Think back to your elementary school days. You were carefree and loved running around outside for recess. Your friends describe you as loud and wild as you climb the wrong way up the slide. But when it came time to go back to class, it felt like your brain could not settle down. You struggled to focus on the mutiplication tables on the chalkboard and found yourself staring out the window instead. Or you could not sit still and often got in trouble for fidgeting at your desk.
While some children outgrew these tendencies, they seemed to continue into your adult life. Focusing on work projects is difficult for you. Maybe you find yourself taking frequent breaks to stretch your legs, get another cup of coffee, or use any excuse to get up from your desk.
This is life with ADHD. There have been many studies on the risk factors for ADHD that you probably did not even know about. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio has seen an increase in ADHD cases in children between ages 2-17. In 2011, Ohio ranked higher than the national average of children with a diagnosis of ADHD from a doctor.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects the ability to focus and control behavior as well as causes overactivity. ADHD is the most common mental health condition affecting children but can carry on into adulthood. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must start before the age of 12, be noticeable for at least six months, and occur in more than one place (i.e., at school and at home). There are three main types of ADHD.
Some inattentiveness or hyperactivity is normal. For those with ADHD, these symptoms are often on a more severe scale or happen more frequently. Daily life is affected such as work or school performance and social interactions.
There is no test for ADHD. Doctors may request hearing and vision tests to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms to ADHD. The American Psychiatric Association has a list of criteria that meets the parameters to be diagnosed with ADHD. Keep track of all symptoms experienced and how often they are occurring. This will help medical professionals in diagnosing ADHD.
The causes of ADHD are still being investigated today, but certain scenarios have been linked to the increased chance of diagnosis.
While there is no connection between environmental factors causing ADHD, certain conditions can exacerbate the symptoms. Poverty, chaotic home life, and stress can cause hyperactive and inattentive symptoms to increase in frequency and severity.
Symptoms of ADHD usually begin between the ages of 3 and 6. Sometimes the condition is mislabeled as a behavioral issue or goes undiagnosed until adulthood. The condition can change over time and symptoms that were prominent in childhood can adapt into adulthood.
No two people diagnosed with ADHD will have the same factors. While science does not know everything, here are the most common risk factors associated with ADHD.
For those living in chaotic or unstable environments, mental health can deteriorate and cause certain conditions to become apparent. Poor job or school performance due to unmanaged ADHD symptoms can cause other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. There is no singular test for ADHD, and medical professionals look at all aspects of mental health to make a proper diagnosis.
There is no specific gene that causes ADHD, but several gene sequences have been found to be connected to the disorder. You are more likely to become diagnosed with ADHD if a family member also has the condition.
Studies have been done that show the brain makeup of those with ADHD is different from those who do not have the condition. White and gray matter volume is reduced in those with ADHD and showed a different pattern of brain activation during tasks.
Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is beneficial to everyone. For those with ADHD, reducing the intake of sugar has shown improvement in symptom severity and frequency. Researchers are continuing to study nutrition in correlation with ADHD diagnosis but for now, the evidence is not clear enough that poor diet causes the condition.
ADHD is complex and does not affect every person the same. At SUN Behavioral Health Columbus, we pride ourselves in treating each patient’s individual needs and using programs tailored to them. Our ADHD treatment options consist of:
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – This program consists of 5 group therapy sessions per day over the course of 5 days a week. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the main focus as well as coping skill classes. Wellness is a main component to creating healthy habits and developing stable routines.
Intensive Outpatient (IOP) – consisting of 3 group therapy sessions per day, 5 days per week. Similar to PHP, IOP focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy and building healthy coping mechanisms to help you manage your ADHD. Yoga, mindfulness, and physical wellness are all key components of this program. There is also a specific outpatient program for children and adolescents living with ADHD.
Medication Management – Certain medications can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Our staff evaluates each individual patient and recommends medication to those who may find it beneficial. Not every patient will need medication and others will need to try more than one. Our medical professionals are trained to monitor this process and provide education and continued support.
Mental health conditions are complex and require a full continuum of care. Our team at SUN Behavioral Health Columbus is here to walk you through every step of treatment, from outpatient to continued medication management. Give us a call at 614-706-2786 to hear more about our ADHD treatment program.
While there is no specific gene linked to ADHD, there is an increased likelihood of developing the condition if one or both parents are diagnosed.
Eating unhealthily can cause symptoms of ADHD to become more severe, but there is not enough evidence to say that poor eating habits cause ADHD to develop.
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