What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Five to seven percent of children are diagnosed with this developmental disorder. Some simply cannot concentrate; others become disruptive, defiant and have trouble getting along with parents, peers, or teachers.

ADHD is controversial. Is it a true disorder or a collection of naturally occurring behaviors that aren't tolerated in today’s high-demand world? Furthermore, there are competing theories about what, if anything, triggers ADHD in the brain, although executive functioning (attention, emotion regulation, and decision-making) is invariably affected. Up to 50 percent of children eventually outgrow the condition, but even if so, early developmental delays may create enduring learning problems.

Experts disagree over whether treatment should be behavioral (training of attention, increased play, greater structure) or pharmacological (stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall), although a combination of both may work best.

Managing work, school, and household tasks can be very challenging for people with ADD and ADHD. Fortunately, those afflicted can learn coping skills to work around shortcomings and harness their talents — as many successful people with ADD and ADHD have done.

Recent posts on ADHD

Categorizing Treatments Used in Biomedicine and CAM

Do you sometimes wonder how different treatments work? Different treatments rely on different established or postulated mechanisms of action.

Introduction to Integrative Mental Health Care

Are you curious about new ideas in mental health care? Integrative mental health is a new paradigm that uses treatments from Western medicine and alternative medicine (CAM).

The Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health Care

Are you curious about recent advances in assessment of mental health problems? Functional medicine offers a range of promising approaches.

Psychiatric Assessment is Evolving

Are you trying to understand what is causing your anxiety, depressed mood or another mental health problem? New approaches in assessment are providing better answers!

Turning the Page on ADHD

Naturally, change is hard for all kids, and can be harder for those with ADHD. A new school year is the perfect time to pause, reconsider, and set up new routines.

The Silver Lining in the ADHD Cloud

Is your ADHD getting in your way? Learn how to turn it into a valuable asset.

ADHD: A Bundle of Deplorable Problems Masked in Plain View?

ADHD: a performance deficit---significant difficulties implementing academic skills, not specifically learning them. Is ADHD over-diagnosed and stimulant drugs over-prescribed?

Why Kids With Pets Are Better Off

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 12, 2017 in Animals and Us
Even the researchers were surprised by results of a large new study on the impact of pets on child development.

Caution: Memory at Work

By Paula Croxson Ph.D. on July 09, 2017 in Selective Memory
A new study sheds light on how we keep our minds on the task at hand even when faced with the distractions of modern life.

Fidget Spinners — Toy or Therapy?

Are Fidget Spinners the new Therapy for ADHD and Stress?
Freepik

Ketogenic Diets for Psychiatric Disorders: A New 2017 Review

By Georgia Ede MD on June 30, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
What can a low-carbohydrate diet do for your mental health?

The Overlap of ADHD and GAD

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be similar and occur at the same time. Learn about symptoms and treatments.

There Is a New Link Between Screen-Time and Autism

Don’t expect boys to “grow out of” their obsession with screens.

Stabilize Your Mood with Food

By Georgia Ede MD on June 28, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Reclaim your emotional health and happiness without medications

Fidget Spinner Fad Winds Down

Should fidget spinners be allowed at school?

Is There Really a Boy Crisis?

By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Talking About Men
Some scholars have long stated that we are in the midst of a ‘boy crisis’, manifesting itself in educational under-achievement and poor mental health. But is this the case?

The Question of ADHD

Is ADHD really biologically based? Genetic? Or a socially constructed disorder? Read on for why we should be careful of what we readily accept as true.
"Stoop Storytelling"/Leah Miller/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why We Share Our Private Stories

By Barb Cohen on June 22, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
How do we find our place in the world? By standing up and telling the stories in which we play the starring role.

ADHD and Opioid Addiction

ADHD and substance abuse are commonly co-occurring disorders. Let's look into the correlation vs. causation.

Collaboration When a Family Has ADHD: Like Parent Like Child

Finding an empathetic, mutual path around ADHD aims families towards a shared goal instead of a battle, while adults build the same skills they’re aiming for in their children.

A Few Words to Young Adults with Disabilities, and Without

We all mess up. Its easy to be hard on yourself when you have a disability, or even when you don't.

Is It ADHD or a Thyroid Disorder?

Do you have ADHD or a thyroid disorder? Symptoms can be very similar. There's also a chance that you can have ADHD and thyroid issues at the same time.

ADHD Summer Reading Challenge

Reading is one of the most crucial activities for children, promoting language development, building knowledge, and setting up academic success, but ADHD can make it hard.
"Sewing Machine"/Steffen Zahn/CC BY 2.0

How Does Parenting Work When the Instruction Manual Fails?

By Barb Cohen on June 12, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Maybe x is the problem, maybe x is part of the problem, or maybe x is irrelevant to the problem. With regard to sewing machines, much like my children, I will never know.

Six Things You Should Know About ADHD

A recent study, geared toward teachers promotes a new understanding of ADHD—a diagnosis that has been skyrocketing among American children.

Playing (Video) Games With Your IQ

By Elias Aboujaoude M.D. on June 11, 2017 in Compulsive Acts
Are video games making us smarter?

How Is Adult ADHD Treated With Medications?

Adult ADHD - What are the Treatments and Side Effects of the Medications?
R. Downie fall/TwoWings/CC BY 3.0

When Parenting Becomes a Spectator Sport

By Barb Cohen on May 29, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The strongest parents absorb the professionals' good advice, ignore the useless commentary, and treat themselves with compassion. But most of us are not among the strongest.

The Price of Being a Loner

By Barb Cohen on May 21, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Without a social brain, imperfection is never “normalized;” the soothing mantra “Everybody feels this way sometimes” cannot be internalized.

Medication For Life

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on May 20, 2017 in Beyond Freud
Some people need medication to live. Are others put on unneeded medication for life?