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What Is ADHD?
ADHD—attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder—is a chronic metabolic disorder in the brain primarily triggered by genetic factors, although some experts believe that social environmental factors influence the development of ADHD in children. ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, disorganization, forgetfulness, extreme talkativeness, a low tolerance for frustration, and a lack of mental concentration or focus. The medical term ADHD also encompasses all types of ADD (attention-deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity). While many people sometimes have trouble concentrating, experts will typically only diagnose you with ADHD if you have shown multiple symptoms on a regular basis for more than six months and in more than one setting.
ADHD in Children
Children with ADHD may be inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive, and easily distracted. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether these characteristics in a particular child are symptoms of ADHD or simply “normal kid behavior”. Many preschool-aged children who do not have ADHD have trouble sitting still for long periods of time. If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, the CDC recommends seeking out cognitive behavioral therapy for your child before trying medication. Many medications commonly used to treat ADHD are not approved for use in children or are used only as a last resort because of their side effects and high potential for addiction.
ADHD in Adults
Adults living with ADHD typically began to show symptoms in early childhood which simply did not disappear with adulthood. Symptoms of ADHD can range from mild to severe and may grow worse or better over time depending on circumstances and treatment. If you have a very mild case of ADHD, you might not even know that you have it without a diagnosis. If you have a very severe case of ADHD, you may struggle to form stable interpersonal relationships, to perform everyday tasks, or to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem. There is no shame in having a condition such as ADHD nor in seeking treatment for it.
Treatment & Care
ADHD may not have a permanent cure, but it can be treated effectively with cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy) and prescription medications. Our compassionate online therapists for ADHD are available for online counseling and therapy appointments. Medications for ADHD treatment may include both non-stimulants and stimulants. ADHD-specific non-stimulant drugs have some advantages over stimulant drugs, such as longer-lasting and gradual effects and lower potential for abuse or addiction. Our online psychiatrists may be able to prescribe medications for ADHD treatment so long as these medications are not DEA-controlled stimulants such as Adderall. Prescriptions (including refills) for DEA-controlled substances require an in-person visit.