ADHD or ADD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder seems to be diagnosed in almost epidemic proportion today. Can this be an issue of misdiagnosing undisciplined behavior, genetics, or chemical imbalances in the brain? Studies have found a genetic link with ADHD as well as a high comorbidity rate with anxiety as well.
Typical Symptoms of ADHD
Do you find that you can concentrate on something best while doing something else? Can you pay attention to the television or your spouse better while you are working on the computer? Do you find that when you sit down to read a book or do something that requires a great deal of concentration; you find yourself getting up every five minutes for a glass of water, snacking, doing almost anything but what you set out to do? How about caffeinated beverages; do you drink more than two cup of coffee or cola a day? Do you find that you have about four to five thoughts going on the same time in your brain, such that, it is difficult to stay focused on the task at hand? Do you find that you have difficulty in conversing with others because you want to finish their sentences for them?
If you answer yes to any of these questions you “might” have ADHD . We all on occasion have “ants in our pants” so it really takes a thorough evaluation to properly diagnose this condition. ADHD is very treatable with medication. We treat ADHD with stimulants, this is why those with ADHD will often “self medicate” with coffee or other caffeinated beverages. We also use some non-stimulants with those that have heart issues or issues of addiction. Sometimes antidepressant medication are beneficial in treating ADHD as well.
I Happen to Love Treating ADHD
Often we will accompany our medication management with some life-skills, organizational skills, and goal setting. Activities such as incorporating a daily planner into your lifestyle and learning to set attainable goals can be very helpful as a adjunct therapy. Often people with ADHD tend to have several planners and organizers which only precludes the ability to organize and prioritize one’s daily tasks, thus adding to the problem.
It has been found that approximately one-third of children that have ADHD outgrow it; but two-thirds have ADHD chronically into adulthood. Many of the Baby-boomers were never diagnosed with ADHD as children and could still benefit today from the proper medications and improve their quality of life. I have seen patients as adults, who barely got through high school, and after the appropriate medication, where able to go onto college and obtain a high GPA.
A complete medical workup should always be done when checking for ADHD . Thyroid diseases and other conditions can produce the same symptoms as ADHD . Diet and exercise can play a substantial role in managing the symptoms of ADHD, and a poor diet and lack of exercise can mimic the symptoms. Once diagnosed with ADHD the individual usually responds very well to medication and behavioral modification. This is an important condition to treat because those with ADHD like to “multi-task” however, studies have shown that multi-tasking over a long period can do damage to the protective sheathing of the nerves and possibly trigger Alzheimer’s. The implications of untreated ADHD are further reaching than a disorganized life.
In my practice I have found a success rate of over 90% with my patient population suffering from ADHD . Many times with ADHD the patient will begin to notice the positive effects of the medication with the first dose. These stimulants are addictive if abused. Ethically and legally, once a patient abuses these medications, they will never be able to obtain a prescription for these drugs again. The consequences include a life of disarray and legal issues. I have not found this to be the case in my practice. Often ADHD or ADD will be accompanied with another mental illness as well and it is very important to discern which illness is the primary illness. This comorbidity is very common with mental illnesses and we often see ADHD accompanied with anxiety. There are studies being conducted in mental health today and ADHD is one of the hot topics, probably because of exponential increase of diagnoses of this disease. Read more about ADHD genetic research
Usually after people have begun their treatment for ADHD they find that they are getting along much better with their spouses and friends because they are no longer interrupting them. They are able to accomplish much more because their focus is on target and many fewer car accidents happen because their attention has improved. Are you looking for an experienced and caring Scottsdale psychiatrist? I love treating this illness. Read more about ADHD.