Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder: Don’t Get Mad, Get Informed
Many people have heard of Children Deficit Hypertension Disorder, or ADHD, but many, including myself, may not really know what it is all about. In my paper I will discuss what Attention Deficit Hypertension disorder is, what causes it, it’s many symptoms, and how it can be treated. What is Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder?
Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder is a neurobiological disorder. It is a disability because a child’s behavior manifests as school failure, conduct disorder, and antisocial personality disorder (DMS III 43-44). It is not a learning disability. Although ADHD obviously effects the performance of a person in a school setting, it will also effect other domains of life which can include relationships with others, running a home, keeping track of finances, and organizing, planning, and managing most areas of ones life.
The most recent research shows that the symptoms of ADHD are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. To understand how this disorder interferes with ones ability to focus, sustain attention, and with memory formation and retrieval, it is important to understand how the brain communicates information. Each brain cell has one axon, the part of the cell that sends messages to other cells; and many dendrites, the part that receives messages from other cells. There is a space between the axon and the next brain cell. They do not connect or touch. This space is called a neural gap.
Since the nerve endings don’t actually touch, special chemicals called neurotransmitters carry the message from the end of the axon to the dendrites that will receive it. With ADHD there is a flaw in the way the brain manages the neurotransmitter production, storage and flow, causing imbalances. There is either not enough of them, or the levels are not regulated, swinging wildly from high to low. What causes ADHD?
Scientists have not been able to determine the exact cause of ADHD, though the research suggests that it may be caused by a chemical imbalance or a lack of certain chemicals in the brain which are responsible for attention and activity. There is also evidence that if one or both parents have ADHD, their children are more likely to show symptoms as well. Exposure to toxins such as drugs and/or alcohol during pregnancy, brain injury, or childhood illnesses may also contribute to the cause of ADHD. It is believed that ADHD is not caused by too much television, poor parenting, or poor schools.
A thorough evaluation is very important. In order for an individual to be diagnosed with ADHD, comprehensive evaluations must be administered that include a complete individual and family history, ability tests, achievement tests, and the collection of observations from people who are close to the person who is being assessed. Many of the symptoms of ADHD occur from time to time in everyone, but with people that have ADHD these symptoms are much more frequent or greater and they significantly impair their life. Children with ADHD demonstrate behaviors that generally fall into three different categories: inattention (trouble paying attention), hyperactivity (being very active), and impulsivity (acting before thinking). Symptoms of ADHD?
Symptoms typically begin by 3 years of age. Children with ADHD have symptoms which vary with situation and time. Everybody has some of the symptoms some of the time, however, individuals with ADHD have more of the symptoms more of the time and to the point that it interferes with their ability to function normally in academic, work, social settings, and to their full potential. The following are the diagnostic criteria for ADHD which was published by the American Psychiatric Association (1995): A.
Inattention. At least three of the following:
often fails to finish things he or she starts
often doesn’t seem to listen
has difficulty on schoolwork or other tasks...
References: American Journal of Psychiatry. Feb. 1995: 152.2 298-299
Booth, R. (1998). Basic information about Attention Deficit Disorder. From www.add.org. Retrieved on Oct. 5, 2003.
Wikipedia (2009). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. From www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention -deficit_hyperactivity_diorder, retrieved on March 2, 2009.
Shaw, P. (1998). Understanding and caring for the child with AD/HD. California Childcare Health Program.
Williams, J. (1980). DSM III, 3rd ed., Washington D.C.: American Psychology Association.
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