The attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) mainly affects children and adolescents. It is estimated that on average around four to five percent of children and adolescents in the World have ADHD. The figures vary, however, depending on which age group is considered and the exact diagnosis criteria are based. Overall, boys are more frequently affected, with ADHD likely to be less common in girls, especially with less external restlessness. ADHD can also occur in adults. Experts believe that about half of the affected children take the disorder into adulthood. ADHD sometimes turns out to be slightly different then in childhood.
The disorder is characterized by limitations in three core areas, which may vary in severity between individuals:
The children have big problems to wait. They interrupt or interfere with others. It is typical that these abnormalities occur even before the 12th birthday, that they last more than half a year, are much more pronounced than peers and lead to problems or conflicts in different areas of life such as family, school or kindergarten. The disorder has "many faces": in some cases, the children do not seem restless and vivacious, but rather a little dreamy, absent or forgetful. This form - with no apparent hyperactivity - is sometimes called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This classification neglects, however, that many sufferers feel a clear internal unrest that is barely visible to the outside. In addition, there is often an increase in impulsivity in ADD as well. Experts suggest that ADHD is easily overlooked without any external agitation and is somewhat more common in girls.
Those who have ADHD can conflict with their environment or remain behind their own possibilities. ADHD is often associated with other abnormalities such as tics, a reading and writing difficulties or a disorder in social behavior. Often the adolescents develop a number of additional serious mental illnesses (depression, coercion, personality disorders, abuse or dependence on alcohol or drugs) as they grow up. In this sense, the disorder often means a burden for those affected and relatives. But there are also positive aspects: people with ADHD are often imaginative and very creative in the artistic field. Many are easily inspired, are extremely helpful and have a pronounced sense of justice. The liveliness can also be perceived positively.
Symptoms Every child is sometimes loud, fidgety, raging, not following or having no desire to sit still. That's completely normal. It's not always easy to say where this "normal case" ends and ADHD begins. Three features are particularly typical for ADHD: *Inattention*Hyperactivity*ImpulsivenessDepending on the age, various other symptoms may indicate ADHD (warning symptoms): In infancy, the children sometimes already suffer from motor restlessness, eating or sleeping problems. They have partly long-lasting cry phase, for which no objective reason can be found. Some do not like body contact, are very exhausting, often in a bad mood and can not calm themselves down. In toddler and kindergarten, they are typically very active, often change their actions and have only a short stamina in playing with others and alone. They often defy very strongly, can hardly accept rules and are difficult to assess for others. It is difficult for them to form stable friendships. Often, they have motor deficits, or perceive sounds or visual stimuli less or pay more attention to certain details and neglect other important information. Some people are prone to accidents, talk very early or late.
In elementary school, many children are bothered with ADHD in class. They are easily distractible, often do not abide by rules and are often outsiders in the class. They may be prone to tantrums and aggressive behaviour, talk a lot and often overhasty. Some also suffer from a reading-spelling or calculation weakness. In puberty, denial and rebellious behaviour come to the fore. The youth often suffer from low self-esteem and are prone to anxiety, depression and addictive behaviour. Eating disorders, obesity, accidents and rule violations and crimes are more common in adolescents with ADHD. However, there are also positive features that are more common in children with ADHD. So they are often very imaginative and creative, very helpful and have a high sense of justice. In addition, the following symptoms can often occur:
*Strong mood swings,
*Lack of concentration and stamina
*Slow way of working
*Constraints, e.g. sort by Chewing finger nails