Does your child forget to do his/her homework? Does he/she daydream while being in the class? Does he reveal restlessness and impulsiveness while being at the dinner table? Does your child find it difficult to get along well with the others?
If the answer to most of the questions is yes, it’s worrisome as it could be ADHD-attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What is ADHD?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes an array of problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. This disorder is not just limited to children. ADHD in adults can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems. Though it's called adult ADHD yet its symptoms start in early childhood and continue up to adulthood. If you were diagnosed with ADHD in your childhood, chances are that you’ve carried at least some of the symptoms into adulthood. Every adult who has ADHD had it as a child.
What are its causes?
Although the exact cause of ADHD isn't known but researchers are working for being able to find the genes responsible for causing ADHD. Some researchers state that it may run in the families and a mother's usage of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy could be the factors in increasing the risk of ADHD.
Who is normal and who is the sufferer?
It is not necessary for a person possessing the symptoms of ADHD to be actually suffering from ADHD. The symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity might have been caused due to stressful events in life. This does not necessarily mean that a person is actually suffering from ADHD. Diagnosis of ADHD in adults is even more difficult as the symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions like anxiety, mood disorders, etc. ADHD is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your life.
Is ADHD being over diagnosed and over prescribed?
Since it’s difficult for the doctors to diagnose the symptoms, therefore, a study suggests that the doctors are prescribing the drugs of ADHD even to the children not suffering from ADHD. About 17 percent of the 1,000 mental health professionals surveyed mistakenly diagnosed kids with ADHD. This could have serious implications for children's long term mental and physical health and could prove dangerous on the still growing brains. This is because ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall have been linked to dramatic weight loss, suppressed growth and loss of appetite. And some experts have voiced concern that early usage of the behaviour-modifying drugs could adversely affect the children's social and creative development. Though over diagnosis and over prescription has not been clinically proven yet researches hint that such misdiagnosis does occur.
Is medication harmful?
Medications can speed up the cure but chemical overstimulation of the nervous system isn’t healthy. It can cause some serious potential side effects like
- sleep problems
- mood swings
- loss of appetite
- heart problems
- suicidal thoughts or actions
Can going natural help?
You must be thinking whether an alternative treatment of ADHD exists or not. Fortunately, there are many natural treatments that are effective both alone and in combination with drug therapy.
The power of exercise
You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? Exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. It can immediately boost the brain’s Dopamine and Serotonin levels which increase focus and attention.
The importance of sleep
Regular quality sleep can lead to vast improvement in the symptoms of ADHD.
Good nutrition can help in lowering the risk
Can what you eat help attention, focus, or hyperactivity? Yes it does! A nutritious diet can help in lowering the risk of ADHD. There is no easy way than eating a nutritious diet to keep ADHD at bay.
What is behavioural therapy?
Behavioural therapy, also known as behaviour modification, has been shown to be a very successful treatment for kids with ADHD. Kids with attention deficit disorder often have difficulty with simple social interactions and struggle with low self-esteem. They find it difficult to get along well with people and might suffer from anxiety and nervousness. Behaviour therapy involves reinforcing desired behaviours through rewards and praise and decreasing problem behaviours by setting limits and consequences. Praising kids who are suffering from ADHD is very important because they typically get very little of it. A smile, positive comment, or other reward from you can improve your child’s attention, concentration level, and impulse control. Reward your child for small achievements-all these will definitely lead to bigger successes down the road.
There may be times when your kid will be aggressive, stubborn, and restless and in disagreement, but as a parent you have to exercise your role by keeping patience. Your kids with ADHD need you and your support. Be sure to spend time with them, praise them and reward them for small achievements. Although it is difficult to comment whether you should speed up the diagnosis by taking medication or adopt a natural way but the good news is that now your mind is well equipped and you are one step closer to deciding what will work best for your child.