What is ADHD? Treatment and diagnosis in children and adults with ADHD
What is ADHD? This is a disease that is quite common in preschoolers, as well as in school-age children. Its main manifestation is expressed in heightened impulsiveness, in attention deficit, and also in hyperactivity. At the same time, this pathology makes it difficult for a child to adapt to society.
Recent studies have convincingly shown that more than half of these children have ADHD syndrome for the rest of their lives. In this case, the disease has a very negative impact on the formation of personality.
What is ADHD in modern society? This is a very urgent problem due to the insufficient level of diagnosis and its timely detection in both children and adults.
In general, ADHD syndrome is not an obstacle to a full life. However, it largely complicates relationships with loved ones and communication links with people around them.
Prevalence of disease
What is ADHD? Some people believe that this is just such a character, others take it for improper upbringing. However, doctors like this phenomenon is called only attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In this regard, it is possible to explain from a scientific point of view what ADHD is. Pathology is a dysfunction of the central nervous system, which manifests itself in the form of difficulties in maintaining and concentrating attention, impaired memory and learning, as well as the emergence of difficulty in processing endogenous and exogenous information.
ADHD is considered to be one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders observed in childhood. More often it can be found in boys. The prevalence of pathology ranges from 2 to 12 percent.
When the pathology makes itself felt?
The disease may have an isolated appearance, as well as be combined with other behavioral and emotional disorders. Its first manifestations, as a rule, are noted in 3-4-year-old children. At this age, pathology is not yet a life barrier.However, a child enrolled in school immediately begins to experience additional difficulties.
After all, already higher demands are being placed on its intellectual capabilities and personality. As a rule, only during school years it becomes obvious that the child’s attention has been disturbed. This is the main cause of difficulties in mastering the school curriculum, poor academic performance, low self-esteem and self-doubt.
Danger of illness
Children who experience ADHD and hyperactivity have normal or even high intelligence, but they tend to do poorly in school. In addition to learning difficulties, such students have concentration deficiencies, are often distracted, have impulsive behavior and suffer from problems in relationships with others.
If a neurologist is diagnosed with ADHD, what can it mean? In addition to bad behavior and learning, such children, growing up, can be at risk with antisocial and deviant behaviors. That is, to become alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. In this connection, it becomes extremely important to recognize the earliest manifestations of the pathology in order to begin its treatment.
Manifestations of pathology in children
What are the symptoms of ADHD? In children, the disease can be traced as early as infancy. The kid is capricious and whimpers a lot, constantly “hanging on his hands”. However, parents who do not have information about ADHD sometimes take this behavior of their children for granted. Such a child is characterized by increased motor activity, making often chaotic movements with his hands and feet.
The baby falls asleep with difficulty and wakes up for a long time. He is worried about headaches, but his parents may simply not guess about it, since the little one cannot tell them anything. Such babies also have a speech delay.
However, all of the above symptoms may have other causes that are not at all related to ADHD. That is why the diagnosis of hyperactivity syndrome in infants can be carried out only by an experienced specialist.
When a child reaches preschool age, it is much easier to identify the disease in him. Indeed, during this period, the symptoms become more pronounced. Parents begin to note that the behavior of their offspring is very different from the behavior of their peers. So, a child with hyperactivity syndrome literally fixates on his desires, requiring their urgent fulfillment.In addition, he is often naughty, does not give in to any persuasion, becomes uncontrollable, without listening to either parents or kindergarten teachers. Sometimes such a preschooler can be very noisy, not very sociable and can chat without ceasing. He is not able to participate in quiet games, is easily distracted and quickly forgets. His attention eludes even the simplest of tasks. Sometimes adults have the feeling that the child simply ignores what he is being told.
Such kids are impatient. They can not sit in one place, being in continuous motion, spinning like spinners, jerking their feet and constantly trying to climb somewhere. Preschoolers with hyperactivity syndrome is difficult to play with their peers and communicate with them.
Especially acute with ADHD, the symptoms in children are manifested in the period when they go to study. For such a child it becomes an overwhelming task to sit at a desk during the whole lesson. Sometimes, without waiting for a change, he gets up and starts walking around the class. Sometimes these schoolchildren shout from the spot, even without waiting for the teacher's question, and often interrupt him.A similar symptom of hyperactivity lasts a child for no more than fifteen minutes. After that, he completely loses interest in the lesson and begins to go about his business, not reacting to the teacher's comments in any way. He simply does not hear him and performs actions that he later does not even remember.
For the schoolchild, such a pause is a small respite, during which his brain produces an accumulation of new energy. After that, the child becomes active again and joins the work.
It is important for such children to move their heads, spin and spin. This state of the vestibular apparatus helps them to perform conscious actions. If physical activity is reduced, it will entail a drop in brain activity.
What is characteristic of a child with ADHD? Reviews of others noted his susceptibility to depression and frequent mood changes. Often such a student loses his things. It is difficult for him to communicate with peers and learn. Moreover, problems with organization and concentration become an obstacle to achieving success in sports. This result, as a rule, leads to an underestimation of self-esteem.
Manifestation of pathology in adolescents
The most commonly diagnosed ADHD neurologist puts children. However, many teenagers suffer from this disease. Its main symptoms are impulsivity and inattention, as well as hyperactivity. And all these manifestations of ADHD in adolescents have a serious impact on their lives.
Older students are not capable of learning. They are characterized by mood swings and anxiety. In addition, adolescents with such a diagnosis are often manifested due to their problem behavior and causing oppositional disorder.
Making a correct and timely diagnosis of ADHD is very important. After all, pathology has a negative impact on many aspects of the life of a growing personality.
Symptoms of ADHD in adolescents are similar to those seen in children. In this list are:
- pathologically high level of distractibility;
- inability to concentrate.
At this age, due to puberty, the symptoms of ADHD are often exacerbated. For such adolescents, it is quite common for them to forget assignments, confuse textbooks, and get bored in class.Often, these children have inattention or, on the contrary, impatience, when they do not wait for the teacher's question to give the right answer. Such students hurriedly perform tasks and often interrupt the teacher. During the lesson, it is difficult for them to be at the desk all the time, and they constantly spin and fuss.
If a neurologist is diagnosed with ADHD, what can it mean? For teenagers, driving carries special risks. After all, they are impulsive and, as a rule, inadequately assess the situation, while chasing the thrill. The likelihood that young drivers with ADHD will get into an accident increases 2-4 times.
Another danger of adolescence for such patients is the propensity to use alcohol. Alcohol-containing drinks exacerbate the problems caused by ADHD.
Manifestations of pathology in adults
ADHD in the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) is given a whole section to describe its nomenclature (F-90.0). Each of the diagnoses has a different coding, depending on which prevailing symptoms are observed in a person.
Such symptoms are most relevant to young patients.Indeed, in older adults, some of them do not manifest their manifestation. But at the same time there are new symptoms. For example, hyperactivity is usually not observed in women and men in adulthood. This can be explained by changes in the energy resource of the body, which comes with age.
ADHD in adults is manifested mainly in the form of attention deficit, which is expressed by the instability of behavior. People with a similar symptom find it difficult to carry out everyday routine tasks. They are, for example, not easy to decompose things, get out of the house or calculate the family budget. The most negative manifestation of this disease is the destruction of the family due to constant conflicts and quarrels. And this is the very first thing that can be heard in the complaints of people with ADHD. After this, there are difficulties in the workplace when it becomes impossible to fulfill one’s immediate responsibilities.
In addition, people with such a diagnosis are often beyond the line of asociality.
Additionally, the symptoms of ADHD in adulthood are as follows:
- inability to listen to his interlocutor to the end;
- Difficulties to keep time during communication;
- forgetfulness of timely medication;
- disinterest in the events around;
- the complexity of the occupation of one kind of hobby;
- household disorganization;
- the inability to show ambition to move up the career ladder;
- in the absence of long-term plans;
- easy distraction from the case;
- the inability of accumulating money;
- difficulty holding a spontaneous utterance;
- impulsive action.
Sometimes such people who find it difficult to keep tact in a conversation shout their thoughts out loud. However, they do not even have time to think about whether this is appropriate in this case. Such an action is impulsive and uncontrollable by the person.
People diagnosed with ADHD have a hard time driving a car. They are not able to concentrate on traffic, notice traffic signs in time, draw up a picture for themselves from the rear mirrors, and also act according to the situation.
ADHD in adults does not allow them to enjoy reading. An exception may be only the most interesting topics that capture literally from the first lines.The same goes for watching movies. People with ADHD cannot watch the tape to the end and fully understand its plot. As a rule, their patience ends in the first minutes of being in front of the screen.
Causes of pathology
Because of what occurs the syndrome, it has not yet been possible to establish. But scientists believe that the cause of the disease can be a combination of several factors that disrupt the work of the nervous system. Among them are those that violate the formation of the nervous system in the nascent fetus, which leads to its oxygen starvation and even hemorrhages in the brain tissue, namely:
- pollution of the environment, which is characterized by a high concentration of harmful substances in water, food and air;
- Medication for pregnant women;
- effects on the fetus nicotine, drugs and alcohol;
- infections that the mother suffered during pregnancy;
- immunological incompatibility caused by the conflict of Rh factors;
- risk of miscarriage;
- rapid or complicated deliveries, which resulted in injury to the spine or head of the newborn;
- entanglement with umbilical cord.
The cause of ADHD can also be some factors that adversely affect the workings of the infant's brain. Among them:
- diseases during which the child’s body temperature rose above 39 or 40 degrees;
- the use of certain drugs with a neurotoxic effect;
- severe renal pathology;
- pneumonia and bronchial asthma;
- heart disease and heart failure.
In addition, there is a theory about the occurrence of ADHD due to genetic factors. According to this assumption, 80% of cases of pathology are associated with changes in the gene that regulates the production of dopamine and the activity of dopamine receptors. As a result, there is a violation in the transmission of bioelectric pulses between the cells of the brain. In this case, the disease manifests itself not only with the existing genetic abnormalities, but in their combination with adverse environmental factors. Neurologists believe that it is this negative effect that can damage limited parts of the brain. In this connection, some mental functions, including volitional control, produced over emotions and impulses, develop inconsistently and lately.This theory is confirmed by the fact that children with ADHD had impaired bioelectric activity and metabolic processes in the anterior cerebral zones of the frontal lobes, which was confirmed by the research conducted.
Diagnosis of pathology in children
To identify the disease in a child of preschool age is possible only by observing his behavior. Moreover, the data should be collected in a familiar environment for the child: when communicating with parents and caregivers, while walking, playing with friends and visiting kindergarten. The diagnosis of ADHD can be made to a baby only when assessing its activity and attentiveness, mental and other processes. For schoolchildren in this case, apply a special behavioral scale.
To deal with this problem should a child psychiatrist. At the same time, a specialist focuses on the complaints of teachers, parents, as well as on the history of the child.
Assessing the behavioral model, the doctor should listen to the school psychologist and become familiar with the intrafamily environment. For the diagnosis of the child should be observed within six months. At this time, at least six of the symptoms listed below should be present, namely, if it:
- makes mistakes due to inattention;
- does not hear or listen to the interlocutor;
- constantly losing personal items;
- avoids performing tasks;
- distracted by the slightest noise;
- interrupts the conversation;
- plays restlessly;
- swinging and fidgeting on the chair;
- rises at a time when it is not allowed to do;
- wants to be first in everything;
- never waits his turn;
- commits rash acts.
Diagnosis of pathology in adults
Doctors are of the opinion that hyperactivity cannot occur in older age. She certainly moves from the childhood form of the disease. In this regard, at the first stage of the diagnosis of ADHD, a survey is conducted, which allows you to identify the symptoms of this disease that appeared earlier. The picture of the existing disorder is formed on the basis of information about childhood, which comes from the person himself, as well as from his relatives and relatives. The doctor at the same time pays special attention to the study of human behavior during school years, his academic performance during this period and the available remarks of teachers. In addition, attention is drawn to the conditions and pace of human development in childhood.
The next stage is a general medical examination.It involves identifying the possibility of the development of any neurological or somatic disease that caused the onset of these symptoms. At the same time, electrocardiography and MRI, as well as computed tomography, are prescribed to the patient.
How to get rid of ADHD? Treatment in the presence of attention deficit disorder must be undertaken without fail. You should not wait for the moment when a person completely gets rid of absent-mindedness and impossibility of concentration of attention. It does not come by itself.
At the same time, the correction of ADHD, which is a complex of necessary measures, should also be made. If the approach to solving the problem was carried out promptly and correctly, then eliminating the symptom of hyperactivity becomes a very real task. Of course, according to experts, the chances of completely curing ADHD are low, but control of attention and correction of behavior in such a patient is quite achievable.
Positive results are much easier to achieve if you start treating ADHD in children at a very early age. Elimination of hyperactivity is possible in adolescence.
Treatment of ADHD will be as effective as possible if it combines a drug course and psychotherapy. In other words, it must be comprehensive.
As pharmacological drugs, psychostimulants are prescribed to such patients. Moreover, the treatment of ADHD in adults in this regard is no different from what is carried out in small patients. The difference can only be in dosage.
The main disadvantage of psychostimulants lies in their short-term effects on the body. In this regard, their reception will need to be carried out every four hours. The selection of drugs should be made by a doctor taking into account the individual characteristics and age of the patient.
Synthetic drugs are recommended to alternate with taking sedative herbal concoctions. This may be tea with chamomile or mint valerian root.
An important role in getting rid of the pathology is given to a balanced diet. A large number of vitamins and microelements, as well as omega-3 fatty acids should be present in the daily menu of the patient.
The complex of measures to eliminate the pathology should also include non-pharmacological methods in the form of behavioral correction and exercise.
A mandatory component of the treatment of an adult is his work with a psychologist. In addition, relaxation training and behavioral therapy are very popular among patients. In order to normalize relationships at work and in the family, it is advisable not to forget about psychotherapy, during which existing problems in communication are identified, which also contributes to the treatment of a disease such as ADHD.