Much has been written about whether ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is truly a disorder, a phase that children go through, or — worse — a ‘level’ of bad behavior that your child ascends to if he is feeling particularly naughty.
There is a worrying pile of poor information on the subject, including radical theories that ADHD is not real.
In other parts of life, some parents are quick to assign any form of social rebellion or bad behavior to untreated ADHD.
The default response that a child “has a little bit of ADHD today” if he is difficult to control has entered the public lexicon.
This is nonsense.
Many children are poorly behaved for reasons that have nothing to do with ADHD and are entirely natural. In other words… a part of growing up.
Children who suffer from ADHD face difficulties that are the direct result of a disorder, not how they are feeling on a given day.
ADHD is a disorder of the brain.
Scientists agree that ADHD is a medical neurobiological disorder. In layman’s terms, a disorder of the brain.
It is an illness or deficit of the nervous system, that is most likely the result of genetics, but could also be caused by:
- Alcohol, drug use or smoking during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins, such as unsafe levels of lead, at an early age
- Low birth weight
- Neglect or social deprivation
- Injury to the brain
Source: Complete Guide to ADHD
A 2013 report issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that up to 11% of children aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives. Millions more don’t know they have it.
This is a staggering statistic for a disorder that is so poorly understood in the mainstream media.
It means that many children, teens and adults are suffering from a brain disorder that they know very little about, even when the resulting problems can be all too real.
ADHD Disorder: Can It Be Cured?
Another subject of contention is whether ADHD can be ‘cured’.
Most medical professionals insist the answer is: No.
ADHD can be treated and managed effectively, but it cannot be wished away.
But don’t some children grow out of ADHD as they get older?
Yes, they do.
Many children suffering from the disorder will see their symptoms change and evolve over time, some lessening considerably and others intensifying with the increased demands of living in an adult’s world.
Until recently, it was thought that children outgrew ADHD in adolescence. However, it is now thought that in approximately 30%-50% of children with ADHD, the symptoms will continue into adulthood.
Adults are generally better at masking the symptoms, which can give the perception of a disorder that mostly affects children.
ADHD is the type of disorder that can feel like pinning jelly to a wall. The effects are rarely directly observed, but often sensed on a general scale.
Adults with ADHD face subtle problems:
- Inability to focus clearly on tasks that require mental energy
- Forgetfulness and trouble organizing tasks and activities
- Inability to avoid distractions
…Subtle problems with major implications for everyday life.
If you are suffering from this disorder, it is important that you seek out a professional diagnosis from a doctor.
The good news?
There are many effective treatments available that have been shown to produce lifechanging results for ADHD sufferers.
Accepting the disorder for what it is, and then seeking out treatment, is the best possible step forward.