ADHD Medications, ADHD Diet, and Alternative Treatments
ADHD : What is "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" ?
ADHD is a neuro-biological disorder that impacts nearly10% of children and teens today. ADHD is not the result of bad parenting, or too much T.V., or a lack of either discipline or love by parents. While any or all of these may be problems, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" is a genetically based condition.. "ADHD" has neurological and biological roots. There are very strong genetic factors that influence both brain function and development. There are also other potential contributing factors that might cause one to acquire ADHD problems, such as brain injuries received either in utero, or after birth, or high fevers from infections, and so on.
ADHD impacts individuals in four main areas of their life:
Inattention - ADHD causes people to have problems paying attention to routine or boring tasks, or to stay focused on a task long enough to finish the task, especially if the task is not very interesting. The person might be able to focus on interesting projects or entertainment such as video games for long periods of time, but it is the boring tasks of life that are very difficult.
Impulsivity - Often ADHD causes a lack of self-control. Impulsive behaviors or choices can cause havoc in relationships, work, school, or life. Saying things, or doing things without thinking first is a pretty classic symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in both children and adults.
Hyperactivity - About half of those with ADHD are "bouncy" like Tigger, hyperactive, always "on the go," and restless. The standard line is that they act as if they are "driven by a motor." Another good description is "excessive, non-goal directed, motor activity."
Easily Bored - Unless the task is very stimulating, like a video game or TV program or outside playing, those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are often easily bored by a task - especially bored by homework, math tests, balancing checkbooks, or doing taxes, and many of these tasks just never get done.
Is it possible that in the near future we will throw away the way that we presently categorize ADHD, and replace it with something altogether new? Will we say "good-bye" to "inattentive type", "impulsive-hyperactive type", and "combined type" of ADHD as listed in the DSM-IV today? What will happen to Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, and Eeyore as illustrations of the different types of ADHD? After recently hearing a lecture from Russell Barkley on the latest research into ADHD, I was convinced that changes need to be made in how we conceptualize, describe, and treat ADHD. But I am just not sure what changes need to be made. Based on the newest evidence it would seem though that:
Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore suffer from one common type of ADHD disorder;
And that Tigger and Rabbit suffer from a separate and distinct and different type of ADHD disorder;
And that there is a third distinct and separate disorder reserved for those with a co-morbid and combined ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
What they have in common are:
Some degree of Inattention;
Some degree of frontal lobe involvement;
Some degree of working memory deficits and executive function impairment;
A common ADHD characteristic is the difficulty in getting back to work, returning to the task, once having been distracted by the shiny thing in the room, or outside of the room. People with ADHD don't return to the task that they just left, they just move on to the next thing. Even when having been distracted people without ADHD can keep in mind what they have been working on and why. This is referred to as "working memory" which is different from either long-term memory functions or short-term memory functions. Working memory is remembering what you need to do, and how to do it, so that you can get it done before it's too late and while it still matters.
People with ADHD have impaired working memory. They have trouble keeping the information in mind that they need for the task so that they can complete the job or reach the goal. So they just wander from thing to thing, task to task, without ever completing anything really. This is a "working memory" deficit in ADHD. This is a time problem, a focus problem, a remembering what it takes to get the job done problem. And yes, it is what you see in older people as their working memory and executive functions begin to wane. In this sense ADHD is not a problem from a lack of skills or knowledge. It is a deficit of results - and results matter. It is a problem with performance. Read more about Working Memory in ADHD
I have a new client coming in to my office tomorrow for counseling in Tehachapi. She called for an appointment because she was concerned that she “was addicted to eating,” and this concerned her. I had met her in the community before, and in that brief conversation she had mentioned that she knew I did a lot of counseling with those with ADHD, and that she had always wondered if ADHD was a part of her life. Read more about Vyvanse Approved for Binge Eating Problems : ADHD News
I just saw my 950th client over the years who has ADHD. I have been counseling people with ADHD for a long long time here in Tehachapi, and Bakersfield, and before that in Lancaster. Like so many others he is twelve years old, nice and friendly, but struggling at home and at school because paying attention and staying focused eludes him sometimes. He and his parents are looking for some way to improve his life – his grades, his impulsive behaviors, his relationships. ADHD is pretty common, and it’s likely that from 6% to 9% of people in the US live with it. Read more about ADHD How You Can Make Better Decisions for Your Child