What is ADHD?
ADHD is short for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way the brain grows and develops, although we aren’t entirely sure what causes it.
ADHD is a lifelong disorder. It doesn’t go away, but it often requires treatment.
WHO GETS ADHD?
ADHD usually appears in early childhood, although it is not always diagnosed at this time. It is difficult to predict who will have ADHD, but it does seem to have a strong genetic component. This means that it commonly appears in other family members and can be passed down from one generation to another, much like eye colour or height.
ADHD in Adolescents
Adolescence, the “in-between period” for childhood and adulthood, is a challenging time. Adolescents with ADHD can face even greater challenges as life’s demands increase – along with their independence. Issues with attention and self-control can present new challenges inside and outside of school, such as:
- Experimenting with drugs and alcohol
- Sexual activity
- Driving accidents
- Low self-esteem and negative beliefs about their abilities
- Trouble taking credit for their own success
Relationships with family and friends
- Family conflict
- Arguments with adults
- Difficulty making/keeping friends
- Lack of focus during class
- Difficulties organizing themselves
- Higher risk of expulsion and low grades
Consistent ADHD symptom control can help adolescents stay on track during this important period of their lives. If you have a teen with ADHD, book a check-in with their doctor to evaluate their symptoms and treatment plan.
If you’re an adolescent living with ADHD,
check out these tips to help you manage your ADHD symptoms.
MYTHS VS FACTS
There are many myths associated with ADHD. It is important to separate fact from fiction so that we can better understand what people with ADHD are truly experiencing. The more we understand, the better we can help them.
MYTH 1: ADHD is just an excuse to be lazy
ADHD isn’t an excuse, it isn’t made up, and people with ADHD don’t behave the way they do on purpose. ADHD is a real disorder that is thought to affect the brain and certain chemicals within it.
MYTH 2: ADHD is just a fad
ADHD is not a trend or fad. ADHD is an established medical disorder. Symptoms of ADHD have been documented for over 200 years!
MYTH 3:Food allergies, sugar, food additives, poor diet, etc. cause ADHD
It has not been proven that anything in the diet causes ADHD. However, good nutrition is important to everyone. An unhealthy lifestyle, including poor diet, can influence attention and functioning.
MYTH 4:Medication will fix ADHD
There is no cure for ADHD – not even medication. However, medication can have positive effects on symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Medication works best when it’s combined with a comprehensive approach to ADHD that includes appropriate diagnosis, improving individual and family understanding of ADHD, behavioural interventions, and educational support.
MYTH 5:ADHD is the result of bad parenting
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. ADHD can happen regardless of parenting style; however, environmental factors, such as teaching and parenting quality, can minimize or intensify the difficulties experienced by someone with ADHD.