Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a mental health condition that is usually identified in kids and can last the rest of their lives or it can get better as they grow up. ADHD used to also be called just ADD (attention deficit disorder). Researchers and doctors have now decided that it should always be called ADHD. Kids with ADHD may be extremely energetic, have trouble focusing, get in trouble in class or at home, and be antsy when they have to sit down. Some people with ADHD are not energetic, but just have trouble focusing and find themselves day dreaming instead of paying attention at school or when someone is talking. It is believed that between 3-7% of all kids have ADHD. It is unknown how many adults continue to have ADHD as they get older, although it seems like it is less common than in kids.
Treatment for ADHD
ADHD is usually treated through a combination of medicine and therapy. Therapists usually teach people with ADHD to use coping skills like playing with a stress ball or fidget toy to improve their focus and keep their hands busy. They may also teach them to avoid certain environments with a lot of distractions. They may even be told to take breaks from homework to do exercise or physical activity. Other disorders, such as anxiety, can sometimes look like ADHD because both lead to trouble focusing. It is important to see a doctor or therapist to know if someone really has ADHD.
Stigma and ADHD
Some people may not realize that ADHD is a real mental health condition. This is because people often joke about having ADHD when they have too much energy or get distracted. These jokes are a form of stigma. When people make these jokes about ADHD, it can make those with this disorder feel embarrassed or ashamed. People with ADHD often have a hard time in school and other places where they need to focus. When people make fun of these difficulties, it can hurt.
ADDitudemag is an online resource for those with ADHD and their family members. They offer additional information about what treatments are best, what it's like to have ADHD, and how to help others with the disorder. If you want to learn more, check them out!
To learn more check out our friends at ADDitude, an online magazine all about ADHD!