What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. People who struggle with ADHD may have trouble focusing their attention on a single task. They also may struggle with sitting still for a long period of time.
Both adults and children can have ADHD.
What does ADHD look like?
ADHD can present itself in multiple ways. Here are some of the common symptoms that you may see:
- having trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
- being forgetful about completing tasks
- being easily distracted
- having difficulty sitting still
- interrupting people while they’re talking
How does the DSM-5 define ADHD?
DSM-5® DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR ADHD IN ADULTS (based on DSM-5)
*Please note that this is intended for educational purposes only. For a diagnosis of ADHD, you must have a complete history & evaluation completed by a behavioral health specialist.*
- All criteria must be met for a diagnosis of ADHD in adults. Five or more symptoms of inattention and/or ≥5 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity must have persisted for ≥6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with the developmental level and negatively impacts social and academic/occupational activities.
- Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) were present before the age of 12 years.
- Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) must be present in ≥2 settings (eg, at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
ADHD Symptoms of Inattentiveness:
- Makes careless mistakes/lacks attention to detail
- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Fails to follow through on tasks and instructions
- Exhibits poor organization
- Avoids/dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Loses things necessary for tasks/activities
- Easily distracted (including unrelated thoughts)
- Is forgetful in daily activities
ADHD Symptoms of Hyperactivity:
- Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, squirms in seat
- Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
- Experiences feelings of restlessness
- Has difficulty engaging in quiet, leisurely activities
- Is “on-the-go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out answers
- Has difficulty waiting their turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others
How is ADHD treated?
In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is tried. What works best can depend on the child and family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.
When should I call Soma Therapy?
If you or your doctor has concerns about ADHD, you can take your child to a specialist. At Soma Therapy, we can help! Call 316-201-6047 or fill out our contact form to get help & learn more about ADHD today!
Sources & Additional Resources:
- National Resource Center on ADHD
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Assessment tool for Adults: https://www.qandadhd.com/Content/pdf/ADHD-RS-IV_Tear-Pad-with-Adult-Prompts.pdf (QANDADHD.com)