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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is recognized as a psychiatric disorder.

The symptoms of ADHD revolve around the inability to pay attention.

It is estimated that 6.4 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. However, both adults and children can have ADHD.

ADHD can negatively impact schooling, keeping a job, and maintaining healthy relationships.

What is ADHD?

ADHD can affect personal relationships and make learning, working, or completing daily tasks difficult.

ADHD consists of a combination of problems involving:

  1. Hyperactivity
  2. Difficulty paying attention
  3. Impulsive decision making

ADHD in men, ADHD in women, ADHD in children

The visible warning signs of ADHD often cause children to be diagnosed by the age of seven. Children diagnosed with ADHD tend to have problems with authority figures.

Research shows that males are more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than females.

There is help for ADHD readily available for children and adults in the form of therapy and medication.

Common signs of ADHD

To be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be present for at least six months or longer.

Behavioral issues are more noticeable in children, while signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults are often overlooked.

Due to this, many adults to overlook the possibility of having the disorder.

You can learn if someone has ADHD by looking at the most common symptoms and signs of ADHD below:

  1. Lack of attention
  2. Restlessness
  3. Forgetfulness
  4. Easily frustrated
  5. Impulsive action
  6. Being unorganized
  7. Inability to concentrate
  8. Poor time management
  9. Becoming bored quickly
  10. Failure coping with stress
  11. Processing information slowly
  12. Difficulty navigating or completing tasks

An individual will only be diagnosed with ADHD if they display six or more of the above symptoms of ADHD.

What causes ADHD?

The causes and risk factors associated with ADHD are still being studied.

However, research suggests that genetics plays an active role in whether a person will develop attention-related disorders.

Other risk factors for ADHD include brain injuries, substance abuse during pregnancy, premature delivery, and low birth weight.

Some cite an overabundance of sugar, poverty, and watching too much television as causes of ADHD, but there is no weight behind these claims.

What are the different types of ADHD?

Living with ADHD can make everyday tasks feel daunting.

ADHD issues often affect children but can also become a chronic condition in adults. The disorder can directly impact behaviors, the ability to learn, and emotions.

The three common ADHD types are as follows:

Inattentive: easily distracted, poor concentration skills, disorganized

Hyperactive-impulsive: inability to sit still, never slowing down, difficulty finishing tasks

Combination: a mixture of both of the above

ADHD affects everyone differently, so it is not uncommon for patients to experience all of the symptoms and types listed above.

How does therapy help in the treatment of ADHD?

The main goal of receiving treatment for ADHD is to manage symptoms and learn positive new behaviors.

Doctors may prescribe medications to help curb the symptoms of ADHD. These drugs fall under the category of stimulant and non-stimulant medications.

ADHD therapy or ADHD counseling can also help children cope with the side effects of their disorder.

What type of treatment is best for ADHD?

Treatments for ADHD include:

  1. Psychotherapy
  2. Behavior therapy
  3. Parent training
  4. Training for social skills
  5. Support groups

A 2016 study found that of the children in the United States aged 2-17 being treated for ADHD, 77% were receiving treatment.

Of these:

  1. 30% chose to use medication
  2. 15% were choosing ADHD counseling techniques
  3. 32% were doing both medication and ADHD therapy

Parents should work with their doctors to determine which medication or avenue of treatment is best for their child.

Along with therapy, children should be physically active daily.

Parents may also consider limiting daily screen time from electronics and smart devices.

A proper diet and sleep routine will also help children and adults deal with their ADHD symptoms.

Medical treatments for ADHD

Central nervous system stimulants are the most common ADHD drugs.

These include such medications as:

  1. Dextromethylphenidate 
  2. Amphetamine-based stimulants, such as Adderall
  3. Dextromethamphetamine
  4. Methylphenidate, such as Ritalin

There are also non-stimulant medications like:

  1. Atomoxetine
  2. Guanfacine
  3. Clonidine
  4. Antidepressants that can help improve memory and attention span

The side effects of stimulating ADHD medications include:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Seizures
  3. Irritability
  4. Headaches
  5. Allergic reactions
  6. Difficulty sleeping
  7. Suicidal thoughts
  8. Rise in blood pressure
  9. Unintended change in weight

Non-Stimulant side effects are suicidal thoughts and seizures.

How does ADHD therapy help?

Finding a good therapist for ADHD is important. Patients must feel comfortable with their ADHD counselors to open up fully and see results.

The best therapy for ADHD will be specialized and tailored to the patient’s needs.

  1. Psychotherapy explores behavioral patterns in ADHD and helps improve relationships.
  2. Behavioral therapy is another choice for ADHD therapy as it helps children monitor and change negative behaviors into positive ones.
  3. Support groups and ADHD group therapy are helpful resources for parents with diagnosed children. Such classes can build a support network and share concerns and experiences.

A good counselor is one who teaches ADHD pros and cons and looks for ways to control symptoms positively.

How much does ADHD therapy cost?

The cost of treating ADHD depends on different factors, including country, city, and insurance plans.

Those with good health insurance may have medications or ADHD counseling fully or partially covered.

The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that as of 2012, the average cost for caring for childhood ADHD was $2,720 USD and $4,120 for adults.

The combined cost of caring for ADHD is between $143 to $266 billion annually in the United States alone.

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Top Featured ADHD Therapists in United States

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Janelle Johnson
Counselor Verified
Life Balance Counseling, LLC 2323 S. Troy Street Building 5, Suite 256,Colorado, United States
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Dr. Marion Rollings
Psychologist Verified
101 New Amwell Road,New Jersey, United States
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Jenn Lofft
Marriage & Family Therapist Verified
440 Stevens Ave Suite 200,California, United States

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