Causes & Risk Factors
While there is no consensus about precisely what causes ADHD, it is believed that the most likely cause is genetics. Children born into families where there is a history of ADHD are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children where there is no family history of ADHD. While there have been attempts to link parenting style, exposure to television at a young age and exposure to environmental hazards as a cause of ADHD, there has yet to be any conclusive evidence that they cause the disorder.
Adult Women With Adhd: You Dont Have To Struggle Alone
If you think you may be showing signs of ADHD, its best to reach out to a trusted healthcare professional to examine and diagnose your condition.
Check out ADDAs online resources, where you can connect with people who have ADHD, find support groups and coaches, and learn more about ADHD.
ADDAs Adult ADHD test is also a good starting point to screen yourself and detect if you may have ADHD.
Recognizing that you may have ADHD is an important step to getting a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Its never too late to take that first step!
Common Behavior Rating Scales Used In Adults To Assess Adhd And Monitor Adhd Symptoms2
ADULT ADHD SELF-REPORT SCALE SYMPTOM CHECKLIST
An 18-item scale that can be used as an initial symptom assessment to identify adults who may have ADHD2-3
- The scale has a question for each of the 18 symptom domains identified by the DSM-IV® criteria, with modifications to account for the adult presentation of ADHD symptoms
- Measures the frequency of how often symptoms occur based on a 0 to 4 rating scale
ADULT ASRS-v1.1 SCREENER
A 6-question subset of the full 18-item ASRS-v1.1 Symptom Checklist that can be used to screen for adults who may have ADHD2-4,6
- Can be used as an initial self-assessment tool to identify adults who may have ADHD but it is not diagnostic in and of itself
- The 6-question subset of the ASRS Symptom Checklists comprised of questions that were found to be most predictive of ADHD symptoms
- Scoring is based on how often a symptom occurs
ADULT ADHD CLINICAL DIAGNOSTIC SCALE v1.2
A diagnostic measure developed to establish the presence of current adult symptoms of ADHD5-6
- The 18-item, clinician-based, semistructured interview employs adult-specific language to ensure adequate probing of adult manifestations of ADHD symptoms
- The 18 items in the scale correspond to the 18 symptoms in the DSM-IV® criteria
BROWN ATTENTION-DEFICIT DISORDER RATING SCALE FOR ADULTS
A broad-based, 40-item rating scale providing a rating of the frequency of symptoms in many domains3
ADHD RATING SCALE IV WITH ADULT PROMPTS
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What Strategies Can Help An Adult With Adhd Succeed In The Workplace
If you struggle at your job, it may be because your job requires strong organization, focus and decision-making skillsthe very skills that people with ADHD struggle with. Your healthcare provider can help. Ask your provider for referral to other professionals, such as a professional ADHD Coach, who can offer the following tactics that can help you thrive at your job:
- Time-management training to help get to work on time, handle tasks and attend meetings at designated times and meet deadlines.
- Relaxation and stress management training to help cope with new and difficult situations and people.
- Occupational therapy to teach strategies for organizing home and work activities.
- Job coaching or mentoring to support better working relationships and improve on-the-job performance.
What questions should I ask my childs healthcare provider about ADHD?
- Does my child have a learning disability in addition to ADHD?
- What type of ADHD does my child have?
- Does my child have a psychiatric illness in addition to ADHD?
- How do I explain to my child what ADHD is?
- Whats the best medicine for my child?
- How do I improve my childs self-esteem and self-efficacy?
- How do I talk to my childs teachers about his/her ADHD?
- How do I judge if a medication is worth the side effects that come with it?
- What are the side effects of the prescribed medications?
- What are my childs strengths? What are my childs weaknesses?
What questions should I ask my healthcare provider about ADHD?
Symptoms Of Adhd In Teenagers
As children with ADHD get older, the symptoms they experience may change. In some cases, certain symptoms seen in childhood may become less problematic in adolescence, while new symptoms can arise amidst the changing responsibilities that accompany growing older.
- difficulty focusing on schoolwork or other work
- frequently making mistakes while doing work
- trouble finishing tasks, especially schoolwork or chores
- trouble with task organization and time management
- frequently forgetting things or losing personal items
- frequently avoiding mentally taxing tasks
- experiencing increased frustration and emotional sensitivity
- trouble navigating social and familial relationships
- increased conflict with parents due to ADHD symptoms affecting the home life
Its important to understand that while these symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can sometimes cause adolescents and teenagers with this condition to appear immature, they are simply a part of ADHD and have nothing to do with a childs maturity level.
Although most people with ADHD receive a diagnosis during childhood, sometimes the signs and symptoms of this condition are overlooked or misinterpreted.
But as long as the symptoms of ADHD have been present for that individual before , they can still receive a diagnosis in adulthood.
research suggests that ADHD is roughly four times as prevalent in males as it is in females.
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Other Descriptors For Types Of Attention
- : Mindfulness has been conceptualized as a clinical model of attention. practices are clinical interventions that emphasize training attention functions.
- Vigilant attention: Remaining focused on a non-arousing stimulus or uninteresting task for a sustained period is far more difficult than attending to arousing stimuli and interesting tasks, and requires a specific type of attention called ‘vigilant attention’. Thereby, vigilant attention is the ability to give sustained attention to a stimulus or task that might ordinarily be insufficiently engaging to prevent our attention being distracted by other stimuli or tasks.
How Is Pharmacotherapy Used To Treat Adhd
A group of drugs called psychostimulants are an effective treatment for ADHD. The two most commonly used medicines in this class are methylphenidates and dextroamphetamines . These medicines help people with ADHD focus their thoughts and ignore distractions. Stimulant medicines are effective in 70% to 90% of patients with ADHD. New medicines are also being developed.
Examples of short-acting , intermediate-acting and long-acting forms of these medications include:
- Short-acting: Ritalin®, Focalin®, Methylin Chewable®, Methylin Solution®.
- Long-acting intermediate release: Ritalin SR®, Methylin®, Metadate ER®.
- Long-acting extended-release: Concerta®, Aptensio® XR, Metadate CD®, Metadate ER®, Ritalin LA®, Focalin XR®, Daytrana®, Quillivant XR® Jornay.
- Short-acting: Dextrostat®, Dexedrine Tabs®, Evekeo®, Zenzedi®, Adderall®, ProCentra®.
- Long-acting intermediate release: Adderall®, Dexedrine Spansule®.
- Long-acting extended-release: Vyvanse®, Adderall XR®, Dyanavel® XR, Adzenys® XR-ODT.
Non-stimulant medicines include atomoxetine guanfacine , and clonidine . They are often used as additional treatment, or can be used on their own if the healthcare provider approves. New nonstimulant formulations are in the pipeline of several pharmaceutical companies.
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Inattentive Type Adhd In Girls
While ADHD occurs in boys and girls at similar rates, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition. Boys may be more likely to exhibit externalizing symptoms of the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD, increasing the diagnosis rate since such symptoms tend to be more disruptive. Girls tend to exhibit more internalizing symptoms of ADHD, which may make it more difficult to spot, contributing to underdiagnosis.
Q What Is The Difference Between Add And Adhd
ADD, or attention-deficit disorder, is an old term, now out of date, for the disorder we call ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It was called ADD up until 1987, when the word hyperactivity was added to the name.
Before that, say in 1980, a child would be diagnosed with ADD, either with or without hyperactivity. But starting in the early 1990s, that child would be diagnosed with ADHD.
From the early 90s until recently diagnosis included one of three types. Children who only had the inattentive symptoms were called inattentive type. Kids who were only hyperactive and impulsive were hyperactive/impulsive type. Kids who had all three symptoms were called combined type.
A lot of people still use the old term ADD, either out of habit or because its a more familiar term than ADHD. Some people use it to refer to inattentive type ADHD without the hyperactivity. But it was never meant to be used that way, and continuing to use an almost 30-year-old term is getting more confusing.
The newest way of thinking about ADHD is actually to get rid of types altogether and just think about which symptoms present prominently. We still use the same clusters of symptoms , we just dont consider them separate types. There are also adjustments to reflect new research on how ADHD symptoms present in adolescence or adulthood.
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Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Adhd
If you are concerned about whether a child might have ADHD, the first step is to talk with a healthcare provider to find out if the symptoms fit the diagnosis. The diagnosis can be made by a mental health professional, like a psychologist or psychiatrist, or by a primary care provider, like a pediatrician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthcare providers ask parents, teachers, and other adults who care for the child about the childs behavior in different settings, like at home, school, or with peers. Read more about the recommendations.
The healthcare provider should also determine whether the child has another condition that can either explain the symptoms better, or that occurs at the same time as ADHD. Read more about other concerns and conditions.
Why Family Health History is Important if Your Child has Attention and Learning Problems
Other Factors Affecting Adhd
When we look at the presentation of ADHD symptoms, age seems to be the biggest factor for differences in symptoms between individuals. However, ethnic and cultural differences can also play a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
According to research, differences in beliefs, values, and even medical approaches can impact the way that certain behaviors many of which are the direct result of ADHD are viewed.
In fact, various studies have shown that children who belong to marginalized ethnic groups are less likely to receive the correct diagnosis and treatment they need for their ADHD.
Other cultural factors that can influence the perception, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD include:
- lack of knowledge about the condition
- fear of the stigma surrounding the condition
- lack of trust in the medical system
- reduced ability to recognize when symptoms are problematic
- differences in the way certain behaviors are viewed between genders
- language barriers for non-native English speakers
- no access or limited access to insurance or healthcare services
- lack of healthcare professionals who are culturally competent
All of these factors can play a role in the way that ADHD symptoms are viewed and can lead to barriers in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in historically marginalized communities.
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Coaching For Inattentive Adhd
Coaching that targets better organization and memory is particularly helpful for adults with inattentive ADHD. Depending on her expertise, an ADHD coach can help with everything from financial planning to social skills two common problem areas. Coaches can be expensive, and theyre not for everyone. In the long run, however, its important to consider how much a coach can save you in late fees, spoiled food, and other hidden costs of living with inattentive ADHD.
Derailed Goals And Daily Challenges
With ADHD, each day feels like a race to avoid disasters and minimize mistakes. This keeps you from making progress in achieving your goals.
Heres how ADHD may get in the way of your daily activities:
- Financial issues
|Anxiety, low-self esteem, depression, and loneliness are more common||More disruptive, hyperactive, and aggressive behaviors|
ADHD symptoms in women often go undiagnosed for various reasons.
- Parents, teachers, and doctors can miss thembecause young girls with ADHD dont usually have loud, disruptive behaviors.
- Many women with ADHD are labeled chatterboxes,clutter-headed, or just hormonal.
- Symptoms are viewed as character traits or emotional issues rather than signs of ADHD.
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Adhd Symptoms In Girls And Women
Symptoms of ADHD in women and girls can look quite unique and different. As such, psychologist Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. has devised an ADHD symptoms checklist specifically for girls. It should be filled out by girls themselves, not parents and teachers, because girls experience ADHD more internally than do boys, who get attention with unruly behavior.
Many of Nadeaus questions apply to boys, since they pertain to problems with productivity, general distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and sleep problems. The following statements, however, are particularly oriented toward girls, and each one should be answered with Strongly Agree, Agree, Uncertain, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree:
Anxiety and Mood Disorders
- I feel sad, and sometimes and I dont even know why.
- I dread being called on by the teacher because, often, I havent been listening carefully.
- I feel embarrassed in class when I dont know what the teacher told us to do.
- Even when I have something to say, I dont raise my hand and volunteer in class.
- Sometimes, other girls dont like me, and I dont know why.
- I have arguments with my friends.
- When I want to join a group of girls, I dont know how to approach them, or what to say.
- I often feel left out.
- I get my feelings hurt more than most girls do.
- My feelings change a lot.
- I get upset and angry more than other girls do.
Attention In Social Contexts
Social attention is one special form of attention that involves the allocation of limited processing resources in a social context. Previous studies on social attention often regard how attention is directed toward socially relevant stimuli such as faces and gaze directions of other individuals. In contrast to attending-to-others, a different line of researches has shown that self-related information such as own face and name automatically captures attention and is preferentially processed comparing to other-related information. These contrasting effects between attending-to-others and attending-to-self prompt a synthetic view in a recent Opinion article proposing that social attention operates at two polarizing states: In one extreme, individual tends to attend to the self and prioritize self-related information over others’, and, in the other extreme, attention is allocated to other individuals to infer their intentions and desires. Attending-to-self and attending-to-others mark the two ends of an otherwise continuum spectrum of social attention. For a given behavioral context, the mechanisms underlying these two polarities might interact and compete with each other in order to determine a saliency map of social attention that guides our behaviors. An imbalanced competition between these two behavioral and cognitive processes will cause cognitive disorders and neurological symptoms such as disorders and .
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Seminar Upcoming Webinar: Preparing Children To Return To School
Join psychiatrist and former public school teacher Hal Kronsberg, M.D., August 10, 2021 at 7 p.m. EDT, as he discusses the signs of anxiety that children may be feeling about returning to school after a tumultuous year of virtual learning. The webinar is presented as part of A Woman’s Journey Conversations That Matter webinar series.
Symptoms Of Adhd Primarily Inattentive Type
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities .
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities .
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly .
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace .
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities .
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort .
- Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities .
- Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli .
- Is often forgetful in daily activities .
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Research And Statistics: Who Has Adhd
ADHD affects nearly 9 percent of school-age children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 11.7 percent of American boys and 5.7 percent of girls have been diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD is more frequently diagnosed in boys, but research suggests that it may be underidentified and underdiagnosed in girls.
A study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry noted that girls more commonly present with the inattentive subtype of ADHD and that their behavior may sometimes be characterized as less outwardly disruptive. Many women dont receive a proper diagnosis until theyre adults.
ADHD affects more than 4 percent of adults in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But that statistic includes only adults who have been formally diagnosed, so the actual number is likely to be much higher.
More than three-quarters of children with ADHD continue to experience significant symptoms in adulthood, according to the organization Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder .
Why Choose Amen Clinics For Add/adhd Treatment
Through our brain imaging work, we have identified 7 types of ADD/ADHD. Each type has its own set of symptoms, and when it comes to treatment, one size does not fit all. What works well for one person with ADD/ADHD may not work at all for anotheror could even make the symptoms worse. This is why we create a personalized treatment plan for each of our patients. Read below to learn more about how we use brain SPECT imaging to determine which of the 7 types of ADD/ADHD a patient has so our doctors can target treatment specific to their needs.
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