What is ADHD? Learn more about ADHD and check out some related resources.
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ADHD is known as a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects one’s ability to perform concentration-based tasks. ADHD also known as Attention Hyper Deficit Activity Disorder affects one's ability to regulate their attention span.
To help narrow down common ADHD characteristics, doctors differentiate ADHD between three main subtype categories.
Three main types of ADHD are known as Inattentive, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity and the combined type.
The Inattentive Type
- Often associated with having poor organization skills
- Difficulty adhering to details.
The Hyperactive Type
- Cannot sit still (Often leaves seat during designated times of sitting)
- Lacks Patience
The Combined Type
- Doctors will diagnose patients with the combined type if they exhibit 6 of the 9 total symptoms under the two main subtypes.
Neurotransmitters and ADHD
Norepinephrine is known as an organic chemical in the catecholamine family that functions in the brain and body as a hormone and neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine (NE) is a neurochemical that is related to dopamine. Lower than normal levels of norepinephrine in ADHD brains are found to create difficulty with focusing, processing, and controlling impulsive behaviours.
Dopamine (DA) is a neurochemical that directly corresponds with our perception of pleasure and reward. Dopamine helps motivate us as the brain perceives rewards linked to our success and survival. Those with ADHD appear to have low levels of dopamine which adhere to many ADHD symptoms.
MYTH: ADHD IS JUST A CHILDHOOD CONDITION.
People with ADHD may not show obvious symptoms till adulthood, where their behaviours suffer among the general public. Many think ADHD will also disappear in adulthood; the hyperactivity may disappear alongside puberty, and some patients will continue to have these symptoms in their adult years. However, in most cases, the attentional deficits remain throughout a patient’s entire lifespan.
MYTH: PEOPLE WITH ADHD CAN’T FOCUS AT ALL.
One of the greatest misconceptions of ADHD is “People with ADHD cannot focus”, this is incorrect as those with ADHD can focus to a certain extent. Those who have ADHD have issues regarding the regulation of attention, therefore often resulting in a lower attention span.
Boys are more commonly diagnosed with ADHD when in comparison to girls. This accusation is justified as girls mainly fall under the inattentive type. Girls show symptoms differently, and may not appear to stand apart from the crowd.