So What is ADHD?
An individual is diagnosed as having ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, (also referred to as ADD) when they exhibit behaviours that are characterized by inappropriate levels of inattention, distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. All of these symptoms may not always be obvious or present since they can be modified either by family situations, coping mechanisms developed during childhood, personality, intelligence and so on.
Very simply put, the characteristics must have been present since early childhood, have negatively impacted various life areas (school, work, relationships, etc.) and must not be accounted for by other situations.
ADHD characteristics are neuro-biologically based and they often change as the individual gets older. You do not out-grow ADHD even though the behaviours or symptoms may not be exhibited in the same manner or with the same intensity.
Although the term ADHD is a label, it is an important label. For the ADHD characteristics define who you are and how you see the world. Therefore, it's important to understand that a diagnosis of ADHD is just the first step in a process of discovering who you are!
Undiagnosed individuals or those who choose to avoid working on themselves often experience the following:
- low self-esteem
- academic failure
- alcohol and substance abuse
- obsessive-compulsive behaviours
- job, relationship and marital failures
- inappropriate and high risk behaviours including gambling and sexual addictions
Here are some myths about ADD.
All individuals with ADHD are hyperactive
Three subtypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are now recognized.
However, while hyperactivity is "external" and easily observable, many individuals with ADHD have "internal" hyperactivity which is generally experienced as restlessness or anxiety.
Someone with ADHD just needs to be medicated
Although medication is important, it's only part of the treatment plan. Medication alone is usually inadequate.
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