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 occuring behaviors that are less tolerated in today’s high-demand world? 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.

Work, school, and managing 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

Central Planning and U.S Child Psychopharmacology

Is there overcontrol of the prescription of antipsychotics to children and adolescents in the U.S.?

ADHD Is Overdiagnosed, Here's Proof

By Allen J Frances M.D. on May 23, 2016 in Saving Normal
Being the youngest kid in the class puts you at great risk for inappropriate ADHD diagnosis and treatment. We should let kids outgrow immaturity, not treat it with a pill.

Mental Health Awareness: ADHD in Children

CDC recommends that professionals refer parents of young children with ADHD for behavior therapy before prescribing medication.

Amazing New Concepts About Our Brain From 13 Brain Experts

What to learn more about what makes us, us?

Can We Please Have Sex? 5 Steps to Restart Intimacy

When one partner stops your sex life it's a cry for help that adds significant tension to a marriage. Resolving the issues so you can make love again takes a sensitive approach.

The Best Medicine for ADHD isn't Necessarily Medicine

What if the the best medicine for young kids with ADHD isn't medicine after all? New CDC study says try this first.
istockphoto: michaelpuche

Adult ADHD: 7 Tips to Energize Your Life

Do you have adult ADHD and struggling with just keeping up? Do you often feel tired?

Adrenaline Addiction

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 12, 2016 in How To Do Life
Powerful pluses and minuses, and ways to control it.

"Criminals" in Classrooms: A Liability to Students and Staff

What happens when a student is disturbing others but is not “emotionally disturbed”?

ADHD Goes to College

Planning for freshman year is probably the last thing a graduating senior with ADHD wants to focus on right now. As a parent, though, worry may already be filling your mind.

Creating Boundaries with Your Adult Child

Are you overwhelmed, stressed out, and racked with guilt in trying to decide how to best help your adult child?

What You Need To Know About The Genetics of Mental Disorders

By Allen J Frances M.D. on April 30, 2016 in Saving Normal
The genetics revolution is one of mankind's greatest intellectual achievements- but so far has contributed nothing to patient care and the ridiculous complexity of brain function.

Top 5 Ways Biofeedback Can Change Your Life

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in All About Addiction
Are you turning to pills to make your life better? Biofeedback and neurofeedback could be the answer you're looking for.

Michael Gilbert on It's About Childhood and Family, Inc.

The future of mental health interview series continues with Michael Gilbert on It's About Childhood and Family, Inc.

David Walker on Indigenous Peoples and Western Mental Health

The future of mental health interview series continues with David Walker on indigenous peoples and western mental health

The Neuroscience of Losing Your Train of Thought

Are you easily distracted? New groundbreaking research identifies the brain mechanics that cause physical interruptions to derail your train of thought.

I Wanted to Write About Attention Span Because....

By Liz Swan Ph.D. on April 16, 2016 in College Confidential
Is it true that we live in a much busier and information-saturated world, or is that just a convenient myth?

Brain Health Versus Brain Illness: What Can We Do?

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on April 16, 2016 in Brain Waves
What can we do for better brain health?

ADHD and the Rock Star Gene

By Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. on April 15, 2016 in The Gift of ADHD
Adam Levine, will.i.am, Justin Timberlake, and Solange Knowles have spoken publicly about their ADHD. Can ADHD be a gift?

Stopping the False Epidemic of Adult ADHD

By Allen J Frances M.D. on April 14, 2016 in Saving Normal
The father of the ADHD diagnosis, Keith Conners, thinks that the adult ADHD epidemic needs to be stopped before it causes even more damage.

Help Your Child With Psychiatric Needs Prepare for College

By Marcia Morris M.D. on April 13, 2016 in College Wellness
If you have a child who takes medication for ADD, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue, you need an additional checklist—maybe your most important one.

The Unhappy Intellectually Gifted Child

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 10, 2016 in How To Do Life
An interview with Edward Amend

The Day My Friend Took Adderall Before a Track Meet

During the warm-up I remember making a comment about how he looked locked in and he replied, “thanks, I scored some Adderall for the first time to give me an extra boost too.”

ADD or ADHD: Are They Different?

Why Do Some People Have ADD and Others ADHD? Learn More about Both

ADHD: Finding New Solutions

By Guest Bloggers on April 06, 2016 in The Guest Room
What are the alternatives to treating ADHD?

Sami Timimi on ADHD, Autism and Children's Mental Health

The future of mental health interview series continues with Sami Timimi on ADHD, Autism and Children's Mental Health.

7 Ways to Get Kids to Leave a Place They Don't Want to Leave

Getting kids to leave a place they love is no easy task. These ideas will make the transition home much smoother.

Keith Connors, Father of ADHD, Regrets Its Current Misuse

By Allen J Frances M.D. on March 28, 2016 in Saving Normal
The father of ADHD sorrows over its current, harmful over-diagnosis and over-treatment. Let's hope his cautions mark a turning point ending this worldwide fad.

Dennis Embry on the Children's Mental Health Network

The future of mental health interview series continues with Dennis Embry on the Children's Mental Health Network

Optimism and the ADHD Partner

Some partners think those with ADHD aren't taking their personal or joint marital woes seriously enough. But there may be other things going on.