Adhd and What Causes the Childhood Behavioral Condition

Topics: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Dopamine, Hyperactivity Pages: 6 (2310 words) Published: April 9, 2007
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder that is mostly found in children. According to one research almost 7.5 percent of school-aged children are suffering from some kind of ADHD related behavioral problem in the United States. In some cases, untreated symptoms can persist in the adulthood too, which can create numerous problems in the patient's social and emotional life. ADHD is rarely found in isolation as the child may also develop some other behavioral problems. The existence of more than one behavioral disorder is known as co-morbidity, which usually complicates the case because the child cannot be treated for one specific condition. It was once believed that ADHD patients outgrow the symptoms with age but this theory is no longer supported by latest research, which indicates that without treatment, ADHD's symptoms can easily persist in one's adult life. Therefore parents are required to seek treatment, which may involve medical and non-medical procedures as soon as the child is diagnosed with ADHD. Adults suffering from ADHD do not develop this problem suddenly and thus it is believed that symptoms existed in the childhood too which only aggravated with time because of lack of proper treatment. Most experts are of the view that ADHD is essentially a childhood condition and symptoms starting appearing at an early age. Claudia Wallis writes, "Fifteen years ago, no one had ever heard of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Today it is the most common behavioral disorder in American children, the subject of thousands of studies and symposiums and no small degree of controversy. Experts on ADHD say it afflicts as many as 3 1/2 million American youngsters, or up to 5% of those under 18. It is two to three times as likely to be diagnosed in boys as in girls. The disorder has replaced what used to be popularly called "hyperactivity," and it includes a broader collection of symptoms. ADHD has three main hallmarks: extreme distractibility, an almost reckless impulsiveness and, in some but not all cases, a knee-jiggling, toe-tapping hyperactivity that makes sitting still all but impossible. (Without hyperactivity, the disorder is called attention deficit disorder, or ADD)" (Wallis 1994). While the debate about this disorder and its gravity continues, researchers have been unable to find an answer to the most commonly asked question. What causes ADHD? If only we had a perfect answer to this important question, we could have found a successful way to treat this disorder and abolish its symptoms. But since there are more than one theory and view on this particular question as researchers have come up with only tentative answers, which still require solid evidence and further research. Every new research presents findings, which usually invalidate previous studies. In this paper, we shall thus focus on the causes and find out if the disorder is a genetic problem or simply a personality type. The causes of ADHD, as indicated by various researches, include everything from flawed fetal development to poor parenting to defective genes but no one is certain what really makes a child or adult behave in an abnormal manner (Bussing 2000). While an accurate answer to the question of causes is being actively sought, it has proved t be highly elusive in nature. The problem of ADHD is however not very new. Its origin can be traced back to early 1900s when a scientist recognized a group of children who would indulge in involuntary behavior. But since causes were unknown as they still are, the scientist assumed that these children were mentally deranged and concluded something was probably wrong with their brain size. Some scientists even blamed brain injuries for sudden occurrence of ADHD symptoms but it has been found that only ten percent of cases are connected with brain injury while the rest cannot be disposed off so easily. Regina Bussing M.D. writes, "While birth injuries and maternal alcohol or tobacco...
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