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What is ADHD and ADD?

ADHD and ADD are inter-related, neurobehavioral developmental disorders which manifest themselves in patients in a persistent pattern of impulsiveness and inattention, with or without a component of hyperactivity. It affects about 3 to 5% of children, with symptoms generally starting before seven years of age. ADHD is twice as common in boys as it is in girls. Global prevalence for children is around 5%, with wide variability dependent on research methodologies used in studies.

Methods of treatment usually involve some combination of medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling. ADHD/ADD treatment has been controversial since the 1970's. the controversy involves widely conflicting analyses and opinions by teachers, clinicians, policymakers, parents, and the media, with opinions ranging from not believing the malady exists at all, to believing there are genetic and physiological bases for the conditions, as well as disagreement regarding the use of stimulant medications in treatment.

ADHD is classified as a disruptive behavioral disorder in which such traits as impulse control lag in development when compared to the general population. ADHD has also been classified as a behavioral disorder, though a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD does not necessarily imply a nerological disease.

The most common symptoms of ADHD/ADD include:

  • Impulsiveness: acting before thinking of consequences, jumping from one activity to another, disorganization, tendency to interrupt other peoples' conversations.
  • Hyperactivity: restlessness, often characterized by an inability to sit still, fidgeting, squirminess, climbing on things, restless sleep.
  • Inattention: easily distracted, day-dreaming, not finishing work, difficulty listening.

So, what next, you may ask, should you suspect that you or a loved one may suffer from this condition, and you are considering treatment options? Methods of treatment often involve some combination of behavior modifications, life-style changes, counseling, and medication. Several ADHD-specific support groups exist as informational sources and to help families cope with challenges associated with dealing with ADHD/ADD.

Read more about ADHD/ADD here:  

  • http://www.add.org/articles/index.html#rel
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD