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Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Prominent Aspects, Management, and Prevention

Introduction

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a pattern of inattention or hyperactivity in a person. A patient with ADHD has a hard time keeping their attention on one subject, often suffering from hyperactive bursts of energy and struggling with impulsive decision-making (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). While any person can struggle with bad attention spans, impulsivity, or hyperactivity issues, a person with ADHD is affected by them far more often and far more severely. While these symptoms are commonly observed in children, in some cases, they persist even once a person reaches adulthood (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). If a person is undiagnosed or left without the means to deal with their condition, it can negatively affect their daily routine, as they might not realize what is happening. Although ADHD is sometimes considered light to a moderate disorder that most people outgrow as they age, it can affect people’s well-being, social and work relations, and their quality of life if it goes untreated.

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Prominent Aspects of this Disease

The primary symptoms of ADHD fall into three categories. They are attention issues, hyperactivity, and impulsivity (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Attention issues can be categorized as a shortened attention span. ADHD symptoms result in a person, especially a child, struggling to keep their mind on the task, getting distracted, and quickly forgetting important information. Hyperactivity is a common symptom, especially in children, when they fidget a lot, cannot keep still, and cannot wait for their turn in discussions and games. Finally, the impulsivity factor: a person with ADHD struggles to keep patient and carefully consider their options, often making a decision before thinking it through.

There are three forms of ADHD: a predominantly hyperactive-impulsive form, a predominantly inattentive form, and a combined form. The hyperactive-impulsive form of ADHD is more well-known than the other two. A less commonly discussed form of it is a predominantly inattentive form. This form of ADHD is characterized by a person quickly getting distracted and struggling with keeping their mind on one object or subject. A combined form has both sides of the disorder in a mixed or equal relation.

Current Data and Statistics Related to the Disease

Nowadays, doctors can identify ADHD at an early age, and its symptoms are commonly known, so people with the disorder get diagnosed more often. According to the national 2016 parent survey, an estimated number of children diagnosed with ADHD was 6.1 million (9.4%) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). People with ADHD tend to have other comorbid mental disorders. It is most commonly either anxiety or behavior or conduct issues (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Overall, 77% of kids affected with ADHD receive behavioral or medication treatment, while 23% do not (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). The majority of patients receive both forms of treatment.

Most children diagnosed with ADHD are boys, while girls are diagnosed with it far less often (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). It sometimes stems from an underdiagnosis, as girls and boys can suffer from different symptoms. While males tend to have a hyperactive-impulsive form of ADHD, symptoms that affect female patients tend to fall into an inattentive category (Walters, 2018, p. 8). Young girls can sometimes go throughout their entire lives without being diagnosed with ADHD, which results in poor work performance, strained relationships, and unhealthy habits.

Health Disparities Related to the Disease

While ADHD can coexist with other mental disorders and stress can negatively affect one’s physical state, it is not inherently paired with physical illnesses. The most common issue that people with ADHD struggle with, especially children, is a high risk of injuries, as they tend to have behavioral problems. Children with the hyperactive-impulsive form of ADHD are more likely to take risks, ignore warnings, make impulsive decisions, and forget safety precautions.

Prevention Strategies Including Complementary and Alternative Health Therapies

ADHD can be first diagnosed as early as early childhood, and it is commonly believed to be caused by genetics. Therefore, it is not a disorder that can be directly prevented in a child, but some potential risk factors have been identified (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). People who plan on having a child should avoid alcohol, tobacco, and dangerous environmental factors such as lead in the air. Premature deliveries and low birth weight are also considered some of the risk factors for the disorder. Despite popular beliefs, unhealthy diet, social factors, and exposure to media do not lead to ADHD symptoms in a person, even though they can worsen them.

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Contemporary Research and Clinical Studies Related to the Disease

ADHD can be a significant negative factor in many people’s lives, whether children or adults with ADHD or their families, and because of that, it became a common subject for studies. Modern research is focused on identifying the root of the disorder and possible treatment. National surveys and data analysis are done to determine how many people are afflicted with the condition and in what form. Due to the still-evolving understanding of ADHD, there is a certain level of disagreement within the medical and scientific community on diagnosing and treating it, prompting for more research on the matter.

An Analysis of the Pathophysiologic Effects of Stress Related to the Disease

As ADHD is often combined with anxiety disorders in children and adults alike, stress can be a significant factor in how much ADHD affects a person. High levels of stress and pressure can be detrimental to a person with ADHD, as they worsen their symptoms. On the other hand, ADHD symptoms can have a similar effect as not fitting with social norms and behaviors can stress a child, worsen their anxiety disorder symptoms, or even develop one if they did not have it before.

Evidence-Based Stress Management Interventions That Might Help with Prevention or Cure

When dealing with stress in children or adults, therapy can be an essential step towards minimizing damage. Children and adults who struggle with ADHD often require behavioral therapy to learn how to cope with their symptoms (Caye, Swanson, Coghill, & Rohde, 2019, pp. 6-7). Behavioral therapy teaches people how to recognize, understand, and thus control their emotions and behaviors. It is essential for a person to engage in favorite activities, healthy social interactions, and physical activities to keep their stress levels low and to have a full range of human interactions, especially at a young age (Edelman, Mandle, & Kudzma, 2017, pp. 308-326). It is helpful not only for ADHD treatment but also for other mental health disorders and everyday stress.

Conclusion

ADHD is a mental health disorder that affects a significant portion of the population but often goes undiagnosed and thus untreated. It starts in childhood but sometimes continues into adulthood. While children with ADHD have various treatment options, adults commonly lack them due to a common belief that it disappears with age. When left untreated, ADHD can have a severe and negative impact on one’s life, affecting their social relationships, work or school performance, and everyday life activities. Modern medicine recognizes ADHD as an essential factor in many people’s lives, and there have been developed several methods of managing ADHD, such as behavioral therapy and medication, but more research is needed to help people with ADHD to live healthy and satisfying lives.

References

Caye, A., Swanson, J. M., Coghill, D., & Rohde, L. A. (2019). Treatment strategies for ADHD: an evidence-based guide to select optimal treatment. Molecular psychiatry, 24(3), 390-408. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Web.

Edelman, C. L., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2017). Health promotion throughout the life span. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Walters, A. (2018). Girls with ADHD: Underdiagnosed and untreated. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 34(11), 8. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Prominent Aspects, Management, and Prevention." September 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-prominent-aspects-management-and-prevention/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Prominent Aspects, Management, and Prevention." September 22, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-prominent-aspects-management-and-prevention/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Prominent Aspects, Management, and Prevention'. 22 September.

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