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What is ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is now one of the most prevalent behavioural disorders in the developed world and is most commonly becomes apparent in childhood. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence of ADHD sufferers is increasing by approximately three percent each year.

People diagnosed with the disorder have great difficulty maintaining attention and concentration without distraction; they are highly impulsive and are often unable to control what they are saying or their behaviour. People suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have excessive amounts of physical energy and find it extremely difficult to control. Individuals have problems adjusting to different or new situations, often they will show signs of restlessness and have difficulty sitting still.

ADHD is also referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or hyperactivity. The clinical diagnosis of the disorder is a medical condition in which the symptoms are different to the normal traits of hyperactivity and restless seen in 'normal' childhood development.

There are six main functions that are affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder including:

  • Flexibility – A person suffering from ADHD will have difficulty moving from a particular topic or idea to another.
  • Organisation – The organisation of thoughts and ideas are greatly muddles in a person diagnosed with ADHD compared to the logical organisation in people without the condition.
  • Appropriate inhibition – A person without ADHD is able to appropriately inhibit speech, actions or certain behaviours if they are inappropriate for a particular situation, conversely, someone suffering from ADHD will behave without any thought or consideration of the appropriateness or consequences of their actions.
  • Planning – An ADHD sufferer will have extreme difficulties setting future goals or thinking in advance.
  • Effective Memory Processing – A person diagnosed with ADHD will show a great impairment in making new memories, as well as storing and retrieving information from both the short and long-term memory.
  • Differentiating between emotions and logic – A symptom of ADHD is that there is an extreme difficulty effectively separating emotions and logical reasoning which can have a great impact of day-to-day living and can have a particularly negative impact on meaningful relationships.