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What to Know About ADHD

By October 27, 2022September 8th, 2023Health & Wellness
A kid looks off in the distance, unable to concentrate on his homework

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders in children and often persists into adulthood. Children can display hyperactive symptoms but also, in a more subtle way, lack of attention and focus. Symptoms can be similar in adults but may display more as general restlessness than hyperactivity. Diagnosis in adults is also complicated by other conditions like mood disorders.

No matter your age, ADHD can be debilitating. Symptoms of ADHD can impact every aspect of your life — from being late to school or work to losing touch with friends. If you or your child are displaying symptoms, receiving a diagnosis and treatment from your doctor can be the first step toward a better life.

ADHD in Children

ADHD is most often diagnosed in childhood. Children with ADHD who are properly treated from a young age can experience a higher quality of life than those who remain undiagnosed. Studies in relatives and twins show that ADHD may be passed from parent to child.

There are assessment tools available for caregivers and teachers to complete that can help diagnose ADHD in children. If a child displays the symptoms of ADHD in different environments across the assessment tools, the child’s doctor is likely to recommend treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), more exercise and less screen time, or more one-on-one attention from the child’s caregivers. Medication like stimulants can help regulate impulsive behavior and improve attention span.

ADHD in Adults

Adults with ADHD usually develop the disorder in childhood but remain undiagnosed until adulthood. ADHD can become more difficult to diagnose later in life. Adults can have other mood disorders like anxiety and depression that may have symptoms that overlap with ADHD. Many adults with ADHD form adaptive behaviors and use coping mechanisms that involve dependency on alcohol or drugs.

The diagnosis and treatment of ADHD are similar for children and adults. Adults with ADHD can discuss their symptoms with their doctor and decide if they want to try to treat their disorder with the same lifestyle changes as those offered to children with ADHD or similar medication.

Whether you’re a caregiver for a child displaying symptoms, or you’re an adult who notices the symptoms in yourself, talk to your doctor about proper diagnosis and treatment options.

AmeriHealth Team

The AmeriHealth Team is here to provide well-being tips and health insurance education to help you be your healthiest.