ADHD: Fact or Fiction?

Just a quick note, my blog is primarily based on personal views and experience, sometimes referring to research and some background information, with the aim of helping anyone who may be suffering, or know of anyone suffering from a mental health illness. I would welcome any advice and feedback on my blogs, or your personal thoughts on the topic.

So, last week I was asked ‘Do you think ADHD is real?’ My initial response was confusion, but this sparked conversation over such a controversial topic. I have decided to write this blog to explain ADHD in a little more detail and simply touch upon the debate.

ADHD is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness, and has become an increasingly diagnosed disorder in recent years. Whilst many argue that ADHD is real and should be diagnosed and treated accordingly, others would argue that ADHD is a fictitious diagnosis that simply takes away from kids being kids.

Symptoms of ADHD include:

Hyperactivity:
– being over active for someone of the individual’s age
– being unable to sit still
– being unable to remain calm and quiet
– constant fidgeting

Poor Concentration/Distractibility:
– short attention span
– easily distracted
– easily forgetting things
– unable to stick to a particular task
– lack of concentration

Impulsivity:
– Being unable to hold in thoughts and feelings
– Acting without thought
– Can involve dangerous or risk associated activities

ADHD is typically treated with medication, along with other forms of intervention. Medication can have side effects and it is important to consider all of these factors with your GP before commencing on any of the medications available. Therapy is also available for individuals who are diagnosed with ADHD that can help manage their anger and frustration, help build their self-esteem and self-confidence, and can help with any anxiety associated with their disorder. Extra help may also be given throughout their education that parents can enquire about through their school or GP, who can provide more information. Parents and children can also attend support groups, to meet with others in similar situations.

Many individuals would argue that ADHD is simply a ‘fake diagnosis’ given to hyperactive children. Parents would undoubtedly be concerned with such a diagnosis being given to their children, and schools would obviously be just as concerned – both in their own rights. Children would also suffer with such a diagnosis – being seen as a ‘naughty’ child; and parents are given the blame for such a diagnosis. There is a lot of stigma surrounding the upbringing of children with ADHD, and parents are often blamed. However, although some familial environmental influences could impact the likelihood of ADHD, parents should not be blamed for having a ‘naughty’ child as the disorder is more than just that, and children with ADHD require help from people in every aspect of their life.

There are many causes that could possibly contribute to the likelihood of ADHD. ADHD is found to run in families, and it is possible for the disorder to be genetically inherited. Brain trauma may be another possible cause in the likelihood of ADHD, either in the womb or in the first few years of life. Some studies have suggested that there is sometimes an imbalance in neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that increases the likelihood of the disorder. Premature birth and labour difficulties have also been found to have a link. There are of course also environmental influences that can contribute to ADHD, such as extreme deprivation or abuse during an infant’s early years; alcohol or drug use during pregnancy could also increase the likelihood of ADHD. However, the influence of many of these factors is still to be further researched to provide conclusive evidence of a strong influence.

There are strong arguments both for and against ADHD as a diagnosable and treatable disorder, but it’s really a subjective decision based on your own opinions, thoughts and experience. In my opinion, ADHD is a diagnosable and treatable disorder. However, I do understand why some are sceptical about the disorder, seeing as there is no specific cause pinpointed and because of the stigma associated with the disorder, and with having a ‘naughty’ child. Perhaps if people understood that there is more to just a child with ADHD being uncontrollable and disobedient, this may help change opinions?

I have written this particular blog simply to inform people about ADHD, what it involves, and the forms of treatment available. I hope that this blog has been informative, and that people understand the disorder better. Help can be found from your GP; and further information about the condition can be found through these well-informed websites listed below:

http://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/

http://www.adhdtogether.com/

Please do ask any questions or suggest any topics that you would like me to discuss – I’ll do my best to deliver! Thank you for reading!

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