Without setting a clear definition of ADHD, the chances of misdiagnosing symptoms for the condition increase significantly. It can also create unreasonable fears in individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD regarding the state of their health. It is therefore extremely important to properly define ADHD within a medical and psychological context.
The most basic definition of ADHD is that it is a mental condition which affects the individual’s ability to concentrate, and increases the amount of impulsive behavior. It occurs most frequently in children, and has the potential to persist through adulthood. There are several symptoms associated with the condition, and they vary in prevalence and intensity across patients. If left unchecked, these symptoms can severely hinder the quality of life of the individual and lead to secondary problems like low self-esteem and depression as well.
When you define ADHD, you must also understand its subtypes. There are two subtypes which correspond to the dominating trait of the condition. Hyperactive ADHD is when a person exhibits more symptoms in the hyperactivity domain, whereas Inattentive ADHD is when a person has more trouble focusing on simple tasks than behaving appropriately in a social setting.
Because the causes and symptoms of the condition can overlap with other behavioral disorders, it can be hard to identify the presence of ADHD. However, some particular traits used to define ADHD are:
- Persistent restlessness and being fidgety
- Unable to wait their turn
- Indulging in increasingly risky behavior spontaneously
- Having trouble focusing on tasks
- Difficulty in thinking or paying attention
- Frequently indulging in violent behavior
- Appearing inattentive when being directly addressed.
Children are naturally active and impulsive, which is why ADHD is never considered to be a causative factor in their behavior. Mental health specialists and doctors work together with an individual who is suspected of having ADHD, in order to confirm or deny the diagnosis. The process involves a thorough screening of school and medical records to ensure that the child’s behavior is not in response to stressful or unstable lifestyles or because of another mental condition. Treatment proceeds once the diagnosis is confirmed.