What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Five to seven percent of children are diagnosed with this developmental disorder. Some simply cannot concentrate; others become disruptive, defiant and have trouble getting along with parents, peers, or teachers.

ADHD is controversial. Is it a true disorder or a collection of naturally occurring behaviors that aren't tolerated in today’s high-demand world? Furthermore, there are competing theories about what, if anything, triggers ADHD in the brain, although executive functioning (attention, emotion regulation, and decision-making) is invariably affected. Up to 50 percent of children eventually outgrow the condition, but even if so, early developmental delays may create enduring learning problems.

Experts disagree over whether treatment should be behavioral (training of attention, increased play, greater structure) or pharmacological (stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall), although a combination of both may work best.

Managing work, school, and household tasks can be very challenging for people with ADD and ADHD. Fortunately, those afflicted can learn coping skills to work around shortcomings and harness their talents — as many successful people with ADD and ADHD have done.

Recent posts on ADHD

Is Society Progressing in Its Response to Autism?

By Barb Cohen on October 16, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The television producer suggested that my daughter skip class the day of filming. She has too much to say and too little control over when she says it.

Childhood ADHD and Poor Self-Esteem

Does your child with ADHD constantly put himself down? ADHD, anxiety, and negativity commonly go together. As parents, we have to figure out how to battle negative self-talk.

ADHD Kills Motivation

By Adam Price Ph.D. on October 15, 2017 in The Unmotivated Teen
ADHD may kill motivation but I will show you how to provide life support using the most powerful tool you have: the parent-child relationship.

Four Non-Prescription Remedies for ADHD

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 12, 2017 in Open Gently
A healthy diet and supplements my help ADHD.

Omega-3s in Mental Health Care, Part 2

Are you curious about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in mental health? Omega-3s may be helpful in the early stages of schizophrenia and may be beneficial in PTSD, but not ADHD.
eric maisel

Your Child's Mind Space

Learn how healthy indwelling and dynamic self-regulation can help your child improve his or her intellectual functioning and emotional well-being.

What Causes Brain Zaps?

Brain zaps can be an unbearable side-effect of discontinuing an antidepressant. Although these brain shocks are often described as harmless, they may in fact be minor seizures.

ADHD in Some Children Could Be Due to Insufficient Sleep

Biological delays in sleep onset at night, hectic family schedules, and artificial lighting have been linked to too little sleep and lower attention span in ADHD.

How Do You Describe ADHD?

Make sure your words build you up and don't tear you down.

Seven Words to Help Your Dependent, Stuck Adult Child

At an impasse with a dependent, stalled out adult child? Try saying these seven words before you say anything else.

“Dad, I Think I Have ADHD”

By Marcia Morris M.D. on September 17, 2017 in College Wellness
The accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of ADHD are critical because ADHD, if left untreated, can lead to poor school performance, driving mishaps, and substance abuse.

Changes in Coverage Threaten Mental Health Parity

Children with mental illness require regular monitoring and behavior management. Now, insurance companies and legislation threaten equitable access to mental health treatment.
Judy Tsafrir, MD

Copper Toxicity: A Common Cause of Psychiatric Symptoms

By Judy Tsafrir M.D. on September 11, 2017 in Holistic Psychiatry
Could copper overload be the cause of your depression, anxiety, ADHD, and poor immune function? Copper toxicity is a treatable condition, but you must identify it first.

Thinking With Focus

Approaching ADHD the right way.

Is an "ADHD-Blind" Relationship Desirable?

By Melissa Orlov on August 31, 2017 in May I Have Your Attention
W. Kamau Bell got me thinking about race and creating a color-blind society. Turns out there are at least a few surprising parallels between race and how we think about ADHD.

Mindfulness Therapy Could Help ADHD, Studies Suggest

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 31, 2017 in Urban Survival
New studies suggest an important role for mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy in ADHD treatment.

Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

When your child is diagnosed with mental illness, it can be isolating. Parenting guides don't talk about it. Stigma silences our families. Don't worry, though. You're not alone.

The Mediterranean Diet and ADHD

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on August 23, 2017 in Suffer the Children
New research finds a correlation between an unhealthy diet—and a dysfunctional family environment—with an increased risk of a child getting an ADHD diagnosis.
Source: Peter Shankman

How Peter Shankman's ADHD Is the Engine to His Success

By John Nosta on August 23, 2017 in The Digital Self
What happens when you combine the power of ADHD with the desire to change the world? You become a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media!

Categorizing Treatments Used in Biomedicine and CAM

Do you sometimes wonder how different treatments work? Different treatments rely on different established or postulated mechanisms of action.

Introduction to Integrative Mental Health Care

Are you curious about new ideas in mental health care? Integrative mental health is a new paradigm that uses treatments from Western medicine and alternative medicine (CAM).

The Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health Care

Are you curious about recent advances in assessment of mental health problems? Functional medicine offers a range of promising approaches.

Psychiatric Assessment is Evolving

Are you trying to understand what is causing your anxiety, depressed mood or another mental health problem? New approaches in assessment are providing better answers!

Turning the Page on ADHD

Naturally, change is hard for all kids, and can be harder for those with ADHD. A new school year is the perfect time to pause, reconsider, and set up new routines.

The Silver Lining in the ADHD Cloud

Is your ADHD getting in your way? Learn how to turn it into a valuable asset.

ADHD: A Bundle of Deplorable Problems Masked in Plain View?

ADHD: a performance deficit---significant difficulties implementing academic skills, not specifically learning them. Is ADHD over-diagnosed and stimulant drugs over-prescribed?

Why Kids With Pets Are Better Off

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 12, 2017 in Animals and Us
Even the researchers were surprised by results of a large new study on the impact of pets on child development.

Caution: Memory at Work

By Paula Croxson Ph.D. on July 09, 2017 in Selective Memory
A new study sheds light on how we keep our minds on the task at hand even when faced with the distractions of modern life.

Fidget Spinners — Toy or Therapy?

By Tracy P Alloway Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in Keep It in Mind
Are Fidget Spinners the new Therapy for ADHD and Stress?
Freepik

Ketogenic Diets for Psychiatric Disorders: A New 2017 Review

By Georgia Ede MD on June 30, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
What can a low-carbohydrate diet do for your mental health?