Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Symptoms & Treatment Options
The ability to focus on a task without getting distracted is something that some people are better at than others. Everyone gets distracted from time to time, but most people are able to maintain focus when called upon to do so. Patients tend to seek help when they have concentration deficits that get in the way of everyday functioning. In such cases, it is important to identify the underlying cause. Not everyone with attentional difficulties has ADHD. After all, difficulty focusing is a common symptom of both depression and anxiety. But there are some individuals who, from a very young age, struggle with inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or a combination of these symptoms. These are individuals in whom ADHD is a likely culprit.
Types of ADHD
There are three subtypes of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, and the combined subtype. The combined subtype is the most common. ADHD can wreak havoc on a young person’s academic and social functioning. The impairment that it causes often leads to significant distress. Many children and adolescents with ADHD have emotional struggles and suffer from low self-esteem. Research shows that ADHD puts young people at risk for a number of negative outcomes, including poor academic performance, antisocial behavior, substance use, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. But when ADHD is treated effectively, the risk for associated negative outcomes can be reduced substantially.