What is ADHD

Child throwing paper airplane

ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that leads to inattention, impulsivity and often but not always hyperactivity. Symptoms include problems with concentrating, sitting still and completing tasks. Not everyone who has these symptoms has ADHD. The symptoms must negatively affect the person’s performance in more than one way and there are other criteria that must be met before a diagnosis can be made.

The underlying problem for patients with ADHD lies in not having enough of the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that allow the brain to focus.

Is It ADHD?

One of the fears patients have is even asking that question. You may wonder or even know that you or your child is affected by ADHD, but how do you confirm that? You don’t want a rush to diagnosis and a quick prescription, but you don’t want to belabor the process with unnecessary and expensive testing that can cost thousands and leave you with uncertainty and no clear action plan. You fear the label, but in your heart you know that you or your child has already been labeled—or more accurately mislabeled as a behavior problem, lazy or underachieving.

Is It ADHD or ADD?

The medical diagnosis is always ADHD. ADD is a “slang” term for patients that have the inattentive sub-type of the disorder which means that they are less hyperactive than the majority of ADHD patients.  Parents fear the label ADHD because they believe that the H means bad behavior—but is doesn’t; it just means that the patient moves more than other people in the same age group.

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