What is ADHD?

What is ADD or ADHD or AD/HD?


ADHD, also Known as AD/HD is the acronym for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also known as the hyper-kinetic disorder in the ICD-10. For long it has been described in the literature, and it is well documented for at least a century. The diagnostic classification has undergone numerous revisions in the past for incorporating the latest findings in the area. Though it is one of the best-understood disorders in the medical community, it is one of the most misunderstood disorders in the general community.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic disorder that is considered to be a neuro-psychiatric disorder or a disorder of nervous system. It is the most common disorder among school children. The disorder is characterized by developmentally inappropriate functioning in the domains of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. In simple terms, the child’s functioning is not matching with that of his/her peers.


If not treated properly, it increases the risk of delinquency, drug abuse and poor academic performance, etc. there are often associated emotional, behavioral and social problems. There is a high prevalence of low self-esteem in children with ADD/ADHD. Learning disabilities including dyslexia are often a common co-morbidity. Though these children may have many other problems including psychopathology, disruptive and oppositional behavior is the most common causes of referral.


There is considerable evidence about the role of heredity in this disorder accompanied by differences in the structure of the central nervous system (CNS), metabolism and information processing.


There are different treatment options available, and it should be tailor-made as per the needs of the individual child. For guiding the treatment proper assessment is needed in different functional domains such as academic functioning, school, peer relationships, family, nature of symptoms and co-morbid psychopathology.


Regarding the incidence of ADHD, the studies have documented it at 5-12%, and it is more prevalent among boys than the girls. There is some reservation about the claim that it is three times more prevalent among the boys, and the researchers point out as the hyperactivity is less in girls, the symptoms of inattention goes unnoticed.
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