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Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is one of the most commonly met behavioral disorders in the U.S.: approximately 7.8% of children and adolescents aged from 4 to 17 are diagnosed with this disorder. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, with approximately 11% of boys aged 4-17 having the diagnosis, but only 4.4% of girls of the same age…
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ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER 2007 ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)is one of the most commonly met behavioral disorders in the U.S.: approximately 7.8% of children and adolescents aged from 4 to 17 are diagnosed with this disorder. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, with approximately 11% of boys aged 4-17 having the diagnosis, but only 4.4% of girls of the same age. The most common age of diagnosis is seven years old. However, some individuals continue to experience mild to full-blown symptoms of ADHD well into adulthood. Approximately 4.1% of adults ages 18-44 are diagnosed with ADHD1.
In modern neurological practice and literature, ADHD is described as having three major behavioral symptoms. These three symptoms are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention though the degree to which each of these symptoms may vary2. Inattention leads to serious difficulties in focusing one's attention on one single object: a few minutes are enough for such people to get bored with a task. Any activity, which requires deliberate, conscious attention or mental organization to effectively cope with a task, is difficult, sometimes impossible to people with ADHD. Hyperactivity results in failure to maintain calm during any long period of time. Squirming the sear, roaming around the class, wiggling feet, touching everything within the reach, doing several things at once suddenly bouncing from one activity to another - these behavioral patterns are common to hyperactive children and adolescents. And finally, impulsivity manifests in inability to control the immediate reactions and think before acting. Impulsivity makes behavior impossible to predict: interruptions of speech, word salad; running into the roadway without looking around first; sharpened irritability are most common signs of impulsive behavior3.
The symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, are usually accompanied with the so-called executive function problems, which are also very important in diagnosing ADHD:
Inaptitude to solve any problems, even the most vital;
Poor sense of time and timing;
Inconsistency in behavior and actions;
Inaptitude to resist distraction;
Inaptitude to delay gratification;
Absence of ability to work toward some remote long-term goal;
Overwhelmingly emotional reaction to any trifle;
Unpredictable mood and poor judgment4.
Although no direct visible correlation has been confirmed to exist between ADHD and mortality, studies suggest that ADHD is a serious risk factor that often leads to substance abuse and behavioral problems, which in their turn can carry significant mortality and morbidity (Chang, 2005). The impact of ADHD on the quality of life is profound. Academic problems, employment and social difficulties, instability of relationships, lowered self-esteem, increased incidence of frustration and mood disorders are listed among the factors that negatively affect the quality of life in ADHD patients5.
Several treatment strategies that may be helpful in treating the conditions have been developed up to date. Traditional treatments plans include medication treatment, behavioral therapy, and multimodal treatment, which is a combination of the first two. Research indicates that medication and multimodal treatment are more effective than behavioral therapy alone, while the latter reinforces and improves treatment results if used in combination with medications. Some alternative treatment methods such as natural drugs, which have much less side effects then chemical medications, dieting, and biofeedback are the most popular among them6.
















WORKS CITED
American Psychiatric Association (2000). (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association
Chang, K (2005). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. EMedicine. Retrieved February 28, 2007 from http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic3103.htm
Fowler, M (2002), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Briefing Paper 14 (FS14), 3rd Edition
Jadad A. R, Boyle M, Cunningham C (1999), Treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 11, Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ Publ. No. 00-E005
Todd, A. W., Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., & Sprague, J. R. (1999). Effective behavior support: Strengthening school-wide systems through a team-based approach. Effective School Practices, 17(4), 23-37
National Institute of Mental Health (2006). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. NIH Publication No. 3572 [available at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/NIMHadhdpub.pdf] Read More
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