ADHD can either go by these names Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD. ADHD affects both dopaminergic and serotonergic gene systems , including the genes DRD4, SLC6A3 and DBH.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
- Disorganization and problems prioritizing
- Poor time management skills
- Problems focusing on a task
- Trouble multitasking
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Poor planning
- Low frustration tolerance
- Frequent mood swings
- Problems following through and completing tasks
- Hot temper
- Trouble coping with stress
ADHD is diagnosed by specially trained mental health professional like psychiatrists, psychologists or neurologists in which they go through both observational and vocal testing. Though a neuropsychological test can help diagnose a patient with ADHD, an MRI or a PET still can’t be used to diagnose a patient. So in the end, a clinical test would be most effective in the diagnosis process. (a patient must show symptoms of ADHD for 6 months or longer yo go through the tests)
What treatments are there for ADHD?
So far there are two ways to treat ADHD, either medication or therapy. As far as medication goes, there are stimulant medications, like Dexmethylphenidate, and non-stimulant medication, like Atomoxetine. The main difference being that non-stimulant medication takes longer to activate when compared with stimulant medication, but can last up to 24 hours and can often act as a back up to stimulant medication in case there are unwanted side effects. But what if he/she is 6 years old or younger? Well it is recommended that medication should be avoided and rather go through behavior therapy, as it can help kids cope with the hyperactivity and eventually work just as good as medicine, without the side effects.
Life expectancy with ADHD?
Life expectancy can be affected by ADHD, not because of a health-related issue but because of the “high-risk” activities ADHD can make one do. Drug abuse, for example, can be caused by the anti-social behavior that is caused by ADHD. Partaking in criminal activity that could prove fatal can be another example since it’s proven that one with ADHD may find it harder to find employment, so in the end, one could find it easier to rob a liquor store rather than go through their thousandth job application. Furthermore, ADHD can be extremely dangerous for kids as it can exponentially increase their hyperactivity and eventually lead to serious injury.
Overall, ADHD can complicate a person’s life from childhood to adulthood. First off, there will be academic problems as confusion and consistent sidetracking in school will lead to being a slower-paced learner. also, in some cases, ADHD can affect social skills which means that one would have a harder time making friends and could potentially lead to slight depression from the thought of being alone. lastly, employment can be exceptionally hard for someone with ADHD as employers can get the idea that one won’t be “up to speed” to the other co-workers.
ADHD, overall, has an even greater impact on Quality of life when compared to other mental health conditions. Increased symptoms and impairment, like difficulty to focus or work on a task, contribute to the lower quality of life that ADHD provides. There is evidence that, with enough treatment like therapy and medicine, Quality of life may improve. Overall, ADHD can hold one back from a good quality of life, which can be noticed especially when seen from an outsiders’ perspective, like a mother or father.
Professionals on ADHD altered the name of the disorder from ‘hyperkinetic “impulse disorder” to attention “deficit disorder” (ADD). Scientists and professionals alike believed hyperactivity was not overly common in the disorder. As a result of this realization, two subtypes of ADD were created: ADD with hyperactivity and ADD without hyperactivity.
- Hulvershorn, leslie. “How Is ADHD Diagnosed?” Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, Bbrfoundation, 5 Sept. 2019, https://www.bbrfoundation.org/ask-an-expert/how-is-adhd-diagnosed.
- “Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 June 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-adhd/symptoms-causes/syc-20350878.
- Berlin, Mark. “ADHD and Its Impact on Longevity.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 26 Nov. 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/child-development-central/201811/adhd-and-its-impact-longevity.