- What is ADHD?
- Why is it called ADHD?
- How common is ADHD?
- Symptoms of ADHD
- Living with ADHD
- ADHD in children: what can parents do?
- ADHD diagnostics
- What is ADHD due to?
- Living with ADHD: What can I get for help?
- ADHD treatment with drugs
ADHD is noted in different ways with different people. You may have ADHD if you have difficulty concentrating and easily disturbed in lively environments. You may have difficulty keeping track of you and getting things done. To find out if you have ADHD, you need to get an investigation first. If you have ADHD, there is a lot of help in getting your daily work better.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a disability that affects your ability to concentrate and control your behavior. It can also affect how active and intense you are as a person.
Everyone with ADHD is different. ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence. It is an innate sensitivity in the brain’s nervous system.
Difficulties in everyday life
ADHD is a so-called neuropsychiatric disability, which means that you can have different problems in everyday life. A common difficulty is that you are easily disturbed by being in messy or messy environments, and it is difficult to get started with certain tasks, if they do not feel motivating, or that it is difficult to get ready with what you are doing.
In order for a person to be diagnosed with ADHD, the difficulties have been required for a long time and that they give such major problems in everyday life that it causes a disability. Difficulties should also be noted in several environments, both at home and at work or at school.
Why is it called ADHD?
The letters AD represent attention deficit, which means lack of attention. The letters HD represent hyperactivity disorder, which means hyperactivity disorder, meaning that you have unusually high energy.
But everyone with ADHD is not overactive, but on the contrary, can have problems with too low activity. Sometimes it is called everyday for add. In the field of health care, you are talking about different forms of ADHD instead.
Different forms of ADHD
You can have different forms of ADHD, depending on what symptoms you have, and what difficulties it creates in your daily life. ADHD is usually divided into three forms:
- Combined form – you have problems with attention, overactivity and impulsivity. It is the most common form of ADHD.
- Mainly inattentive form – you have problems with attention and concentration, but few or no problems with overactivity and impulsivity. This form of ADHD is often termed add. Because this shape is not always noticeable, it may take longer to discover.
- Mainly hyperactive-impulsive form – you have problems with overactivity and impulsivity but few or no problems with attention. This form of ADHD is most common in preschool children and can eventually either decrease or switch to a combined form of ADHD.
ADHD with DCD
If, in addition to your ADHD, you have difficulty in performing and coordinating certain movements, for example, having difficulty with team sports, you may have other difficulties that are usually shortened to DCD.
DCD stands for Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Other common difficulties
It is common for the person with ADHD to have sleep problems. Low self-esteem and various forms of mental health such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders are common. It is also common for you to get more easily into an addiction, such as nicotine or alcohol.
It is common for dyslexia or other learning difficulties. Some also have autistic features or an autism spectrum state, such as Asperger’s syndrome or some kind of Tics such as Tourette’s syndrome.
How common is ADHD?
It has become more common for the diagnosis of ADHD to be set. This is probably due to several things, but the main reason is that knowledge about ADHD has increased, which means that more people are diagnosed and diagnosed.
More than 5 percent of school-age children are estimated to have ADHD. In adults it is about 2.5 percent. The fact that there are fewer adults is largely due to the fact that one often learns to handle their difficulties over time.
Symptoms of ADHD
There is a big difference in how ADHD is noted by different people. How you influence also varies depending on the environment and the requirements that apply to you.
Common signs of ADHD
If you have ADHD, it’s common for you to recognize yourself in several of these descriptions:
- You have difficulty concentrating and have many thoughts and ideas in the head at the same time.
- You are having trouble getting started with tasks.
- You have difficulty remembering long instructions.
- You may have difficulty creating order and structure around you.
- You have difficulty matching times.
- You often forget or lose things.
- It’s common for you to shoot things up until it gets late.
There is also something else that is common with ADHD, such as:
- You find it hard to write or read.
- You can sometimes do things without thinking about before.
- You have a great need to move all the time.
- You may be worried, having anxiety or having a hard time sleeping.
- You may be tired of spending time with others.
- You may have difficulty controlling your mood.
- You can be extra stress-sensitive.
You may also have difficulty in being flexible. Being flexible is about coping with a change when something does not get as you have thought.
Each person with ADHD is different
Some people who have ADHD have difficulty controlling their impulses and starting several things at the same time. Some people find it difficult to sit still. Others are more passive and have difficulty getting started with a task. Some are outward and social, others are more inverted.
It can be difficult to follow instructions and keep an eye on things that you are not interested in. What you think is fun or interesting, on the other hand, you can do well.
Living with ADHD
Having a neuropsychiatric diagnosis like ADHD does not mean that there is anything wrong with you, without having a different way of working than what is often expected in society. This means that you can have different difficulties in everyday life, as society is structured in a way that does not suit everyone.
Because of the difficulties you’ve called it a disability, even if your way of being also has benefits. Therefore, if you prefer, call it for a function variation.
You are always more than the diagnosis can explain
ADHD may involve different difficulties depending on your personality and the life situation you are in. Difficulties that you had as a child may for example have changed over time, and as an adult you may have learned how to handle what you thought was the most difficult then.
Your personality, your temper, your qualities, values and interests also affect how you are and works. The diagnosis can only partially describe who you are. Your personality is always more complex than can be explained by your functional variation or disability.
Increased understanding and acceptance
Being unable to control or control their behavior can make you feel easily misunderstood and frustrated in relation to other people. It can lead to conflicts with the environment.
When a person comes late often or forgets things can cause irritation to the environment. It can be perceived that the person does not struggle, though it is not at all.
It may be important for the environment to understand why you are having trouble with certain things. The more you understand and accept your way of working, the easier it will be for you to relate to other people and their expectations. It will also be easier for you to explain to others what you need to feel good.
Find your own strategies
If you accept your limitations and difficulties, you can find solutions that suits you. Some things may feel impossible if you think of them as a single task. But if you divide them into stages and do something, you can also succeed with what you think is difficult.
If you have an impulsive or hyperactive form of ADHD, you often find it difficult to see the consequences of your action. You may often choose what feels good for the moment, instead of what is best in the long run. This can cause you to end up in situations where you feel guilty and feel it is difficult to respond to the irritation of others. By learning more about how you work and finding your own strategies, it can reduce your feelings of guilt and help you to handle environmental demands.
Your motivation is often crucial
If you have ADHD, you often have difficulty planning and organizing tasks or activities if you are not very motivated. You often shoot up things that you find difficult or boring, like cleaning or paying bills.
Once you’re motivated you can go for what you’re doing so much that it’s going to be hard to interrupt what you’re up to. If you are having trouble finding yourself in time and prioritizing what task you should do first, you can get a lot of help with electronic means, which reminds you it’s time to take a break. Read more in the chapter on aids.
Often better with time
How big difficulties you have in your life can also change over time. The more you learn how you work and find your own solutions to cope with different situations, the easier you can manage your difficulties. It’s also easier to see and develop their positive qualities that depend on ADHD when you are older. Then it can also be easier for you to choose which context you want to be in.
If you have ADHD, overactivity usually decreases over the years. Although the impatience remains, you may have learned to handle it in different ways. Finding out how your ADHD affects you can help you accept yourself. The more knowledge, the easier your life will be for those who have ADHD.
ADHD in children: what can parents do?
Children are different. Some are lively and others more quiet. How children develop and mature is also different. If your child’s behavior differs from other peers, you may be worried as a parent. Especially if your deliberations do not seem to help.
ADHD can be an explanation that the child has difficulty controlling himself. If the child has such problems, it becomes apparent when the child starts at preschool or school. How fast you act as a parent depends on how much the need for help is.
How do I notice if my child has ADHD?
The clearest sign of ADHD is that the child is impulsive, has difficulty sitting and concentrating. The child may have difficulty waiting for his turn and listen to the speaker. It is common for the child to switch from one thing to another and have difficulty getting started or getting ready with tasks. Some parents may have similar difficulties, and maybe you will recognize yourself in the child’s behavior.
Difficulties may be due to ADHD, but do not always have to do it. It can also be a phase of development that goes by itself.
Being able to control their behavior and not immediately following their impulses is important in order to work with others and develop their independence. Failure to do so can cause frustration and conflicts. Constant conflict with others can affect the child’s self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to take the child’s problems seriously and act as early as possible if the child has major difficulties in his daily life.
Outbreaks and conflicts
It is common for children with ADHD to start talking later. The child may have difficulty finding words, formulating in full sentences and expressing his will. If the child can not express what it wants, conflicts can easily come true.
It is common for the child to have rapid mood swings and react with severe outbreaks, even in small adversities. Then it’s important that an adult is nearby, who sees and understands the child’s needs.
It is also common for children with ADHD to have sleep problems, especially when it comes to falling asleep in the evening.
Support and assistance with learning
Children with ADHD may need extra support in reading and writing. It may also be that the child does not perceive the sounds that build the words, phonemes. Then the child does not perceive that words rhyme and it becomes harder to pronounce words correctly. It will also be difficult to connect letters with the right sound when the child learns to read.
It may be more common with dyslexia or reading and writing difficulties in children with ADHD. Here you can read more about dyslexia and get advice on how to help your child. It’s good to start helping the child early. There is good help to get.
You can get support as a parent
As a parent of children with disabilities you can get support from society. What support you can get depends on the difficulties the child has in your daily life. Most efforts need to be done by yourself, so it’s good to know what kind of help you can get.
You can discuss with the team that did the investigation and you can also contact the social services in the municipality where you live. For example, you can talk to other parents in a family group. Read more about family support.
It can be valuable to meet others who are in the same situation as yourself. You can meet other parents and participate in various activities the association offers.
It may seem hard to be a parent. In addition to supporting your child, there may be many other things to keep track of your child’s planning. If there are several people involved in actions related to your child, you may ask to have a so-called SIP, coordinated individual plan to coordinate the various efforts and make it clear who is responsible for what action.
What happens when the child turns 18?
When your child is 18, many changes occur. Many parents tell it that it is difficult to know how to handle the child then expecting to take greater responsibility while leaving the parenting room less space. Here you can read more about what happens when your child becomes official.
When should I apply for care?
If you, as an adult or your child, have major problems in everyday life that you suspect depends on ADHD, you should seek care. To get the support and help you or your child needs, you may need to make an investigation first.
If you think your child has ADHD and needs help, you can seek care in several places:
- child welfare center
- pediatric clinic or health center
- child and adolescent psychiatry, bup.
You can contact bup directly or get a referral from the health center. Then you can get an initial assessment, and then you may start an investigation of the child.
If you are a teenager and think you have ADHD and need help, you can contact the health center, a youth reception or bup. You can also talk with student health if you need help with where to seek care.
If you or your child will go through a diagnostic procedure, you will be given a number of visits to healthcare, meeting several professionals and answering many questions. The difference between being investigated as an adult and being investigated as a child is, above all, that the investigation of children involves pre-school staff or school staff.
To be diagnosed as an adult
Reviewing a neuropsychiatric study as an adult means that you meet a doctor and a psychologist on several occasions and can do several interviews and tests.
Sometimes the testing can be done by a team. Then several different professionals can participate, for example a psychologist and doctor, but also an educator, a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist.
Once the investigation is complete, you will receive information about the results and the help, support or treatment you may receive. It may be good to have a close relative at the end of the conversation.
Diagnostic procedure means that you and your child meet a doctor who asks questions. Here are some examples of questions you can answer:
- How has the child developed? When did the child learn to talk and talk?
- What strengths and difficulties does the child have?
- Does the child have any problems with sleep or with food and eating?
- How does the child work with other children?
- Is there any more in the family who have similar difficulties?
- In addition to interviewing you and the child, staff at the school or preschool also help describe how the child works in preschool or school, and at leisure.
The investigation team usually has a special educator who contacts the school and can also investigate the child with regard to, for example, the ability to read and write.
The investigation ends with the fact that you as a parent get information about what has emerged and what assistance, support or treatment the child needs. The child also receives information tailored to the child’s age and maturity. Then the school is informed at a meeting where you also participate as a parent.
How does it feel to get diagnosed with ADHD?
It is different how it feels to get a diagnosis, but usually it’s positive. For example, it may be nice to get a name of the difficulties you or your child has and that, in turn, can increase the understanding of the environment.
The more you learn about disability, the easier it will be to accept the situation. Knowledge often makes it easier for you to see opportunities instead of just difficulties.
What is ADHD due to?
The brain works differently
ADHD is because some parts of the brain work differently than in people without ADHD. Among other things, reduced activity in the part of the brain appears that allows you to willingly control their attention, their impulses and reactions, and the ability to hold several things in the head at the same time. These features are important for a person’s ability to control, plan and coordinate his actions.
Signal substances are important
Much is still unknown about how the brain works. It is only partially known what ADHD is due to, but it has, among other things, to do with so-called signal substances, which are needed when signals are sent between different neurons in the brain.
Signal substances that are important when you have ADHD are dopamine and norepinephrine. If you have ADHD, these signal substances work differently than those who do not have ADHD.
Both heredity and environmental impact
Heredity seems to be the most important factor for your ADHD. It is common for many in a family or family to have similar difficulties. You can also have ADHD without heredity. This may be the one you discuss with your doctor in the investigation team when you get your diagnosis.
Brain development is also influenced by the experiences and experiences you have during your upbringing. This means that both legacy and environment play a role in how the problems with ADHD are evident.
Living with ADHD: What can I get for help?
Learning about your disability is fundamental in the treatment. It’s important both for yourself and for others to understand how you work. By learning more about ADHD, you can understand more about why you have some difficulties and learn how to find strategies to deal with everyday problems.
You may need to talk to someone who can help you understand how your ADHD affects you. You can often ask to have more time with the team who did the investigation.
You can also help to get some type of call support, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or psychosocial support. Then you can go and talk in groups or individually.
Right to individual school plan
In the case of children with ADHD, an investigation may lead to the child receiving an individual school plan. It is important that the education or school days are adjusted based on what the child has difficulty or easily with and needs. This applies regardless of which school or class the child is in.
If the child has dyslexia or other problems with learning, help is provided through, among other things, compensatory aids. Read more about compensatory aids in the text on dyslexia.
The school is responsible for providing the support and assistance the child needs in order to complete his or her learning. This could mean, for example, that the child is given extra time for certain tasks, may do some things in a smaller group or get a support teacher or assistant who is in school and provides extra support.
Important with the structure of everyday life
For adults with ADHD you may need to find your own strategies to structure your tasks and organize your daily lives. If you find a way that works for you, it can solve your problems, even if you still have your difficulties. You can try yourself until you find your own way.
For example, you might need help with managing some things in your home like keeping up, sorting and throwing things, shopping, cooking, cleaning and washing. It can also be about making a budget and finding a system for sorting bills and making sure they are paid on time.
Workplace support for people with ADHD
In the workplace, it can help you if you are able to work in a quiet environment. Going down to working hours can help if you have a stressed life situation and managing your time and tasks yourself can make it easier to maintain motivation.
Adult education and studies with ADHD
Many adults with ADHD have had problems at school and have not been involved in teaching and were able to educate themselves in line with their capacity. If you want to graduate, there are special folk high schools for people with neuropsychiatric disabilities such as ADHD.
It may be easier to take the education as an adult because you have received treatment or because you are more mature or more motivated to study.
Often you may need help structuring your studies. In colleges and universities there may be a coordinator whose task is to support those who need it. It may be that you can spend longer on an exam, orally instead of written exam or access to a mentor.
Every day help for people with ADHD
There are tools for organizing everyday life if you have ADHD. It may be a weekly schedule or app in the mobile phone with a calendar function that gives a signal when you do something. There are also aids if you are having difficulty with time perception, such as hours to turn off electronic devices.
You can get help by contacting a work therapist or an assistant center. Most often, you need a referral from a doctor to have time with an occupational therapist. Aid management is organized differently in different parts of the country.
ADHD treatment with drugs
Both children and adults can sometimes, in addition to other help, benefit greatly from drugs that make it easier to concentrate and focus on tasks, complete school work and reduce restlessness and impulse.
Central stimulants may help
The most common drugs are those called central stimulants, such as Concerta and Ritalin. The drugs contain the active substance methylphenidate. There are also medicines containing dexamethetamine or lisdexamfetamine.
Central stimulants can be used from 6 years of age.
It is not quite known how antimicrobial drugs act in ADHD, but it affects the amount of signal dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This makes it easier for you to concentrate and make you feel calmer and less restless.
Strattera (atomoxetine) for ADHD
Another drug used is sometimes Strattera, which contains the active substance atomoxetine. It is not a central stimulant. It is not entirely clear how the drug works, but it increases the amount of neuronal neurotransmitter in the brain, which makes it easier for you to concentrate.
Adverse drug reactions to ADHD may occur and therefore everyone who is given medication should be closely monitored in the medical care. It is individual how to respond to a drug, but the purpose of medication is to get good help for their symptoms without any side effects.
The most common side effect is decreased appetite. The drugs may also give a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate that are therefore controlled during the visitation.
For people who are still growing, there may be a risk that the medication will adversely affect long-term growth. This will then be noted in connection with the follow-up, with the check of weight and length. Then the dose may change or the drug will be replaced.
It is also possible that you may be depressed by the medication. Then you can try another medicine or you may need to interrupt your treatment.
Are drugs for ADHD addictive?
There is no risk of becoming addicted to the drugs when used as a treatment for ADHD.
Central stimulants are drug-classed, but the treatment dose for a child with ADHD does not depend on the doses prescribed by the doctor.
Research shows that treatment with central stimulants does not increase the risk of future addiction of central stimulants. On the contrary, clinical experience and scientific studies show that the risk of abuse is rapidly decreasing.
ADHD medicine for children
When children receive the drug, it is combined with other efforts, such as information and counseling to parents. At the beginning of treatment, the child must be on a tight check. Thereafter at least every six months, and in addition if the dose is changed.
It is common for parents to feel that the child does not always need to take the medicine, but can stay on for example law and weekends.
It is good if you as a parent have contact with the doctor about these breaks, to discuss the advantages and disadvantages. Resuming medication is not harmful in itself, but may cause the child to function worse during that period, which may affect the effects of the improvements that have occurred as a result of treatment.
Therefore, it’s good if you as a parent are observant of how it works during the planned stays. This requires, of course, that the child works well and is well-behaved with the medicine. From the age of 18, your child will decide whether or not to continue medication.