Are you experiencing symptoms? Do you feel hyper? Or have trouble concentrating? Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of severe distraction or a short attention span. 1 If you have ADHD, you may be unorderly and tend to act without thought. 1Here,you can get practical answers on symptoms and treatments. Despite ADHD, you can live your best life.
How can you tell if it is ADHD?
It is normal to feel distracted or uninterested. If you have consequences from these symptoms, it could be a disorder. It may affect your mood, work, or relationships. Legal issues or drug abuse can happen. 1 If you are experiencing these things, get evaluated by a professional.
What can you do?
Knowledge is power. Learn and take action within your circle of influence. The following resources and frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide more information. Click here for a newsletter on latest developments and current trends in ADHD:
10 FAQs about ADHD
Feeling distracted or uninterested is normal. Inability to focus from lack of interest can cause boredom. However, you may have ADHD if the feeling has been a problem since childhood.  Seek help if inattention affects your work. Some symptoms are fidgeting and difficulty staying seated or waiting.  You might frequently lose things, like car keys.  If you feel depressed or anxious, it may be from ADHD. Mood problems can happen when ADHD is untreated.  Many people say they are a “procrastinator.” Procrastinating is different from ADHD. Click here for more information from the National Institute of Mental Health: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtm
Yes, ADHD is a brain condition.  If you have a first-degree relative with ADHD, you are at higher risk of having it.  You can become depressed or anxious if you have ADHD.  You may get another diagnosis of a learning disability or conduct disorder, such as antisocial personality.  Many adults with ADHD use nicotine, alcohol, or cocaine.  Sadly, ADHD can lead to drug abuse and jail.  Studies show that people with ADHD who receive treatment have fewer symptoms and less drug use. [3, 4]Click here to discover organizations for further support: https://add.org/
ADHD is a common, treatable condition. It begins in childhood. 1 ADHD is usually (but not always) diagnosed in childhood. You may have had report cards with low grades. Teachers likely said you had challenging behaviors. ADHD goes away in adulthood for some. Others have symptoms that continue and need treatment.
ADHD can cause many stressful problems in all ages. Over time, the problems often become worse without treatment.  Fortunately, a professional can help you at any age. If you have other mental health issues, get treated for them as well. With support, you can go on to lead a full life.
Depending on lifestyle factors and symptom severity, it may be best to try the easiest approach. If you suspect your child has ADHD and they eat a high sugar diet, try sugar proofing their diet. If the diet change does not help, then you go to the next step. This approach is called “stepwise treatment.” The first step has the least side effects. Stepwise treatment is usually for mild ADHD symptoms. Medications may help when other approaches fail. If you would like alternative therapies, speak with your provider. Herbal supplements and vitamins have interactions that can lead to severe medical conditions or death. 5 Watch this video on sugar and brain health:
Mindfulness is a growing area of research in wellness. Mindfulness can help adults and children find inner peace. The techniques differ with age, but it can be adapted to even young children. Most of the time, mindfulness refers to meditation.  Mindfulness is practiced in a variety of ways, though.
For people who find meditation difficult, they might do mindfulness while washing their hands. Rather than thinking about your day, you can focus on the water. How is the temperature? What comes to your mind? Notice any bodily sensations. You just practiced mindfulness! There are several practices you can learn. Mindfulness is not only meditation.
Mindfulness is for body, mind, and spirit. You can practice anywhere, anytime. It is a useful tool for those looking to empower themselves. The goal of mindfulness is to notice thoughts and feelings without judgment. By turning inward, you can promote more peacefulness. Watch this video by Dr. Rozina on how to start practicing mindfulness:
ADHD treatment is usually medicine, like stimulants or non-stimulants. Some antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) reduce ADHD symptoms, too. Studies show that medicine is the best treatment, and psychotherapy helps when combined with medicine. In summary, psychotherapy helps ADHD go away when paired with medication. 4 Many find their ADHD reduces with just medication.
Yes, there are options if you use drugs or did in the past. [3, 7] Evidence shows that treatment may reduce ADHD and drug use.  Many people with ADHD smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or do cocaine.  After considering your preference, a professional will make recommendations. They will weigh risks versus benefits.
It depends on the person. Stimulant medications are the gold standard for children and adults.  They have been extensively studied.  There is robust evidence to support their effectiveness and safety. [3, 4, 7] Some people benefit more from non-stimulant medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy instead.
Taking care of mind, body, and spirit improves well-being. Eat healthy foods, go to the doctor, and get physical activity. To boost your immune system, keep stress down. Make sure to get enough sleep, too. Staying connected with loved ones is beneficial for mental health. Finally, avoid alcohol and other drugs. These strategies help psychological and physical health, which are connected. Mindfulness is excellent for focus in children and adults. 6 Watch this video by Dr. Rozina on how to improve your focus:
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association, 2017.
- ADHD Numbers: Facts, Statistics, and You. ADD Resource Center. https://www.addrc.org/adhd-numbers-facts-statistics-and-you/. Published October 24, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2020.
- Levin FR, Mariani JJ, Specker S, et al. Extended-Release Mixed Amphetamine Salts vs Placebo for Comorbid Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Cocaine Use Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(6):593-602. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.41.
- Philipsen A, Jans T, Graf E, et al. Effects of Group Psychotherapy, Individual Counseling, Methylphenidate, and Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial [published correction appears in JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Jan;73(1):90]. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1199-1210. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2146
- Herbal Supplements. Nutrition.gov. https://www.nutrition.gov/topics/dietary-supplements/herbal-supplements. Accessed January 24, 2021.
- Bayes-Fleming N, PhD BGB, Boyce B, et al. Getting Started with Mindfulness. Mindful. https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/. Published September 14, 2018. Accessed January 24, 2021.
Post RE, Kurlansik SL. Diagnosis and Management of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults. American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0501/p890.html. Published May 1, 2012. Accessed November 1, 2020.