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ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Omkar Mate 90% (62 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Psychological Medicine, Diploma In National Board In Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Navi Mumbai  •  15 years experience
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Hello everyone!

My name is Dr. Omkar Mate and I am a consultant neuropsychiatrist. Today we will be talking about ADHD that is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This is a disorder which commonly affects children and in result childhood developmental disorder. Around 11% that means 1 out of 10 children suffers from ADHD. So, what are the causes of it? It is commonly seen in boys than girls and the causes are usually genetic or hereditary that means if a relative is suffering from ADHD then the child suffering from ADHD is more likely to suffer from ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also happens because of maternal illnesses during pregnancy, the child when is born can suffer from it. The causes are different or what happens in the brain that means what happens inside the brain during ADHD. So, in those children, there is a deficiency of a horm chemical called as dopamine in the frontal circuits of the brain and there are some problems in the neural circuits of the brain because of which the child is inattentive or impulsive.

So, this is what happens inside the brain of a child which ADHD. What is it that happens outside that means what do we see in children with ADHD? Children with ADHD suffer from 3 things: 1 is inattention, second is hyperactivity, third is impulsivity. Not all three symptoms are seen in all children with ADHD. Now let us look at the part of inattention. In inattention, the child has problems in concentration, it has they have difficulty in concentrating on things or tasks so there are children who can't focus during school on the board, they are unable to write properly or fast, many times they cannot complete the work that they have started. During board games they are not able to concentrate like say they are playing ludo or chess, they are not able to concentrate for long and that creates problems in play also. So, they end up fighting with other children because they become impatient. Now what happens with because of this in school is their studies gradually are affected. Now the second kind of ADHD is impulsivity. By impulsivity, we mean that a child is not able to control the urges or impulses.

So, these are usually considered to be talkative children, they disturb others in the class, they are not able to sit in one place and they constantly fidget out. They also take part in risk-taking as they will jump from heights; they will not care about injuring themselves. So, these are children who may injure themselves multiple times and seem to be they can't avoid accidents. The third part is hyperactivity. So, a child with ADHD seems to be constantly restless, the child paces about is constantly running here and there. It looks as if the motor inside him is turned on all the time entirely. Usually, parents feel that their children do not get enough sleep at night, they are awake all the times and it is very difficult to keep control over them. They are constantly running around and pacing around. So that seems like a huge amount of energy in these children. Now, what happens if these symptoms are not treated? They lead to complications and the complications of ADHD are first and foremost scholastic problems that mean problems in studies and school. Their grades gradually keep falling, usually, they are very intelligent children but their grades start falling because of the lack of attention or the lack of concentration.

They also leave incomplete work which later leads to lying from parents or holding back report cards from parents. There are children who get punished, sometimes initially they are favorites of their teachers but later on, they are called as problem children or problem kids in school. Now if it is not treated, if ADHD is not treated it may lead to something which we call as adult ADHD that means a child grows up, his hyperactivity with may reduce with age so he doesn't keep on moving about or the motor seems to die off but his inattention or lack of concentration persists and because of this he is not able to focus on tasks and relationships, because of the impulsivity part of ADHD, these are adolescence or teenagers who take risk-taking behavior, they get into addictions, they get into promiscuous relationships and they also get into accidents and injuries multiple times. So, these are the complications of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder if it is not treated on time. So how is it to be treated? ADHD can be treated by different modalities and for that you should seek the help of a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist.

They will assess the severity of ADHD and suggest treatment. Treatment in children with ADHD includes behaviour modification or behaviour therapy which includes counselling with the child and parents, giving strategies like timeout to teachers which means that when they have many energetic and they are constantly fidgeting they can be told some other work for a minute or so, so that their attention can again be refocused on the task at hand. Along with that occupational therapy also helps but in some moderate to severe cases medication is necessary. This is not a medication which is addictive or so as it is thought. These are medicines which increase dopamine in the frontal part of the brain and help them to focus the attention and become these children become little calmer and more focused and the meditation helps in behavior therapy also. So, if you have any queries contact me on lybrate.

Thank you.

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