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People who have ADHD, and how they manage in the society

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People who have ADHD, and how they manage in the society

Introduction

Attention deficit hyper-activity disorder is a psychiatric and a neurobehavioral disorder, characterized mainly by impulsiveness and difficulties of attention, or combination of the two. It is a mental problem caused by improper functioning in human beings. Symptoms emerge before seven years of age in a normal environment. ADHD is further classified into three subtypes, “where one is predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive- impulsive or the two-combined” (Bray, 285). This condition mainly affects both children and adults. The main cause of ADHD has not been established, but scientists suggest that genes play a major role. However, environmental factors, brain injuries, sugar and some food additives contribute to ADHD.

Central features that define ADHD

Inattention

This refers to the inability to give close attention to various individual aspects. The areas affected by inattention include social interaction, work, school and family. People with ADHD inattention have some level of difficulty in at least six of the symptoms below. Ultimately, they suffer a significant impairment. The symptoms are:

Failure to give attention to detail and making careless mistakes with respect to various activities such as work and school Difficulty in sustaining attention in play activities and tasks Not to seem to be listening when being spoken to directly Failure to follow instructions and finishing tasks Difficulties in task and activity organization Avoidance and reluctance to participate in activities that engage mental effort such as school work

Impulsive disorder

This is a condition of ADHD in which a person has serious problems and difficulties with being impulsive but does not show inattention symptoms. People with this condition seem not to be in control of their immediate actions. They therefore engage in short- term activities instead of long-term ones. Some of the symptoms include:

Restlessness Interrupting others Intruding on other people’s activities Difficulty in being patient

Hyperactive type

This refers to the condition in which a person exhibits hyperactive reactions towards everything. These people always seem to be constantly in motion. They also feel internally restless. Such people always feel the need to do several things at once or stay busy.

Some of the symptoms are

Fidgeting with the feet and arms Intruding other people Adults and adolescents may talk excessively Difficulty with occupying a single position or carrying out one long activity

Effect of ADHD on children and adults

Kids

Kids at home

Inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are the key behaviors in children, which are more severe and occur often. A child is considered having the disorder if they show the symptoms for six or more weeks, and show a high degree of change than other children of the same age, in the same environment. Children diagnosed with the disorder show various signs at home. For instance, they easily become bored after only a few minutes unless the activity is enjoyable or involving, struggle to follow instructions, talk nonstop, have trouble sitting during dinner and often interrupt conversations and other activities around. They also show their emotions without any restrain and act without regard for consequences. This may lead to conflicts among siblings in a household because the normally act out of the condition. Some parents take time to discover the condition in their children and always misunderstand them since the children acts out of the condition.

Kids in school

Similarly, kids in school almost behave in the same way. They easily forget things, miss details and switch from one activity to another despite where they are. They encounter difficulties in focusing on one thing especially when they are learning and this makes them collide with teachers more often. They are also prone to daydreaming especially in class, and if the teacher in charge is not aware of the kid’s condition, he or she might think that the kid is fully concentrating. ADHD has adverse effects on the children as the disruptive behaviors portrayed affect the entire family. Normal routines like “eating, bathing, doing homework, playing with other siblings become a fight”, as the child is “excessively impatient, disorderly, hyperactive and unfocused” (Breggin 67). Parents with children diagnosed with the disorder tend to divorce due to misunderstanding and blame on each other because of the children.

Adults

Living with themselves

In adults, ADHD develops from childhood and mainly characterizes hyperactivity, impulsiveness and not paying attention. The symptoms are continued into adulthood among a large percentage of children the world over. A few numbers of adults, especially women, are diagnosed or treated for ADHD in the 21st century among most developed countries in the world. The symptoms are manifested in various ways depending on the environment. Most adult’s experiences difficulty in following directions given to them, remembering information and sometimes they tend to repeat themselves in a conversation. They also find it hard to organize and complete a task at work within the time limits.

Adults living by themselves always find it difficult to cope with their fellow human beings because ADHD has severe effects on them. They find it difficult in controlling their anger when they argue with their colleagues, are always impulsive and experience mood swings at any time of the day or year. “They also suffer from depression, and they tend to indulge themselves in substance abuse out of frustration” (Prout & James 46). Most of the adults diagnosed with ADHD have relationship issues since their spouses take time or even they never understand them, since they express themselves differently and react differently to situations. This makes them feel inferior and neglected in the society and at times treated as outcasts since few are aware of their conditions. Those who know ignore.

At work

Adults at work tend to behave differently; they have poor organizational skills and mostly collide with their bosses due to unaccomplished tasks. They are extremely forgetful and experience chronic lateness, which almost becomes a routine to them, either when reporting to work or when accomplishing the given tasks. This makes them collide with their bosses due to misunderstanding. They also have a tendency to procrastinate tasks or events assigned to them, which leads to poor performance. Hence, they tend to lose their job opportunities after a short period.

The symptoms experienced may be severe or mild depending on the situation at present or the previous life of the individual. Some may be able to concentrate on the activity only if they are interested or excited. Other adults tend to be antisocial, and some look for stimulation mainly in substance abuse. Adults diagnosed with ADHD have a childhood history of the disorder. For instance, they may have repeated a grade or even dropped out of school. Some had frequent disciplinary actions due to daydreaming and poor concentration in class.

Management of ADHD

Helping yourself

Behavioral Therapy

People with the condition can be able to undertake numerous initiatives in order to lead normal lives. They should therefore engage in activities that help the counter the condition. These include engaging in sports and activities that improve intellectual capacity. “Behavioral therapy offers an opportunity for the child to improve” (Barkley, 98). This therapy includes behavioral interventions such as social skills training. Therapists and counselors help children learn and cope with the condition by helping them build and develop new skills. Support may also include practical assistance.

Medication

Medication is important for the treatment of ADHD. Various drugs can be used in treatment and control of the symptoms. The medications are available for immediate-release (Short acting), intermediate and the long-acting forms. It takes time for doctors to identify the appropriate and most effective drug for each patient. “Moderate and severe ADHD is treated by stimulants” (Bray, 122). There are also non-stimulant drugs used for treatment. Other drugs used include Wellbutrim, Duraclon, tricyclic antidepressants and Tenex. These medications help to improve the quality of life of the patient.

Ignoring oneself ADHD disorder

People with the disorder can lead normal lives. Though the condition is not curable, it is manageable. Some people live their lives ignoring the disorder so as not to be psychologically conditioned by the symptom. However, they still follow up on the mental and medical requirements.

Society

In today’s society, adults with ADHD normally have a lower socioeconomic status as they isolate themselves due to neglect from their fellow human beings because of their condition. They frequently use illegal substances to quench their thirst and even smoke cigarettes. They often commit major mistakes on the road like over speeding, causing accidents, which leads to suspension of their licenses. Adults in relationships experience more marital problems and multiple marriages because there are mostly over social. “Divorce cases also occur due to misunderstanding between the partners” (Tuber et al 268).

How society looks at it in a child

However, society views the victims of ADHD differently. For instance, in children, some believe that it is a myth, which contradicts with the scientific research carried out world over. The cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has not yet been established, but the scientists argue that genetics is the key factor. Moreover, they believe that the disorder is transferable from one generation to another as compared to other factors like brain damages, environmental factors, sugar and food additives that are minor causes. ADHD is mostly linked with boys, however, researcher have yet to compare the cases of occurrence in both sexes. Sometimes, children with the disorder are viewed as inferior or troublemakers due to impulsiveness and hyperactivity. This is because they hardly concentrate on a single activity at a go, and are very impatient. The society is yet to establish various measures on how the children with the disorder should be treated and accept them as part of the society.

How society looks at it in an adult

In adults, the ADHD condition is mostly from childhood whereby the core symptoms of the disorder change dramatically from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. However, it is extremely difficult to diagnose adult ADHD according to genetic studies. ADHD is mostly associated with men, and few cases among women. Those with the disorder are often misunderstood in the society and their condition is seen as an excuse to the mistakes and offenses, which they commit, like driving carelessly, anxiety, and failure to accomplish tasks within the time limits. This makes them feel neglected and a burden to their fellow human beings and they mostly end up indulging themselves in substance abuse. They also have relationship problems, as their partners cannot understand them completely. In some cases, it may cause “separation or even divorce due to misunderstanding” (Barkley et al 389).

Conclusion

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is incurable but manageable. ADHD is best treated by combining medication and behavioral therapy with close follow up and monitoring by the doctor, with the help of the parents in cases of children. Medication is administered to patients in the form of stimulants, non-stimulants and antidepressants. Parents with kids with this condition should understand their children and help them to manage the condition. They should also take them for regular medical check up in order to detect any disorder. The patients with the disorder should be taught to adjust and cope with the condition whether it is in school or at work to minimize conflicts and misunderstanding. The society should also accept and appreciate those with the condition, as they are their fellow human beings.

Work Cited

Barkley, R. A., Cook, E. H. Jr, Diamond, A., et al. (2002) International Consensus Statement on ADHD. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 5, 89– 111.

Bray, Melissa A, and Thomas J. Kehle. The Oxford Handbook of School Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Breggin, Peter R. The Ritalin Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Adhd and Stimulant Drugs. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Pub, 2002. Print

James, Allison, and Alan Prout. Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood. London: Falmer Press, 1997. Print.

Tuber, Steven, Benjamin H. Harris, Kevin B. Meehan, Joseph S. Reynoso, and Jasmine Ueng-McHale. “Rorschach Configurations of Children with Adhd.” The Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents: a Practitioner’s Handbook / Ed. by Steve R. Smith, Leonard Handler. (2007): 449-465. Print.

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