Condition: Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder that can disrupt an individual’s attention, concentration, memory, and behaviors. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment for ADHD.

What is ADHD?

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder that can disrupt an individual’s attention, concentration, memory, and behaviors. People may also experience hyperactivity and impulsivity. Typically diagnosed in childhood but adults may experience this disorder. Children can progress to adulthood ADHD, where inattention and related symptoms can persist.

Currently, it is estimated to affect 3 to 10% of children and 1 to 6% of adults as a majority of children continue to have symptoms of ADHD into adolescence and adulthood.

Do I have ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD can vary between individuals. It may also be accompanied by other psychiatric disorders (“comorbid conditions”) which untreated ADHD may worsen.

Many parents of children who are more active, perhaps climbing and running in an excessive manner, get complaints from teachers and peers that their child has difficulty playing or engaging in playful or leisure activities tend to seek an evaluation for the child for ADHD. These hyperactive behaviors are more common in boys with ADHD. Girls with ADHD tend to be more reserved and inattentive, easily distracted, and forgetful, which may go unnoticed. This is an explanation for why boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD versus girls.

The symptoms of ADHD can either be predominantly inattention, hyperactivity, or a mixture.

Inattention symptoms:

Hyperactivity symptoms

Symptoms of ADHD must disrupt a person’s life whether that be at school, work, social, or with family. An adult requires 5 symptoms and a child needs 6 symptoms for a period of at least 6 months. You and your psychiatrist will determine if the ADHD diagnosis is appropriate and accurate.

What causes ADHD?

There is no single risk factor that is responsible for ADHD. There are many pathways that can lead to the development of ADHD. These pathways may be a combination of inherited genes, toxic exposures, and/or early life distress. Specific risks for ADHD encompass:

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

ADHD is a clinical diagnosis. This means that the psychiatrist (or psychologist) makes this diagnosis by taking a thorough history by inquiring about past symptoms, childhood and school experiences, and possibly talking to family members and schoolteachers for additional information. You may be asked to fill out an ADHD questionnaire to better understand your ADHD symptoms.

At PsychiaTreat, we offer a FDA-cleared ADHD assessment called QbTest. This test is designed to accurately measure the core symptoms of ADHD. Please see more details about QbTest in the services tab

Do I have ADHD?

If needed, a neuropsychological test may be necessary.

This is to ensure an accurate diagnosis and eliminate the possibility of another disorder or process that is causing the above symptoms.

How is ADHD Treated?

Most people with ADHD respond very well to classes of medications that are known as stimulants. Examples of these are
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Vyvanse
  • Concerta

Other medications that may be helpful include:

  • Wellbutrin
  • Strattera
  • Guanfacine

Your psychiatrist may also go over several behavioral strategies to improve the symptoms. Examples of these include

    • Improving sleep hygiene
    • Formulating a routine
    • Setting a consistent schedule
    • Or other more individualized behavioral plans.

Some individuals may require one or several treatment avenues to fully treat the ADHD.