ADD or attention deficit disorder is a neuropsychiatric condition characterized by persistent and disruptive symptoms that interfere with daily life. These symptoms can lead to severe social and school disruptions. Typically, the symptoms begin in childhood and continue throughout adolescence. They may include a number of different behaviors, including difficulty paying attention, being easily distracted, and missing or forgetting tasks. The disorder can be treated with medication or behavioral therapy.
There are two main types of ADHD, inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive. Inattentive ADHD is characterized by persistent problems with focus, paying attention, and sustaining attention. It is usually diagnosed in children, but adults can also be affected. It is a neurological disorder that involves differences in energy and neurotransmitters. People with inattentive ADHD often have difficulty concentrating and failing to follow directions. They may also be forgetful or frequently forget to do things like turn in their homework, attend to their children, or attend to their chores.
Inattentive ADHD can be treated with medications such as methylphenidate or amphetamine. Both of these drugs stimulate areas of the brain that support concentration and attention. They are typically given in low dosages. However, some patients have trouble with these medications, so non-stimulant alternatives are available. Some people are allergic to stimulants, so they may benefit from medications such as bupropion, atomoxetine, or guanfacine. These drugs work by blocking the production of norepinephrine.
A hyperactive-impulsive diagnosis is generally more serious and is characterized by symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive behavior. It is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents, and it can be associated with trauma or stress. It is also more likely to affect males than females.
ADHD treatment can be effective, but it can be difficult to determine which medications are right for each person. If you are uncertain about what to do, you should talk with your doctor. A good GP will be able to provide you with referrals and help you find a doctor who specializes in treating this disorder. You can also try taking an online test to see if you qualify for a diagnosis. If you do, you can share the results with your GP.
You should always seek a formal diagnosis if you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD. The symptoms may be similar to other disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or dissociative disorders. If you have a parent or other family member who has had a diagnosis of ADHD, you are more likely to develop it yourself.
Many people choose to take a drug to treat their ADD or ADHD. They can choose from stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate or amphetamine, or non-stimulant alternatives, such as atomoxetine, guanfacine, and bupropion. You will need to be monitored closely, as some teens experience side effects from these medications. Depending on your needs, your doctor can provide you with a list of possible medications, and you may need to try a few before finding the one that works best for you.