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Links to our ADD & ADHD Support Group & Information

ADD & ADHD Index Introduction To ADD & ADHD Treatments Recent Research Findings
Attention Disorders Understanding the Problem Sustaining Hope Getting Help
ADD ADHD outgrown or cured? What causes ADHD & ADD Symptoms of ADD & ADHD Treatments for ADD & ADHD
Educational options for ADD & ADHD? Can other disorders accompany ADHD? ADD & ADHD identified and diagnosed? Can any other conditions produce these symptoms?
  What hope does research offer?  

Introduction To ADD & ADHD

Imagine living in a fast-moving kaleidoscope, where sounds, images, and thoughts are constantly shifting. Feeling easily bored, yet helpless to keep your mind on tasks you need to complete. Distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind drives you from one thought or activity to the next. Perhaps you are so wrapped up in a collage of thoughts and images that you don't notice when someone speaks to you.

For many people, this is what it's like to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. They may be unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what's going on around them. To their family, classmates or coworkers, they seem to exist in a whirlwind of disorganized or frenzied activity. Unexpectedly--oon some days and in some situations--tthey seem fine, often leading others to think the person with ADHD can actually control these behaviors. As a result, the disorder can mar the person's relationships with others in addition to disrupting their daily life, consuming energy, and diminishing self-esteem.

ADHD, once called hyperkinesis or minimal brain dysfunction, is one of the most common mental disorders among children. It affects 3 to 5 percent of all children, perhaps as many as 2 million American children. Two to three times more boys than girls are affected. On the average, at least one child in every classroom in the United States needs help for the disorder. ADHD often continues into adolescence and adulthood, and can cause a lifetime of frustrated dreams and emotional pain.

But there is help...and hope. In the last decade, scientists have learned much about the course of the disorder and are now able to identify and treat children, adolescents, and adults who have it. A variety of medications, behavior-changing therapies, and educational options are already available to help people with ADHD focus their attention, build self-esteem, and function in new ways.

Many childhood mental illnesses escape notice, but children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often the subject of great concern on the part of parents and teachers. Children with ADHD-the most common of the psychiatric disorders that appear in childhood-can't stay focused on a task, act without thinking, can't sit still, and rarely finish anything. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term effects on a child's ability to make friends or do well at school or work. Over time, children with ADHD may develop depression, lack of self-esteem, and other emotional problems.

  • Experts estimate that ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of school-age children.
  • ADHD affects two to three times as many boys as girls.
  • Children with untreated ADHD have higher than normal rates of injury.
  • ADHD frequently co-occurs with other problems, such as depression and anxiety disorders, conduct disorder, drug abuse, or antisocial behavior.

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