ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
I get a few clients who are diagnosed ADHD, or are undiagnosed but believe they have ADHD or someone close to them does. It not only affects the person but their family and friends. For Love Island fans, you’ll know that recently an islander had to leave the show due to symptoms of his ADHD affecting his mood. So many people get confused with this condition I thought it would be helpful to outline some symptoms and potentials for misdiagnosis etc.
Academic difficulties and developmental delays
Blurting out responses without thinking first
Depression / low mood / sleep issues
Anxiety / mood swings
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
These symptoms don’t necessarily indicate ADHD but if a person has attention issues, physical or mental hyperactivity, impulsivity, struggles with organisation inc. time management, forgetfulness and losing things etc. it is possible those symptoms are related to ADHD.
ADHD is one of the most complex neurological conditions and it is very difficult to identify and diagnose as there are so many cross-over with other conditions. However, clinicians believe it is very important to get a diagnosis if it is ADHD because without a diagnosis there can be no treatment and research shows us that untreated ADHD is detrimental to that person’s mental wellbeing. It will also affect their ability to hold down a job and form good relationships with significant others and friends, so the treatment is often paramount to good health and a fulfilling lifestyle.
Often it gets missed in childhood as parents don’t know what they are looking for, which is absolutely not their fault! For instance, some children who have the condition may have problems with inattentiveness but NOT with hyperactivity or impulsiveness. This form of ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD) but goes unnoticed because the symptoms are less obvious. It is not the case that in order to have this condition you are continually hyperactive and on the go all of the time.
How does it happen? You are born with it – it is NOT acquired after birth. ADHD is a disorder that starts during prenatal development. During this early stage of brain development in the foetus, the central nervous system and neurological pathways in the brain are formed. Issues with neurodevelopment can create a deficiency or delay in development and behvaiour. Another problem is that different parts of the brain are affected which determine which problems that child will experience.
If you think your child has this, it is important to talk to their GP. Effective treatments are available and are key to their development. Some parents fear the stigma associated with having their child evaluated, but that should not prevent you from seeking clinical advice. By getting treatment, you will help your child develop new skills and ways of coping with their symptoms. If you are an undiagnosed adult, then take it upon yourself to research and look into it further.