Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a long-term disorder that attacks millions of children. The ADHD symptoms in children can last into adulthood. Although anyone has the possibility to suffer from this condition, this disorder is generally experienced by people with learning disorders and cannot be completely cured. The symptoms can decrease with age, but there are some people who continue to experience it in adulthood.

What is ADHD Symptoms, Medication, and Causes

ADHD Causes

The ADHD causes cannot be known with certainty. However, a number of studies show that a person’s risk of suffering from this condition can be caused by a combination of several factors. The following are the risk factors of this condition.

  • Heredity. Have a mother, father, or brother with the same condition or other mental disorder
  • Premature birth which is before 37 weeks’ gestation
  • Abnormalities in the structure or function of the brain such as an imbalance in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain or impaired performance
  • Brain damage that occurs in the womb or early age
  • Mothers who use illegal drugs consume alcohol, and smoke during pregnancy
  • Poison exposure from the surrounding environment during childhood for example tin found in paint

ADHD Symptoms

The symptoms are generally seen from an early age which is before 6 years old. The symptoms tend to be clearer when there is a change in the situation around the child such as start studying at school. Most cases of ADHD have detected at 6-12 years with symptoms like:

  • Difficult to concentrate and easily distracted attention
  • Difficult to comply with instructions
  • Tend to be seen not listening
  • Careless in doing the task
  • Cannot be silent or always restless
  • Inpatient
  • Often forget and loss of goods such as stationery
  • Difficulty in arranging
  • Often does not complete the task is given and switch tasks
  • Always moving or very physically active
  • Constantly talking
  • Act without thinking
  • Poor understanding of danger or bad consequences
  • Frequently cutting other people’s conversations

In contrast to the ADHD symptoms in children that are easily recognizable, an indication of this disorder in adults is difficult to detect. The symptoms above are also sometimes experienced by adults but with different intensities. Hyperactive behavior will usually decrease, the difficult concentration tends to get worse as life pressure increases.

Adult sufferers will generally experience problems in education and work because of poor organizational abilities or cannot determine priorities. The social life and relationship can also be hampered because they tend to be irritable or easily emotional. ADHD condition will not trigger psychological or other developmental disorders.

However, this condition can usually be experienced along with several other disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. If you suspect your child has most of the ADHD symptoms, you should immediately take him to the doctor. Then, a series of physical and psychological examinations will be carried out to diagnose the type of disorder and evaluate the trigger.

What is ADHD Symptoms, Medication, and Causes

ADHD Medication

Although it cannot be cured completely, there are several types of drugs and therapies that can be chosen. These steps are taken to ease the symptoms. So, the patient can enjoy a normal and more quality of life. The drug combinations and therapies are generally the best steps for dealing with it. 

However, there is no shortcut to handling this disorder. It takes a little time, emotional and financial commitment to find a combination of ADHD handling methods that are right and suitable for you or your child. The following are the medication list of this condition.

Medication with Drugs

Although it cannot cure, medicines can reduce the symptoms. By consuming these drugs will make the patient calmer and reduce impulsivity so that the patient can focus more. There are 5 types of drugs commonly used, namely:

  • Methylphenidate
  • Dexamphetamine
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Guanfacine

Methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, and lisdexamfetamine are included in the class of stimulant drugs. These drugs will trigger an increase in brain activity, especially in the part that controls concentration and behavior. Methylphenidate is generally given to adolescents and children over 6 years. If the patient does not match this drug, the doctor will replace it with dexamphetamine which is recommended for children over 3 years.

If the stimulant drugs are not suitable for patients, for example for certain health reasons, doctors will usually give atomoxetine. This drug is a type of selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).  SNRI will increase levels of noradrenaline in the brain so that it can help power concentration and control impulses. Atomoxetine can be prescribed for teenagers and children over 6 years.

For teenagers and children who cannot use the above drugs, guanfacine will be an alternative. This drug serves to increase concentration while reducing blood pressure. All medications must have side effects such as headaches, no appetite, and digestive disorders.

For, atomoxetine users must be more vigilant because this drug is also thought to cause more serious side effects which trigger suicidal desires and liver damage. Even after the conditions improve, patients are still advised to undergo regular examinations.

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Medication with Therapy

Besides medication using drugs, the treatment can be supplemented with therapy. Therapy method is also useful for dealing with other disorders that may accompany ADHD such as depression. The types of therapy that can be an option include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy will help to change their mindset and behavior when facing certain problems or situations
  • Psychological therapy. The patient will be invited to share stories in this therapy, for example, their difficulties in dealing with the symptoms and find ways to deal with them
  • Social interaction training. This therapy can help to understand appropriate social behavior in certain situations

People who are close to the sufferers such as parents, sibling, and teachers also need knowledge and assistance in order to guide the sufferers. Here are some types of therapies and training that might be useful.

  • Behavioral therapy. In this therapy, parents and nurses will be trained to develop strategies to help the sufferer in daily behavior and overcome difficult situations. For example by applying a praise system to encourage patients
  • Training and teaching programs for parents. In addition to helping parents to better understand the behavior of the patient, this step can provide an overview of the specific guidance that patients need