About ADHD

There are many challenges associated with a diagnosis of ADHD. However, if the symptoms of ADHD are well managed, people can be highly successful. A diagnosis of ADHD need not mean that you’re doomed to a life of failure. The world is full of people who are achieving great results in spite ADHD, and sometimes they are successful BECAUSE of their ADHD. Below is a list of positive characteristics associated with ADHD.

  1. Creativity – which can be a by-product of the disjointed thoughts caused by distractibility.
  2. High Energy Levels – caused by hyperactivity.
  3. Lack of inhibition and spontaneity – a result of impulsivity.
  4. Hyperfocus – a tendency to focus intensively on an activity.
  5. Intuition – A quality claimed by many people with ADHD.
  6. Risk-taking – can be a positive quality in many cases.

ADHD  (ADD is another name for ADHD)

The condition currently known as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, includes three subtypes: ADHD Predominantly Inattentive (ADHD-PI), ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive (ADHD-HI), and AD/HD Combined subtype. The 2 most commonly diagnosed subtypes are ADHD Combined, and ADHD-PI. Essentially, these can be simplified as ADHD with or without hyperactivity.

Despite hundreds of years of research on ADHD some people remain sceptical about its existence. However, ADHD is a very real fact of life for between 2% and 7% of the world’s children, and between 3% and 5% of adults. A large number of behaviour genetics and molecular genetics studies have confirmed the strong heritability associated with ADHD. It is not unusual, therefore for several family members to have a diagnosis of ADHD.

History of ADHD

ADHD was mentioned as far back as 1798, when a Medical text book by Alexander Crichton included a chapter entitled On Attention and its Diseases. Since then, it has been recognized in various forms by doctors over the years. For example, in 1848, a German psychiatrist called Heinrich Hoffman wrote children’s stories about two patients called Fidgety Phil and Johnny Head In The Air. It is believed that his 2 patients had the 2 common subtypes of ADHD. In 1902 Dr George Still’s named ADHD a Lack of Moral Control. This was replaced by the term Minimal Brain Dysfunction after a 1917 pandemic of encephalitis spread across Europe and North America, leaving many children with permanent ADHD-like symptoms. It was then renamed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in the 1970s, and ADHD in 1994.

Co-existing Conditions

ADHD often occurs in conjunction with other conditions. These include Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorders, Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Co-existing conditions may interact and make each set of symptoms more severe. Clinicians treat all conditions in order to prevent this. Among other benefits, coaching helps clients to follow through on the treatment prescribed by their clinicians. If you suspect that you have ADHD and / or other conditions, you can complete a scientifically-validated screening tool Here

Treatment

The most effective treatment for ADHD is a multi-disciplinary approach, which may involve medication and/or non-medication options. These could include counselling, coaching, behaviour management, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and tutoring. Each person’s treatment should be individually tailored. It is important to see a specialist about ADHD and always check that the treatment used is supported by research. The Australian Draft Guidelines on ADHD are a good resource for checking to see if a diagnostic or treatment tool is evidence based.
ADHD Draft Guidelines NHMRC