We’ve all heard of ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a psychological disorder that seems to be in vogue lately: more and more children go from “being nervous” to being diagnosed with this psychopathology.

Many professionals have raised their voices and warned that perhaps we are abusing this diagnosis too much, but the aim of this article is not to question this issue, but simply to define ADHD and to detail the criteria for its detection . We will also emphasize and to explain the two types of ADHD .

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

The acronym ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder . It is characterised by severe hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention, and is a type of psychological disorder that appears during childhood.

It is usually associated with other disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder or reading difficulty, and is usually accompanied and detected by difficulties in school performance or conflicts in the family environment or with friends.

Studies of families, adoptions and twins seem to corroborate the importance of the genetic factor in this disorder.

Types of ADHD and their characteristics

There are two types of ADHD:

  • With attention deficit predominance
  • With hyperactivity/impulsivity predominance

Below are the symptoms associated with each of these subtypes, but keep in mind that to diagnose ADHD, these symptoms must persist for at least 6 months with a disadaptive intensity and inconsistent with the level of development, and that at least six of the following symptoms described in the DSM-5 diagnostic manual must be present.

1. ADHD Neglect

This type of ADHD is characterized by intense symptoms linked to problems in managing attention, which affect both academic performance and social interactions.

  1. Frequently fails to pay sufficient attention to detail or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  2. Often shows difficulty in maintaining attention in tasks or play activities
  3. Often seems not to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow instructions and does not complete schoolwork, assignments, or duties in the workplace (not due to negativistic behavior or inability to understand instructions)
  5. Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as school or household work)
  7. Often misplaces objects needed for tasks or activities, such as toys or school objects
  8. Often easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli
  9. Often neglected in daily activities

2. ADHD Hyperactivity

This type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has its focus on poorly regulated behavior, which is erratic and where breaks are rare.

  1. Often moves hands and feet excessively, or stirred in his seat, restless
  2. Often leaves his seat in the class or in other situations where he is expected to remain seated
  3. Often runs or jumps excessively in situations where it is inappropriate to do so (in adolescents or adults may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging quietly in leisure activities
  5. Often “running” or acting like it has a motor
  6. Often speaks in excess Impulsivity
  7. Often precipitates answers before questions have been completed
  8. Often has difficulty storing tumo
  9. Often interrupts or interferes with the activities of others (e.g., interferes with conversations or games).

Possible causes

Currently there is no known single cause that explains the appearance of ADHD , although it has been proven that certain events that occur throughout the development of the body lead to the emergence of this disorder, and it is also known that there are genetic predispositions. For example, tobacco use by pregnant women has an impact on the fetus, increasing the likelihood of developing one of the types of ADHD.

Therapies and treatments for children and adults with ADHD

To conclude, it should be noted that there are currently many effective treatments to minimize the impact of ADHD on the life of the child, adolescent or adult, and not all of them involve medication. For example, cognitive and behavioral therapies, training for parents and in social skills, psychoeducational re-education, are good alternatives.

One of the (few) advantages of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder being “in” is that studies are continually being carried out to improve treatments and professionals can act very efficiently, both in its detection and in its treatment.

Likewise, it would be good if we did not forget that children, as children they are, are nervous and this is a normal behavior that should not worry us . It will only be a reason for special attention if the diagnostic criteria we have mentioned are met, when it will be necessary to go to a professional for guidance.

It is also important to emphasize that treatments that do not involve medication have been shown to be equally or more effective in treating ADHD and therefore we should follow the instructions of the mental health professional. A comprehensive approach to this type of child behavior disorder can be much more useful than approaches that prioritize direct intervention and administration of psychotropic drugs.

Bibliographic references:

  • Ashton H, Gallagher P, Moore B (September 2006). The adult psychiatrist’s dilemma: psychostimulant use in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 20 (5): 602-10.
  • Brown, T.E. (2006). Attention deficit disorder. An unfocused mind in children and adults. Barcelona: Masson.
  • Franke B, Faraone SV, Asherson P, Buitelaar J, Bau CH, Ramos-Quiroga JA, Mick E, Grevet EH, Johansson S, Haavik J, Lesch KP, Cormand B, Reif A (October 2012) The genetics of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults, a review. Molecular Psychiatry. 17 (10): 960–87.
  • Geller, B.; Luby, J. (1997). “Child and adolescent bipolar disorder: a review of the past 10 years.” Child and adolescent bipolar disorder: a review of the past 10 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 36: 1168-1176.
  • Neuman R.J., Lobos E., Reich W., Henderson C.A., Sun L.W., Todd RD (15 June 2007). “Prenatal smoking exposure and dopaminergic genotypes interact to cause a severe ADHD subtype. Biol Psychiatry 61 (12): 1320-8.
  • Sroubek A, Kelly M, Li X (February 2013). Inattentiveness in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neuroscience Bulletin. 29 (1): 103–10.
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