Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Causes, Symptoms, and Management.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the many mental health disorders we treat at NEW Meridian counseling and wellness. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD are common neurodevelopmental disorders that affect both children and adults. Many people who have ADD and the loved ones in their lives are surprised that they have it, but once identified it can answer a lot of questions and issues that had not been previously addressed.

ADHD is characterized by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that significantly impair an individual's ability to function in various settings, such as school, work, or social situations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.1 million children and adolescents in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, making it one of the most prevalent childhood disorders.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that affects the brain's ability to regulate attention, behavior, and emotions. Individuals with ADHD have difficulty focusing on tasks, following instructions, completing assignments, and staying organized.

They may also struggle with impulse control, interrupting others, and waiting their turn. Counseling and therapy can help you learn better coping and compensatory mechanisms that make life much better.  ADHD affects both children and adults, with symptoms often persisting into adulthood. The disorder is more common in boys than girls, with a ratio of approximately 2:1.   ADHD can occur alongside other conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and learning disabilities.

Causes:The exact causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are unknown, but research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role.  Studies have found that children with ADHD often have abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for regulating attention and behavior. Other factors that may increase the risk of ADHD include prenatal exposure to tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, low birth weight, and brain injuries.

Symptoms:The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can vary from person to person, but the three main types of symptoms are:

Inattention. Individuals with inattentive symptoms have difficulty staying focused, following through on tasks, and organizing their thoughts and materials. They may also be forgetful and easily distracted.

Hyperactivity.Individuals with hyperactive symptoms are constantly in motion, fidgeting, and moving around. They may have difficulty sitting still and waiting their turn.

Impulsivity. Individuals with impulsive symptoms act without thinking, blurting out answers, interrupting others, and engaging in risky behavior without considering the consequences.

How does ADHD relate to depression?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can increase the risk of developing depression, especially in individuals who have difficulty managing their symptoms. Research has found that individuals with ADHD are at higher risk for depression due to the challenges they face in school, work, and social situations. They may also struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Untreated ADHD can also lead to a decreased quality of life and negatively impact overall mental health.

How does ADHD Relate to Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are also common in individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder. Children with ADHD may experience separation anxiety, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety disorder. Adults with ADHD may also struggle with anxiety related to work, relationships, and other responsibilities. Individuals with ADHD may worry about their ability to complete tasks or maintain relationships due to their symptoms, leading to increased anxiety.

How does ADHD Relate to Relationship Issues?
Counselors at NEW Meridian Therapy are trained in both ADHD and relationship issues to help improve your marriage. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can also impact relationships, as individuals with the disorder may struggle with communication, organization, and impulse control.  They may be forgetful, easily distracted, and have difficulty following through on commitments. This can lead to frustration and conflict in relationships, especially with partners, family members, and coworkers. It's important for individuals with ADHD to communicate openly with their loved ones about their symptoms and how they can work together to manage them.

How to Deal with ADHD
We have a number of therapists at Meridian Idaho Counseling that are trained in helping people who struggle with Attention Deficit.  Managing ADHD requires a comprehensive approach that includes medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications such as stimulants and non-stimulants can be used to reduce symptoms of ADHD, but they must be prescribed and monitored by a qualified healthcare provider. Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help individuals with ADHD develop coping strategies for managing symptoms and improving social and emotional functioning.
Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep, can also improve symptoms of ADHD.

In addition, individuals with ADHD can benefit from developing organizational strategies, such as creating a daily routine, using a planner or calendar, and breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

Time management techniques, such as setting priorities and using timers, can also help individuals with ADHD stay focused and on track. Additionally, seeking support from family, friends, and support groups can provide individuals with ADHD with a sense of community and understanding.

In conclusion, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex disorder that can significantly impact an individual's ability to function in various settings. While the exact causes of ADHD are unknown, research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Understanding the symptoms of ADHD and its related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and relationship issues, can help individuals seek appropriate treatment and support. Managing ADHD requires a comprehensive approach that includes medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. With the right support, individuals with ADHD can achieve success in school, work, and relationships.
It's important to seek help from a qualified healthcare provider if you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD symptoms.

At Meridian Idaho Counseling, we have a number of skilled therapists who are trained ADD/ADHD, adolescent therapy, and marital counseling that are more than happy to help you.  You can call at (208) 803-5339 or email us to answer any questions you may have or set up an appointment.