Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  according to Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV) is a  developmental disorder initially appearing in childhood  and   manifests itself with symptoms such as hyperactivity, forgetfulness, inattentiveness, and distractibility.  ADHD is believed to affect between 3-5% of the United States population, including both children and adults. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children and, over the past decade, has been increasingly diagnosed in adults. It is believed that around 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults. . The prevalence among children is estimated to be in the range of 5% to 8%, and 4% to 8% in adults. 10% of males, and (only) 4% of females have been diagnosed. This apparent sex difference may reflect either a difference in susceptibility or that females with ADHD are less likely to be diagnosed than males. ADHD can carry serious consequences to the daily functioning of those affected. The presence of a comorbid condition can have  even more powerful cognitive and social impact on a patient’s life. 

In different countries disorder is known as hyperkinetic syndrome, minimal brain disorder, minimal cerebral dysfunction, deficits in attention, motor control and perception, etc.

Epidemiological studies show that patients with ADHD tend to have a high rate of coexisting psychiatric and learning disorders. Anxiety is observed in about 1/3 of children with ADHD. Some studies show that up to 50 % of ADHD patients will have anxiety in their adulthood. Depression found in 23% of hyperactive patients and they believed to have lifetime diagnosis of  comorbid   mood disorder. Bipolar disorder is also one of the most serious and impairing comorbidities that can occur in children with ADHD , occurring 6-10 times more likely than in children without ADHD. Research repeatedly demonstrates that ADHD runs in families.  This is indication that the child of an adult with ADHD has approximately a 25% chance of having ADHD. 

 The DSM-IV divides ADHD into three subtypes: predominantly inattentive (sometimes referred to as ADD), predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. Those presenting impairing symptoms of ADHD who do not fully fit the criteria for any of the three subtypes can be diagnosed with “ADHD Not Otherwise Specified”.[

The symptoms of ADHD fall into the following two broad categories:


  1. Poor attention skills, especially dealing with details or making careless mistakes when doing schoolwork or other activities
  2. Unfocused  during play or tasks
  3. Appearing not to listen when spoken to
  4. Failure to follow instructions or finish tasks
  5. Avoiding tasks requiring  mental effort and organization, such as school projects
  6. Frequently losing items required to facilitate tasks or activities, such as school supplies
  7. Excessive distractibility
  8. Forgetfulness
  9. Procrastination, inability to begin an activity
  10. Difficulties with household activities (cleaning, paying bills, etc.)
  11. Difficulty falling asleep may be due to too many thoughts at night
  12. Frequent emotional outbursts
  13. Easily frustrated
  14. Easily distracted

Hyperactivity-impulsive behavior

  1. Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
  2. Leaving seat often, even when inappropriate
  3. Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  4. Difficulty in quiet play
  5. Frequently feeling restless
  6. Excessive speech production
  7. Answering a question before the speaker has finished
  8. Failure to await one’s turn
  9. Interrupting the activities of others at inappropriate times
  10. Impulsive spending, road rage (adults)

 According to international medical research  ADHD is regarded to be a non-curable disorder for which, however, a wide range of effective treatments are available. Methods of treatment usually involve a combination of medications, where psycho-stimulants are more affective,  psychotherapy, biofeedback  and other techniques. Some patients are able to control their symptoms over time, without the use of medication.

Only recently adult form of ADHD came to community awareness. Many adults do not realize that they have problems until their own child is diagnosed with the disorder. Only then do they recognize the pattern of problems they have faced since childhood. People then realize that their lack of focusing, disorganization, frequent procrastination interfering with their life, have a name. This name is ADHD.

Fortunately, there are medication treatment and psychotherapy strategies helping with one’s constant frustration and underachievement.