ADHD

ADHD Awareness Month

While October is known for the welcoming of pumpkin spice lattes, sweater weather, and Halloween, what many don’t know, it is also ADHD awareness month! Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults around the world. ADHD looks different in childhood than it does in adulthood, which is important to know if you are thinking you may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD can be either predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, or combined. If you struggle with ADHD, you will experience these symptoms at work (school for children) and in other areas of your life, like at home or socially! It is important to know that ADHD is a complex diagnosis and it’s important to work with a professional familiar with ADHD when seeking diagnosis.

Approximately 10 million adults have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In early adulthood, ADHD may be associated with depression, mood or conduct disorders and substance abuse. Symptoms of ADHD in adults may include: 

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress
ADHD. Child writing Abbreviation ADHD on a blackboard. ADHD is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Early intervention is the key to positive outcomes for children with ADHD. The earlier a child’s problems are addressed, the more likely there is prevention of school and social failure, as well as associated problems such as underachievement and poor self-esteem that may lead to delinquency or drug and alcohol abuse. Symptoms of ADHD in children may include: 

  • Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted or gets bored with a task before it’s completed
  • Appears not to listen when spoken to
  • Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions; doesn’t pay attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
  • Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items
  • Constantly fidgets and squirms
  • Has difficulty sitting still, playing quietly, or relaxing
  • Moves around constantly, often runs or climbs inappropriately
  • Talks excessively
  • May have a quick temper or “short fuse”

While ADHD is a commonly discussed disorder, there are still a lot of common misconceptions about ADHD and stigma attached to this disorder. For example, “ADHD medication makes me focus, so I must have ADHD,” or “children grow out of ADHD.” These are common myths about ADHD. For more information on ADHD, Facts vs. Myths, resources, and/or a place to read the stories of others with ADHD, visit: https://adhdawarenessmonth.org OR https://add.org/adhd-facts/.

Resources:

  • CHADD. (2019). Retrieved from: https://chadd.org/awareness-month/
  • Helpguide. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-in-children.htm

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