Information on ADHD of Adolescents – Questions and Answers – brief version
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder or a disorder of the nervous system. Through research it has been found that people who have ADHD have brains that function a little differently.
ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence, also known as IQ. People with ADHD are just as intelligent as anyone else.
Presentations of ADHD
The three most common symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Since ADHD does not always exhibit in the same way or with the same symptoms in everyone we classify ADHD into three different ‘presentations’, depending on which of the symptoms you are experiencing:
- combined (most common),
- primarily inattentive (more common in females but not exclusively)
- primarily hyperactive (very rare)
What Causes ADHD?
ADHD affects the flow of transmissions through the neurons in the brain. These neurons transport information through the brain with signals. There are certain chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and norepinephrine that assist with the transfer of these signals. Through research we know that there is a lack of some of these chemicals in people with ADHD that might be due to various reasons. By doing more research we hope to discover the reason for this.
We also know that ADHD has a strong heredity component, which means that it shows up in families. Commonly more than one person in a family will have ADHD.
How Many People Have ADHD?
ADHD is the most common neurological disorder. Studies throughout the world have reported that at least 5% of children and 4% of adults throughout the word have ADHD.
Some Ways That ADHD Can Affect Adolescents:
- Difficulty regulating attention
- Difficulty with impulsive behaviour
- Becoming easily frustrated
- Problems with short-tern memory
- Difficulty with problem solving
- Difficulty with social skills
- Problems with time management
- Difficulty getting your work done
- Difficulty planning ahead
- Problems with organization
Why Do You Have ADHD?
We know that most of the time ADHD is hereditary. This means that it is passed down to children through their parents’ genes.
Is ADHD More Common Now?
It may look like more and more people have ADHD now, but we are just better at diagnosing it.
How is ADHD Treated?
The treatment of ADHD should always be ‘multi-modal’, which means it should be treated in more than one way. Usually at least three different types of treatment are recommended; education about ADHD, how it may impact you along with strategies that may help; school accommodations and medication if required.
How Can I Help With My Treatment?
The very best way to help with your treatment is to learn about ADHD. When you understand what ADHD is and how it affects you, you can start to learn strategies to help deal with it. ADHD affects everyone differently and it is important to understand not only the things that you have difficulty with, but also the things that you are good at.
What about School, My Job, Friends?
You may feel that you don’t want anyone at school or your job to know you have ADHD. This is not uncommon. We don’t like others knowing we have problems or things we find difficult. As you get older and meet more people you will find that everyone has things that they are good at and things that they find difficult. Sometimes when others understand why you have difficulty with certain things they can be more helpful.
Will ADHD Ever Go Away?
ADHD is something that can continue into your adulthood. You may see a change in some of your symptoms like a decrease in the hyperactivity, but we know that at least 60% of adults keep their core symptoms of ADHD. The good news is that by taking advantage of the treatment available, you will be able to learn strategies to help you work with your ADHD. Many people with ADHD grow up to have successful careers and happy lives and there is no reason why this won’t happen to you. The important thing is that you stick with your treatment, learn as much as you can about yourself and ADHD and that you don’t use your ADHD as an excuse for not succeeding at what you want to do.