Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refers to one of the common disorders that occurs in early childhood and may continue to adolescence and then adulthood. This disorder is the same as hyperkinetic disorder according to ICD-10. It is defined as a psychiatric disorder of neurodevelopment category. In this disorder, there are serious problems of hyperactivity, acting impulsively and attention that are inappropriate for the age of a person.
For an individual to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder they must depict the symptoms at the early age of 6 to 12 and they must also depict them for over 6 months. In the school going children, attention symptoms usually result in bad performance.
Despite being one of the most studied disorders that is diagnosed among adolescents and children, the cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is unknown in most cases. It usually affects approximately 6 to 7 percent of children that are diagnosed through DSM-IV criteria and about 1 to 2 percent of the children diagnosed through ICD-10 criteria. The rates are the same between different countries and it depends mostly on the way the disorder is diagnosed. In boys, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed about three times more than in girls.
Studies indicate that about 30 to 50 percent of individuals who are diagnosed with this disorder in their childhood continue showing symptoms in their adulthood. About 2 to 5 percent of adults suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This disorder has three main sub-types. These are:
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
- Predominantly inattentive
- Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
Among the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include difficulties in paying attention and staying focused, hyperactivity and difficulty in controlling behavior. Some scientists suggest that the disorder may be caused by genes. Just like some illnesses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be caused by a combination of different factors. Apart from genetics, studies are being done to determine a possibility of environmental factors playing a role. There are studies that indicate that nutrition, social environment and brain injuries might be some of the other causes.
It is important to note that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be mistaken for other medical conditions. This is why it is important to consider the symptoms of the child carefully and seek professional medical help immediately. Treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that are currently available focus in symptoms reduction and improved functioning. Treatments include psychotherapy, medication, training or education and a combination of different treatments.
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