Have you ever had trouble concentrating or had a hard time staying still? Do you act impulsively without thinking about the consequences? If this happens regularly, perhaps we are facing a problem of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by symptoms that include the inability to keep attention focused on a task, problems organizing tasks, and avoiding things that require effort and follow-through.
This disorder begins in childhood, although it may not be diagnosed until later in life.
Often, those with ADHD can present problems of hyperactivity (restlessness, excessive talking, restlessness) and impulsivity (difficulty waiting for their turn or with patience).
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for an individual to be diagnosed as suffering from ADHD, the following criteria must be met:
- The individual manifests ADHD behaviors or some of them disproportionately compared to other children of their age and with respect to their degree of development.
- Symptoms are present from an early age (before age 12).
- It affects the child in at least two different environments of life: school, social and / or family.
- It significantly impairs your quality of life.
- The behaviors corresponding to this disorder are not caused by a medical, toxic, or other psychiatric problem.
When these criteria are met, it can be said that the child suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Persistent pattern of inattention and / or hyperactivity-impulsivity
- Serious mistakes due to inattention to schoolwork, work or other activities
- Does not listen carefully when spoken to
- Frequently leaves incomplete tasks (school, household or other tasks)
- Presents difficulties when organizing tasks or activities
- Disperses easily to foreign stimuli
- Usually leaves the seat in the classroom or at other events where he finds himself sitting still
- Has difficulty playing or participating in activities that require silence
- Has difficulty waiting his turn
- Frequently interrupts conversations or games of others
To diagnose ADHD, doctors begin by inquiring about the patient’s health, behavior, and activity of the child.
If symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are found, the specialist doctor may begin an evaluation that is divided into different stages:
- The specialist doctor will review the patient’s medical history.
- After reviewing the patient’s medical history, a physical exam and laboratory tests will be ordered to rule out physical illnesses that may be causing the symptoms.
- If tests show that there is no physical illness causing the patient’s symptoms, the medical specialist will refer the patient to a mental health specialist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
- The psychologist or psychiatrist in charge will begin by interviewing the parents and asking them to complete a behavior checklist for their child.
- Then it will look for disorders related to the symptoms that the patient presents according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, using interview techniques, psychometric tests and evaluations specially designed to evaluate children with mental disorders.
Evaluation to diagnose ADHD
It is normal for the child and the parents to experience concerns and to be nervous when being evaluated by a specialist to diagnose an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it is necessary to emphasize that these evaluations are not dangerous.
At the evaluation, parents must submit copies of the reports of any prior psychological testing of the child. In the case of adults, job evaluations can be submitted.
The specialists in charge will ask parents about their child’s behavior and when the symptoms associated with ADHD began. They will also ask questions about your genetic predisposition to develop mental disorders (if other members of the family have mental disorders). With this information, the psychologist will evaluate the child, carrying out tests according to his age, for example: free drawing technique , world sheet , games, etc.
When the evaluation is completed, the specialist will make a report that will be sent to the child’s school institution so that their psychological disorder is taken into account and appropriate measures are taken regarding their education.
This disorder is usually treated with stimulant medications, such as Ritalin, which will be prescribed by your trusted psychiatrist. Although medication helps reduce the symptoms of this disorder , it alone does not help solve all of the patient’s attention and hyperactivity problems.
Once some of the behavior problems are under control , the child may be able to better understand the consequences of his behavior. To help you understand the behaviors and the consequences of them, we must refer the child to a psychotherapist.
Psychotherapy works as an adjunct to medication to achieve greater effectiveness in treatment. In consultation, the psychotherapist will help the child talk about disturbing thoughts and feelings and explore self-destructive patterns of behavior; in this way , the child is made aware of his behaviors and helps him to control them.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.