ADHD is the short abbreviation for "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder", which is one of the most common childhood behavior disorders. It is estimated that somewhere between 5% and 9% of all children have this neuro-biological condition. Of all children referred to mental health professionals, more are referred for ADHD than for any other condition.
But Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is also one of the most treatable of all psychiatric disorders, with several effective options ranging from medications to alternative therapies, psycho-social treatments, and educational interventions.
Those with ADHD can have problems in many of the areas of their life, including home, school, work, and in relationships. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a chronic and unrelenting problem. Though it will change in form through the years, it will persist into adulthood and impact all relationships including marriages, parenting, and work performance.
"ADD ADHD" is a neurologically based disorder.
This position has become controversial as many would like to dismiss the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder altogether saying that there is no evidence of neurological differences, or that there are no medical tests to diagnose ADD ADHD, or that the diagnostic criteria is too broad. But they would be wrong. There is an overwhelming amount of research to support the statement that, indeed, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neuro-biologically based condition. We discuss this in great detail in the neurology of the ADHD brain and offer plenty of ADHD research information.
Brain imaging studies show that the brains of those with ADHD are different from those without ADHD in terms of size, activity, and development. Certain regions of the ADHD brain can be as much as 10% smaller than those without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And areas such as the frontal lobes, cerebellum, and anterior cingulate, can be very under-active compared to normal. These areas can also be as much as two to three years behind in development compared to normal. These differences will remain through the life of a person with ADHD.
ADHD impacts various systems of the brain, particularly systems involved with "executive functions", "inhibition", and "working memory". Most of these involve the activity of the frontal lobes, and the interaction of the frontal lobes with other structures of the brain acting as a "system". But since the frontal lobes are smaller, less active, and behind in development, each of these systems is impacted to some degree. As other areas of the brain are also affected, the look or type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is different. Read more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder