What is ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, impacts attention, impulses, and energy levels. Individuals with ADHD may struggle to concentrate on tasks, leading to frequent distractions and forgetfulness. This difficulty in sustained attention can impact academic performance and work productivity. Additionally, impulsivity may manifest as hasty decision-making or acting without considering consequences. Hyperactivity, characterized by excessive movement or restlessness, further complicates daily activities. Despite these challenges, individuals with ADHD often possess unique strengths, such as creativity, innovation, and high energy levels. If you're seeking support, consider consulting with a Therapy Center of New York psychiatrist and/or therapist for personalized care and guidance.

ADHD is diagnosed through a comprehensive assessment, including behavioral observations, medical history, and psychological evaluations. Treatment involves a mix of behavioral therapy, counseling, and, at times, medication. Seeking support from a psychiatrist and/or therapist can enhance the management of symptoms. It's crucial to recognize ADHD as a neurobiological condition, where family, friends, and educators play a vital role. Embracing neurodiversity fosters an inclusive environment, helping individuals thrive.

Types of ADHD

  • Combination ADHD
  • Primarily Inattentive and Distractable ADHD
  • Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD

1. Primarily Inattentive and Distractable ADHD:

Formerly known as ADD, the condition is now referred to as Primarily Inattentive and Distractable ADHD. This type exhibits symptoms of inattention, including difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, and disorganization. Individuals with this type of ADHD may encounter challenges in completing tasks, following instructions, and sustaining focus. The distinguishing characteristic is inattentiveness and distraction, without the presence of hyperactivity.

2. Combination ADHD:

This type combines features of both the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types. It represents the most prevalent form of ADHD, displaying symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Individuals manifesting symptoms from both categories now receive a Combination ADHD diagnosis.

3. Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD:

This paragraph describes a type characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, including fidgeting, talking excessively, interrupting others, and engaging in risky behavior. Individuals with this form of ADHD might encounter challenges in remaining seated, practicing patience, and managing their impulses. Those who received an ADHD diagnosis in earlier assessments are presently identified with Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD due to their inclination towards hyperactivity and impulsivity, without displaying symptoms of inattention or distraction.

What are the signs of ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, manifests through a variety of symptoms that can impact daily functioning. One key category of symptoms involves inattention, where individuals may struggle to sustain focus on tasks, make careless mistakes, or frequently lose items. These challenges can affect work, school, or personal responsibilities. Another set of symptoms revolves around hyperactivity and impulsivity, where individuals may appear restless, have difficulty sitting still, interrupt others, or act without considering consequences. These behaviors often lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships, both in academic and social settings.

People with ADHD may also encounter executive function challenges, affecting their ability to plan, organize, and manage time effectively. Forgetfulness, procrastination, and difficulty following through on tasks are common symptoms. Additionally, emotional regulation can be impacted, resulting in mood swings, frustration, or impatience. While the specific symptoms vary from person to person, the overall impact of ADHD is pervasive, affecting cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of life. Early recognition and appropriate support are crucial in helping individuals with ADHD navigate these challenges and lead fulfilling lives.

What causes ADHD?

Researchers have not yet isolated the specific causes of ADHD, but they believe that both genetics and environmental factors contribute to the condition. Although they haven't identified a specific gene as the cause, research suggests that people with relatives having ADHD are more likely to experience it. Some environmental factors associated with ADHD include:

  • Premature delivery
  • Exposure to toxins before birth (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, or lead)
  • Brain injuries

Typically, males tend to receive ADHD diagnoses more frequently than females, while females are more commonly diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD.

How Are People Diagnosed and Tested for ADHD?

Testing for ADHD doesn't involve simply taking a quiz, as some websites might lead you to believe. Only a trained mental health professional can deliver an ADHD diagnosis.

Diagnosing an adult involves interviewing the individual and discussing patterns of behavior and thinking. The adult may also complete surveys during the assessment period.

Diagnosing a child involves conducting interviews with both the child and parent(s). A mental health professional may also engage the child in play and tasks. Additionally, the mental health professional will use surveys that parents and teachers must respond to as a reference.

Do I Have ADHD?

If you are experiencing symptoms that lead you to suspect you may have ADHD, it is advisable to consult with a qualified behavioral health professional for an authentic ADHD testing and evaluation assessment. You cannot self-diagnose or obtain the answer you need by taking an online quiz; only a professional can provide an appropriate evaluation.