ADHD Symptoms: Don't Ignore These Subtle Signs

   |  Updated: June 04, 2016 13:48 IST

ADHD Symptoms: Don't Ignore These Subtle Signs
Most kids, while growing up, show veered out attention or behavior at times. There are a lot of changes that happen in your body as you move from childhood to adulthood. But for some children, these instances are so rampant that it impairs their academic achievement and social functioning.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral and developmental disorder marked by erratic attention, behavior and learning regime especially among children. It first appeared in medical literature in 1902 but the term ‘Attention Deficit’ was not added until 1980. Recent times have witnessed substantial changes in our comprehension of the same. Like depression, it can affect a person in several levels of severity.

The Indian Journal of Psychiatry conducted a number of studies and found the prevalence of ADHD among primary school children to be 11.32%. Overall, boys are affected three times more than girls but girls are more likely to have the ADHD-I subtype. It was also seen that it most prevalent in the 9-10 years age-group. Although the exact cause of the disorder remains obscure, yet recent studies suggest that genetics plays a major role in conferring susceptibility.
“People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with brain functioning or its development,” informs Dr. Samir Parikh, Director of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi. It’s not hard to spot the symptoms in kids but adults may display some subtle signs that may go unnoticed. Watch out for the following ADHD symptoms -

Inattention: The presence of six or more of the following symptoms of inattention in children up to age 16, or five or more symptoms in adolescents who are 17 and above may hint at ADHD. Symptoms of inattention should be present for at least 6 months to confirm the disorder.

- Fails to give attention to details or makes careless mistakes regularly
- Cannot hold attention on tasks or activities
-  Does not listen or retain things when spoken to directly
- Has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids or dislikes doing tasks that require mental effort
- Often loses things necessary required for tasks or forgets where they were placed
- Being distracted easily
- Being forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity must be present in children up to age 16, or five or more in adolescents and older and adults to detect the disorder. These symptoms must be present for at least 6 months at a level where they interfere with the person’s developmental level.

- Fidgety nature, frequenting tapping hands and feet or squirming
- Talking excessively
- Finding it hard to sit in a position for a long time or abruptly leave the situation when required to be seated
- Being restless regularly. Run about or walk around when it’s not appropriate
- Always being charged up or on-the-go
- Having trouble enjoying leisure activities peacefully
- Often interrupting others or trouble waiting for his or her turn

ADHD symptoms may change overtime with the age of the person. Most teenagers tend to test their behavioral limits and experiment with how to circumvent parental guidelines. No wonder then, there are chances of ADHD worsening and being more difficult to detect during adolescence. If not treated timely, these symptoms may persist in adults too.

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“Unrecognized ADHD can lead to the patient facing excessive reprimand, failure and lows in life.  Further, this disorder hampers the holistic development of the individual - emotionally, socially and professionally. They need to emotional support constantly. The disorder can be detected with the help of specialized psychometric tests, even though it relies heavily on educators’ and parental observations,” says Dr. Parikh. 

Medication might work well in most cases, but integrated medical and behavioral treatment is also required for optimal relief.  You can help your beloved adjust to these difficulties by monitoring how and when their emotional and behavioral patterns fluctuate. For a child struggling with ADHD, retaining focus for prolonged periods is exceedingly cumbersome. Consequently, compelling them to participate in such activities (for instance, making them sit still and idle for long) ensues failure.  Activities which may be enjoyable for us, like adventure sports, can prove to be strenuous for them.  This can be avoided by breaking the mundane chores into seemingly small chunks of time and effort.


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