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

How do YOU Describe ADHD?

Who hears your words the most? YOU Who believes your words the most? YOU Make sure your words build you up and don't tear you down Your glass is 100% full- half water, half air

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?

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?

The Overlap of ADHD and GAD

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be similar and occur at the same time. Learn about symptoms and treatments.

There Is a New Link Between Screen-Time and Autism

Don’t expect boys to “grow out of” their obsession with screens.

Stabilize Your Mood with Food

By Georgia Ede MD on June 28, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Reclaim your emotional health and happiness without medications

Fidget Spinner Fad Winds Down

Should fidget spinners be allowed at school?

Is There Really a Boy Crisis?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Talking About Men
Some scholars have long stated that we are in the midst of a ‘boy crisis’, manifesting itself in educational under-achievement and poor mental health. But is this the case?

The Question of ADHD

Is ADHD really biologically based? Genetic? Or a socially constructed disorder? Read on for why we should be careful of what we readily accept as true.
"Stoop Storytelling"/Leah Miller/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why We Share Our Private Stories

By Barb Cohen on June 22, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
How do we find our place in the world? By standing up and telling the stories in which we play the starring role.

ADHD and Opioid Addiction

ADHD and substance abuse are commonly co-occurring disorders. Let's look into the correlation vs. causation.