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Attention Deficit Disorder

Symptoms and treatment of ADD

ADD, or attention deficit disorder, can present itself in three different ways: the inattentive type, the hyperactive type or the combined type. The hyperactive type is called ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The main difference between these two is that patients who suffer from the inattentive type of ADD have difficulties focusing and paying attention, while the ADHD sufferers have difficulty sitting still.

Symptoms of ADD

Every sufferer of ADD / ADHD experiences different symptoms, making it difficult to accurately diagnose the patient. Some of the common symptoms and behaviors of people with ADD / ADHD are that they are unable to sit still, have difficulty listening, don't think about the consequences of their actions, have trouble in group situations (such as waiting for their turn) and rarely finish a project once they have started it. For the most part, people with ADD / ADHD may seem impolite or impatient, and they may also seem to lack motivation.

The problems of those with inattentive ADD make sense given the name of the disorder – they simply can't pay attention. Someone with ADD may not come prepared for school or work, they may be extremely forgetful, or they might make extremely careless mistakes and pay little attention to detail. They are easily distracted and many times completely avoid doing anything that involves using their mental abilities.

Symptoms of ADHD

Those who have ADHD generally have too much energy to sit still and focus. In a classroom or work setting they may be very fidgety. The bursts of energy they have may cause a complete inability to concentrate. Sometimes they just get up and run around inappropriately, or find inexcusable reasons to leave. An ADHD sufferer is likely to be the one to blurt out an answer or a comment without thinking.

The way ADD / ADHD affects children and adults are slightly different. For a child, it is normal to act hyperactive and inattentive to a degree. However, the adult who experiences the disorder and has not found positive coping techniques or medications still has to deal with the side effects in a world that expects adults to be mature and responsible.

ADD Medication and Treatment

The two most common medications prescribed for these disorders are Ritalin and Adderall, which allow the person to calm down and concentrate. Children are often put on these medications at a very young age, which can be a difficult decision for the parents. Does the child really need medication? How much inattentiveness and hyperactivity in a young child is considered normal? How bad does it have to be before they need to be medicated?

ADD / ADHD is a serious problem. It causes difficulties for children learning in the classroom, and furthermore, it causes difficulties for adults as they go on to function in society.

By Meagan Ratcliff

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