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

The New Mental Health Parity: Women Surge in ADHD, Binges

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on January 19, 2018 in Addiction in Society
Women are changing in the frequency with which they display behavioral disorders, or at least in the ways and types of substances they consume.

Can Dogs Suffer From ADHD?

Dogs and human children share a number of mental characteristics and predispositions including the possibility of ADHD.

Why Do Horses Help Us Heal?

Have you ever wondered why horses are used in therapy?

Living Beyond Regret

Are you struggling to get back on your feet again?

The Mysterious Disappearance of Unipolar Mania

Unipolar mania (mania without depression) is currently diagnosed as bipolar I disorder. But scientific evidence suggests that it may be a subtype of ADHD.

You Parent the Way You Think

Is parenting a child with mental illness wearing you out? Changing how you think about your child can go a long way.

Superstition: Quirky Beliefs or Psychopathology?

Is superstition just anxiety in disguise?

What Smart Really Is

Three mindset shifts that will open doors to your intelligence.

Global ADHD Epidemic or Not?

Is ADHD an essential and universal condition? Perhaps not.

Talking Back to ADHD

By Mark Bertin M.D. on December 05, 2017 in Child Development Central
Pause and realize the difference between a person and their ADHD, then begin to identify where ADHD affects life.

ADHD and Special Education

Does your child's mental illness get in the way of learning at school? Here are six reasons to consider special education for ADHD, DMDD, or other behavior disorders.

How to Increase Your Chances of Coincidental Discoveries

Are you hoping for a sudden realization? It may be closer than you think.

Is Your Child Overstimulated from Too Much Screen Time?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on November 24, 2017 in Mental Wealth
Screen Time Side Effects: Are your children are experiencing electronics-related symptoms that mimic mental health. learning, and behavior issues? Take this quiz.

A Holiday Recipe for Better Focus

Is the hustle and bustle of the holidays getting to you? Get the Attitude of Gratitude—it goes a long way towards helping you focus!
with permission from Susannah Meadow

The Other Side of Impossible

Where do you turn when the medical field doesn't have the answers?

A Pretty Good Organizing System for Non-Linear Thinkers

By Nancy Darling Ph.D. on November 15, 2017 in Thinking About Kids
Non-linear thinkers are great at connecting ideas. This organizing system helps harvest non-linear connections and tame the chaos.

Adult-Onset ADHD Is Usually Something Else

By David Rettew M.D. on November 15, 2017 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Doctors are seeing increasing numbers of people presenting with what looks like adult onset ADHD. A recent study, however, finds that ADHD is rarely the cause.

What's So Hard About Parenting Children With Mental Illness?

What are parents of children with illness most stressed about? A new research study gives us some answers.

What Was I Saying Again?

Do you feel like you are constantly juggling? Is there something wrong with you because you forget what you were going to do? Are you looking to see if ADHD is the reason?

The Worst Kind of Parenting

By Melissa Orlov on November 02, 2017 in May I Have Your Attention
This could be one of the most common mistakes that partners make: taking on too much of their partner's responsibilities. It seems helpful but instead hurts you both.
Credit_iStock-PeopleImages

Do You Have Adult ADHD and Feel Stuck?

Do you often know exactly the "what" and "how" of what you need to do, but can't execute?

Advice for Couples Living With Attention Deficit Disorders

By Dianne Grande Ph.D. on October 29, 2017 in In It Together
Knowledge, hope, and compassion are much needed for those who have ADD/ADHD, and for their partners.

ADHD Is Now Widely Overdiagnosed and for Multiple Reasons

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on October 20, 2017 in Side Effects
In the U.S. and other developed countries, there are now clear signs that child and adolescent mental disorders are overdiagnosed.

Propaganda that Masqueraded as Pharmaceutical Marketing

By Gretchen L. Watson, Ph.D. on October 19, 2017 in Extraordinary People
Looking back on the evolution of the current opioid epidemic, the marketing of opioids looks like profitable propaganda.

Younger Kids Are More Likely to Be Diagnosed with ADHD

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Suffer the Children
Relatively young children in a classroom (with birthdays in September-December) are more likely to be misdiagnosed with 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.