or behave, especially in academic settings. Children with ADHD, however, do not grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue and even become severe, negatively impacting their education, social life, and home life.

While ADHD affects every individual differently and often changes as the person ages, the core difficulties and ADHD symptoms usually include the following:

  • Daydream a lot
  • Forget or lose things
  • Talk too much
  • Fidget or squirm
  • Have trouble taking turns
  • Have difficulty getting along with others
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Make careless mistakes
  • Have a difficult time resisting temptation

Adults with ADHD will often forget things and feel distracted. They are also likely to struggle with time management.

To learn more about ADHD symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

What causes ADHD?

While scientists are still studying the risk factors and causes of ADHD in individuals, current research shows that genetics play a significant role.

In addition to genetics, there are other possible causes that scientists are studying, including:

  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Low birth weight
  • Brain injury
  • Premature delivery
  • Exposure to lead or other environmental risks during pregnancy

How do you diagnose ADHD?

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. Many other disorders and disabilities like anxiety, depression, and sleep problems can show similar symptoms. As such, there is a process with several steps to diagnose a child with ADHD.

One step of the process involves a medical exam as well as hearing and vision tests. These tests will help the doctor rule out other disorders with symptoms that are similar to ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD usually includes reviewing the family medical history, obtaining a history of the child’s recent actions from parents, teachers, and guardians, and a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms.

If you are concerned that you or your child might have ADHD, you should first speak with your primary healthcare provider or pediatrician. 

How to treat and manage ADHD symptoms

Considering that ADHD impacts each individual differently, you should speak with your doctor for the best treatment process. In most cases, adults and older children are best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. For younger children with ADHD, behavior therapy and training for the parents is recommended before any medication are tried.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can make ADHD symptoms a lot easier for your child to manage. Here are a few healthy methods to adopt:

  • Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on the child’s age
  • Participating in age-appropriate physical activities
  • Limiting screen time
  • Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein

Interested in learning what foods can help boost your memory, productivity, and brain development? Check out our blog, 11 Foods to Help Boost Your Memory + Best Brain Games for All Ages.

Most importantly, creating an environment that is sensitive to the needs of the diagnosed individual is crucial. By maintaining a positive environment with proper behavioral management, this allows your child to achieve their full potential while minimizing the adverse effects of ADHD on themselves and their peers or family.

Learn more about ADHD symptoms by downloading our free infographic below!

ERNM December Offer ADHD By The Numbers