Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 

Introduction 

Child health 6-15

Information on child health, including healthy diet, fitness, sex education and exam stress

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a sub-type of ADHD.

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • a short attention span
  • restlessness or constant fidgeting
  • being easily distracted

ADHD can occur in people of any intellectual ability. However, many people with ADHD also have learning difficulties. They may also have additional problems such as sleep disorders.

Symptoms of ADHD tend to be first noticed at an early age, and may become more noticeable when a child's circumstances change, such as starting school.

Young children are naturally active and easily distracted. However, if these features are excessive for a child's age and general developmental level, and affecting their daily life, they may indicate ADHD.

Read about the symptoms of ADHD for a full list of possible symptoms and associated conditions.

Diagnosing ADHD

ADHD is normally diagnosed between the ages of three to seven, although in some cases it may not be until much later. It is more commonly diagnosed in boys.

There are several criteria that must be met for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD. Adults are harder to diagnose because there is no definitive set of age-appropriate symptoms.

Read more information about how ADHD is diagnosed.

What causes ADHD?

Although the exact cause of ADHD is not known, research shows that it tends to run in families. Some research also shows that there may be differences in the way the brain works in people with ADHD.

Potential risk factors include:

  • being male
  • smoking, alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • being born prematurely

Read more information about the causes of ADHD.

How common is ADHD?

ADHD is the most common behavioural disorder in the UK. It is estimated the condition affects 2-5% of school-aged children and young people.

ADHD can be a lifelong condition, and many children continue to have symptoms as a teenager and adult.

It is estimated that more than two out of three children diagnosed with ADHD will still have symptoms as teenagers. It is then estimated that two out of three of these teenagers will show symptoms as adults.

It is uncertain whether ADHD can occur in adults without first appearing in childhood.

Treating ADHD 

There is no cure for ADHD, but it can be managed with appropriate educational support, advice and support for parents and the individual, and medication if necessary.

Read more information about how ADHD is treated.

Living with a child with ADHD can be challenging but it is important to remember that they cannot help their behaviour.

Some issues that may arise in day to day life include:

  • getting your child to sleep at night
  • arriving at school on time
  • listening to and carrying out instructions
  • social occasions
  • shopping

Read about living with ADHD for information about ways to cope with these issues.

Page last reviewed: 29/05/2012

Next review due: 29/05/2014

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Comments

The 29 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Healthconscious223 said on 12 April 2014

I am shocked by some of the doctors responses to those trying to be diagnosed with Adult ADHD. NICE guidelines have been published mandating that Adult ADHD must be taken seriously by the NHS, properly diagnosed, treated, etc. It is clearly unacceptable that some GPs throughout the country are even refusing to give a referral simply due to the age of the patients despite guidelines being published on this issue. I would expect better from GPs and expect them to follow NICE guidelines properly.

Luckily, I have been diagnosed as a child, but these comments on here make me worry about access to any potential treatment I may need as I approach adulthood.

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concerned gran said on 03 April 2014

I have been concerned about my grandson since he was about 18months old when it became clear there was a problem, he is 7 now, he was late speaking, cant concentrate, fidgets, bad behaviour at school, talks a lot, hard to discipline etc he is behind at school and school have asked his mum to have him assessed but she is totally in denial and says she doesnt want him labelled. I find this so frustrating as i would have tried to do the best for him and had him assessed years ago.

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no1welshgal said on 05 February 2014

I got asked if I had ADHD so I looked it up.
The symptoms make so much sense to what has been going on for me over all these years, im 33!
Im really worried about going to a GP with this.
Im not trying to diagnose myself, but Ive alway knew there was something else going on but didnt know what it was.
Any advice on what to do next?
Is there acctually support out there?
Is it worth finding out or do I leave it? Is caused a lot of problems and and help would be appreciated.

Thank you :-)

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FOB24 said on 18 January 2014

I looked at the symptoms of ADHD and I have notice I might have some of the symptoms. I'm 17 years old and at home I'm loud and I'm very hyper at times. At college, I'm shy and dont like talking but I get distracted really easy. I have a feeling that I might have the adult case of ADHD. I scared about telling my parents. The only reason I looked into this as my friends says I'm werid and too loud and one friend said I might have ADHD. Should I tell my parents as I'm scared of telling them.

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FOB24 said on 18 January 2014

I looked at the symptoms of ADHD and I have notice I might have some of the symptoms. I'm 17 years old and at home I'm loud and I'm very hyper at times. At college, I'm shy and dont like talking but I get distracted really easy. I have a feeling that I might have the adult case of ADHD. I scared about telling my parents. The only reason I looked into this as my friends says I'm werid and too loud and one friend said I might have ADHD. Should I tell my parents as I'm scared of telling them.

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JohnUsher87 said on 23 September 2013

Hello I have ADHD and was diagnosed when I was 6 years old I am now 25 and have kids of my own whom I am sure have ADHD my Daughter especially I have learned to cope with most symptoms but they never really go away and family life and commitment is extremely difficult sometimes when my wife and i have arguements i just dont know what to do and so i end up loosing my temper it is still really hard to hold down a job aswell and since i pretty much failed at school its sometimes hard to even get a job and i still struggle with getting round to doing things that iv started and sometimes dont end up finishing because i get bored
now the point im getting to is even though i have all these problems and struggle so much i can get by i just try and take a step back and breathe or i try and think before i act. i just keep telling myself this and sometimes it works with regards to the parents who think or their kids do have adhd it is very hard to manage them sometimes but what worked for me when i was a kid was my parents took things away from me when i was acting up and it usually worked but bribery does get old quite quick with children but it can work well sometimes. now with my daughter that does work every now and then. but what works best for me and my wife is the "time out chair" where we put her if she is naughty for maybe 5-10 min depending on what they have done or wont do. dont forget most of us parents are bigger than our kids so when they are still like 3-7 years we could most likely restrain them with "apropriate" strength. like when my daughter who is nearly 4 refuses to go in the bath i will pick her up put her in and wash her because she then knows that im annoyed and she cannot resist me when i get forcefull again "use apropriate" force other things you can try are ADHD groups on the internet like Facebook has a couple and other chat forums for adults i hope this may be of help to someone coz i know how frustrating ADHD can be

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chan152 said on 03 September 2013

hi i have spoken to a few people and they think my son might have adhd im not sure im going to the doctors monday, he is always on the go hes 3 1/2 doesnt stop changes from one thing to another instantly , hits out and when asked y he says i dont know, breaking things never before but now argues shouts swears sometimes he knows its wrong but does it hes not stupid he knows but still does it , hates me on the phone plays up when anyone at mine wants all my attention constantly . i have no problems with his sleep , eating not to good wont sit still to eat , doesnt play with anyone at preschool rather be around the teachers anyone else had this problem as im realy not sure

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Ashleyp2 said on 19 August 2013

For all those looking for information on ADHD, and have been let down by the knowledge of GPs. Contact ADDISS the national adhd charity. They are EXTREMELY USEFUL and run a helpline for the whole of the UK.

If you are an adult, you CAN recieve a diagnosis, help and support for managing you adhd.

ADDISS also hold Adhd conferences by internationally renowed speakers. I went to one last year, and it was absolutely amazing. Ashley Mckensie the Judo Olympian spoke with his Mother about his ADHD and had us in laughter and tears.

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plzdiagnoseme said on 03 June 2013

I have just read a lot of the comments on here and im struggling to believe that the issues continue back so many year but there has been no progression in services being offered.
I live within the Medway NHS and Ii have struggled with depression for the last 6 years, i recently started looking into ADHD and was very surprised the similarities of peoples profile and undertaking many simple website diagnostic explained that I should book an appointment with my GP, which does for some reason take me to build up a lot of courage to even get down there. I did and could not comprehend the reaction i was able to receive. The exact same comment i've seen posted on here

Your situation is so similar to mine; I actually went to my GP about it and he basically said:
"We don't know enough about it, you might not have it and even if you do, you're an adult so there's nothing at all we can do."

I was also told that, on advice from the Dr that she has tried many times and the referral centre just sends back the referral form telling the Dr to diagnose the symptoms which i describe and that they are only able to advice on children ADHD, and we have no adult service!!!!! How many time has the Dr had to tell people that, sorry we don't have anything to help. Once i was told by my Dr how the mental health services in medway are terrible, and now this please wot on earth is going!! they've been unable to supply me with any services to aid with my depression I am now unable to access services to do with ADHD.

I always struggled at school and was unable to finish, i was lucky enough to be given a chance in college which i fortunately flourished at. Then i moved to uni and the problems started to become more poininot. I just want answers to my issues, does that seem so hard, I can finding hundreds of website which tell me the success of treatment so why am and the rest of the suffers not being supplied a service. Medway NHS dont ignore us we need help now!!

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plzdiagnoseme said on 03 June 2013

I have just read a lot of the comments on here and im struggling to believe that the issues continue back so many year but there has been no progression in services being offered.
I live within the Medway NHS and Ii have struggled with depression for the last 6 years, i recently started looking into ADHD and was very surprised the similarities of peoples profile and undertaking many simple website diagnostic explained that I should book an appointment with my GP, which does for some reason take me to build up a lot of courage to even get down there. I did and could not comprehend the reaction i was able to receive. The exact same comment i've seen posted on here

Your situation is so similar to mine; I actually went to my GP about it and he basically said:
"We don't know enough about it, you might not have it and even if you do, you're an adult so there's nothing at all we can do."

I was also told that, on advice from the Dr that she has tried many times and the referral centre just sends back the referral form telling the Dr to diagnose the symptoms which i describe and that they are only able to advice on children ADHD, and we have no adult service!!!!! How many time has the Dr had to tell people that, sorry we don't have anything to help. Once i was told by my Dr how the mental health services in medway are terrible, and now this please wot on earth is going!! they've been unable to supply me with any services to aid with my depression I am now unable to access services to do with ADHD.

I always struggled at school and was unable to finish, i was lucky enough to be given a chance in college which i fortunately flourished at. Then i moved to uni and the problems started to become more poininot. I just want answers to my issues, does that seem so hard, I can finding hundreds of website which tell me the success of treatment so why am and the rest of the suffers not being supplied a service. Medway NHS dont ignore us we need help now!!

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Worried1422 said on 07 May 2013

My son was diagnosed in December 2012 with ADHD (inattentive). He is 21. This diagnosis came about after having left college to study English and American literature at university. His life literally fell apart. A high achiever, He had attended a private school where support and assistance in reminders to produce work was plentiful. When he became truly independent and responsible for all of his own workload and prioritising he just couldn't manage. A purely chance comment by someone outside his normal circle of friends seemed to answer more questions than it raised when an observation was made that 'he must have' ADD, there was no other explanation for the disorganisation, inability to prioritise, procrastination etc, etc, the list goes on. With no services available he sought the assistance of the student body at the university who gladly made a brief assessment and referred him to the on site GP. From here we arranged for a psychiatric assessment which determined that he did indeed have an extreme case of ADD. Quite text book by all accounts. He is now trying to come to terms with the medication and whilst it isn't the answer to his prayers, it is getting him to a place where he is managing his course, which is as much as we can hope for at this stage. It is a process, he knows that. He isn't expecting miracles but is on the right road. He is determined to find out as much as he can to assist himself as the mental health assistance is poor in the area where he attends university so he has little in the way of choices if he wants to succeed. Mainly, he has to help himself. It's difficult and it takes a lot of planning and he has to cope with more changes as he flys to America this summer for a year in an American university as part of his course, completely unassisted and self reliant. It will be a challenge, he knows that but can only try his best. Life will still go on, even without his degree if he doesn't make it but it won't be for the want of trying.

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chrislaw1 said on 16 April 2013

I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 7 and i struggled with it all through my life. I then got diagnosed with Adult ADHD at the age of 18 and since then the amount of support i have had has been very minimal. I went to my GP a few months ago about my regular mood swings and my GP said i could refer you to a councillor but i wouldn't have any hopes as there is no one that has enough knowledge of ADHD to be able to deal with your case.
However, on a brighter side it has given me the courage and willingness to go ahead and set up my own ADHD Support Group as i have collected a large amount of information and have a wide range of knowledge that i would like to talk to others with ADHD about and try and help them try and cope with the condition.

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netroman28 said on 05 April 2013

I'm at the beginning of researching ADHD as I believe I may have suffered with it as a child and my daughter I believe has.

Certainly the things I have read have opened my eyes to my behaviour and certainly that of my children which has inspired me to not things I learn on my own page at http://kidsattentiondisorders.com/

Even now at nearly 43 I find myself showing symptoms; even after training my mind a little to try and concentrate. I can say though as a uni graduate that it doesn't have to stop you doing well

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someguy92 said on 11 June 2012

Wow User661649 , I just read that and actually had to check if I'd posted that myself....

Your situation is so similar to mine; I actually went to my GP about it and he basically said:
"We don't know enough about it, you might not have it and even if you do, you're an adult so there's nothing at all we can do."

Doesn't stop both me (and my wife especially) being fairly sure I am though =/

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ADHD Oxfordshire said on 04 June 2012

Message to User661649
There is a support group and other information and coaching help in your area. See www.adhdoxfordshire.co.uk

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User661649 said on 01 April 2012

I'm looking for advise on ADD, I am allmost 100% sure I have ADD but as a 19 year old I'm totaly unsure what I can do about it.

I have allways been hormonal, forgetfull, disorganised, anxious, inpulsive and a bit of a day dreamer, but since moving to university I've become my own worse enemy and its spiraled out of controll.

I lose things on an allmost hourley basis, dispite doing my best I can't seem to do coursework in peices untill im so desperate I can think of nothing else, and then ill not eat/sleep/or rest for days at a time untill im allmost halucinating with exhaustion.

Last semester I barley slept, or did for three hour stints, this semester I'm sleeping 16 hours at a time and can't motivate myself out of bed. I'm an upbeat person by nature but sometimes I can't motivate myself out off bed for anything.. including the fire alarm in my halls.

Yesterday I had to walk out of an maths exam because I felt so sick and clostrophobic I couldn't carry on.

I'm not a weak person, dispite being dyslexic I study psychology and english and I've never failed a subject in my life. It's not stress, I lived and cared for my bi polar boyfriend from the age of 16 and have it cushty in Oxford compared to my intense teenage years.

But since I moved away all my coping stratagies and support systems have gone and I'm so frustrated with myself.. I don't want to let myself or the people around me down and I try my best to organise my life better and I just cant.

If I don't get help I'm going to throw my degree away and I don't know how I'll forgive myself. I also don'y know how to exsplain my actions to ther people as its only just been sugested to me that I'm ADD.

My local G.P is so awfull, imn scared they'll just send me away with anti depresants.. is it even worth going at all?

I have no idea where to proceed from at this point, any advise would be appreciated.

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endoftetherreached said on 17 March 2012

i have a 16 year old sons who has struggled for the last 5 years to get the help he wants. He was always an active on the go child,and looking back probably ticked a lot of the adhd boxes but we managed. He went to a small village school but once he got to secondary school things went from bad to worse. He is now in his GCSE year, he hugely lacks concentration, sees no relevance in anything,when extremely stressed he has violent outbursts. On a good day he is a lovely articulate, bright, and good fun to be with. It has taken us till now to see the local cahms team but with only a couple of years to go till he is out in 'the big wide world' the help is slow, sometimes nonexistant and so frustrationg. He is the one asking for help- trying to get across that it is not us that need to know 'how to handle him' to the profesionals we have seen so far is beyond frustrating. He is the youngest of 4 children, we have a strong family which is just aswell, we set firm boundaries but we are making no progress. meanwhile the GCSEs are coming towwards us like a fast moving train and the stress this along with the usual being 16 pressures brings is enormous. I would be very grateful if anyone has any ideas or help.

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Orquidia said on 02 January 2012

I'm saddened by the ignorance by some of these commenters who have no idea but spout unproven facts and made up statistics.
There's no blood test for most neurological and mental health issues. That doesn't mean these conditions don't exist. Our technology is not at that stage yet. Hopefully one day.
Brain scans do show something however. I've taken ADHD drugs, if taken adequately, they are not addictive. In fact my main problem was constantly forgetting to take them. That's not addiction.
ADHD doesn't just affect school or academics, it affects me socially with relationships, in my work, in my home, my finances,my leisure and even my intimate moments.
It's so frustrating to be constantly using your energy going around in circles, with my life a chaos. All of these come with depression.
And no, the concentration is not because of the depression and anxiety. Rather, the other way around, who wouldn't be depressed and anxious when you never know what's going on, people are constantly on your case, and judging and judging.
I don't like trying to study for hours and only manage to study half a page(yes, I do take breaks, I cannot sit down for hours.) And being led by my impulses, and spending more than I can afford.
I've had two suicide attempts and I don't appreciate ignorant fools trying to tell me ADHD doesn't exist. Why am I like this? Oh, you mean I'm just lazy and I should try harder? I try harder to do everything than you do. You have no concept of the time and energy to get out of the house in the morning, of thinking every single step out mentally and who knows which stage I'll drift off.
One of my friends had a mild concussion and was able to finally understand how I feel all the time. Maybe we should start concussing neurotypicals so they can get a taste of ADHD.

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Northern Lights said on 01 December 2011

There is no question that ADHD exists. None whatsoever. The only people who think that it does not, are those who have not lived with the condition or do not have a relative with the condition. My 10 year old son has this and it has dominated our lives. He was diagnosed two years ago (not by a medical professional who, by the way, kept misdiagnosing him) but by his karate instructor within the first hour of his first lesson. The instructor recognised the signs and symptons straight away. I didn't even know this was what was wrong until I ordered books from Amazon and started reading. My son is hyperactive sometimes but he is predominantly inattentive as am I, and he can stare into space and look like a total space cadet. He cannot focus for more than a few seconds unless he is very interested in something (this is often where professionals thrown off the scent). ADHD kids CAN concentrate but only on a few things that they are really into. I recommend a book by Dr Daniel Amen called Healing the Six Types of ADHD. I have had no help whatsoever from Hampshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) since my son has been a patient. The psychiatrist prescribed Ritalin which sent my son into an anxious frenzy where he paced up and down and pulled out his hair, and then Atomoxitine which, his teacher informs me, makes him look tired and has robbed him of his 'sparkle'. My son does have a cheeky, funny streak which I don't want to see evaporate but I do want an end to the horrendous screaming fits and the Strattera (the brand name for Atomoxitine) does nothing to address this. If my son is not on drugs, he is dropped from Hampshire CAMHS patient list. How disgusting is that? Psychiatrists seem to belicenced drug psuhers. They offer no family therapy whatsover and this is what we need. We need strategies of managing my son's screaming fits and I can't get any help anywhere for this. I have written to my MP re. this as a last resort.

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kym86 said on 29 November 2011

being a mother of a child with ADHD i feel very worried by the views of some extremely ignorant people, who feel it is their right to judge.how can any of you say ADHD/ADD does not exist? if you have never had to live with the condition or with somebody with the condition then it would be easy to make a prejudiced decision, that quite frankly is not yours to make. but how is it that i have tried for years to educate my son with the help of many schools and professionals and it is only now at the age of 8 after having been diagnosed with ADHD and being prescribed with equasym that my son is finally starting to learn to read and to receive and education and to be able to fully integrate with his peers properly. i can finally take my son on holiday without the worry of how he will cope with the over excitement and long waiting times at airports, how we can sit and read together or how we can even have a proper conversation that lasts? i suppose you will have some nifty excuse for this up your sleeves but i honestly don't care to hear it! as a mother who loves my son and wishes for him to succeed in life i feel as the risks of the drugs are worth it as do the two pediatricians i have been seeing. i'm not saying the drug has made my life perfect but it is giving my son a chance at an education and it is giving us some better quality family time and i'm sure my son will appreciate this when he has a career and a wholesome and healthy relationship with his family in his adult life. i hope you people never have to face any type of mental illness yourselves but if you do i really do hope your prejudiced views come in the way of your own treatment.

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MrsHmmz said on 01 November 2011

Comments like "there is no clear cut blood or lab test which proves any child has this invented disorder" show a total lack of understanding about mental health. There are very few brain-based disorders that DO have a simple test - have you ever heard of a blood test for depression, for example? Most mental disorders are diagnosed via behavioural & self report measures, not simple lab tests, but does that make them "invented"? And in any case, countless studies have shown brain differences in people with ADHD.

Arguments about "medicalising" normal children's behaviour and "drugging" kids not only betray a huge misunderstanding of ADHD but also stem from the US situation where drug companies have more influence and doctors are under financial pressure to diagnose & prescribe. In the UK it is MUCH harder to get an ADHD diagnosis, even in cases where it seems pretty obvious. Doctors & schools in this country are very uninformed about ADHD, the services for people diagnosed with the condition just aren't there, and prescriptions of ADHD drugs are much lower.

I'd invite any of you that don't "believe" to live in my shoes for a day and then tell me it's not real! In spite of being a fairly "able" person in general, my shoddy working memory, constant distractibility, inability to control my own attention & motivation (they basically have a mind of their own!), etc cause me no end of problems in my life. I never live up to my potential, and am physically & mentally exhausted from the effort it takes to merely keep my head above water in life.

I still haven't even been diagnosed; it wasn't heard of when I was a child and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a doctor that knows anything about adult ADHD! Even when I've managed to get a GP to take me seriously they've found that there isn't a specialist to refer me on to in my area so no one is qualified to diagnose me.

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User561390 said on 04 June 2011

It does exist but it is existance is syptomatic of other issues, problems or illnesses. If these other issues and conditions are treated then along with a little consideration for others around (not a concept valued in western society), the condition itself is also treated.
But hey, if the drugs make you feel good, then carry on taking them, if you truly have ADHD then you wouldnt take the drugs if they didnt make you feel good. Really does it matter what the label is, whether its SAD or ADD or mania. If the drugs work, the label doesnt matter.

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Sian.Hutchings said on 16 May 2011

I was diagnosed with the medical condition since I was in my nursery school , and I've taken medication for it for a long time now and I currently take Methylphenidate Hydrochloride , Risperidone and Bio Melatonin and the medication really does help me in many ways and the Methylphenidate can calm me down and able to focus on things at home and with other people . The Risperidone helps me with my anger problems and the Bio Melatonin helps me sleep and relax too. When I go to my reviews I had to have my height , weight and blood pressure done at every time I see the consultant. I would say to others if they might have or there child has the condition I would say go and seek professional help and get support and advice as early as possible !

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JordanHarper said on 26 April 2011

i've had ADHD all my life im 16 now and i've been on loads of different medications that just don't seem to work. i now take atomoxetine and it's the best so far but i fear my body will become immune to the effects just like it did with the other medicies

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bhasmanath said on 14 April 2011

I am in my 30's and have suffered from ADHD all my life.
I was neither prescribed anything nor diagnosed as a child, and as a result my schooling was an unqualified disaster.
Obviously care must be taken with these medications, but the choice, as articulated by the father in the video, is clear; you can either have a child who does well at school, or one who does badly.
It can be easy to be taken up with the flow of dialogue and rhetoric surrounding ADHD that comes to us from the US, where the unhealthy relationship between the pharmaceutical, insurance and medical professions does lead to common overprescription of many medications.
To take a moralistic standpoint on the prescription of these medications as "giving drugs to kids", however, is inappropriate and misguided. I would even go as far as to say that it is just another face of the stigmatization that children and adults who suffer from behavioural, psychological or psychiatric disorders.
I would say to parents reading this that the choice is between a chance at success for your child, or probable failure, at school, in life.
There are dangers in these medications, yes, as there are in most things, but using due care they are negligible.

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User492629 said on 20 March 2011

Genetic studies are not proof that ADHD exists. The only dysysfunction ever found in ADHD children comes from the drug treatment itself. It is a catch all diagnosis which puts extremely young children on addictive and dangerous drugs which can and have caused sudden death when prescribed at usual doses. All children are individuals and develope at different rates and they deserve the right to do so without their every move being psychoanalysed. It is damaging and stigmatising. A child of six is not totally responsible for his/her behaviour and without a scientific biological test it is too easily being misdiagnosed and kids health is being unnecessarily put at risk. The NHS cannot afford to check every childs heart , weight, blood pressure and other every single day. Amphetamines should not be given to any child when there are many ways to help with behavioural problems other than using SPEED. Its an utter disgrace when pharmaceutical profit comes before childrens health! This is common sense , not ignorance. Drugs are not always the answer to everyone of lifes problems.

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jwest said on 23 February 2011

I don't really know much about ADHD, but i decided to read up on it after reading an article that reminded me very much of my self. I am 17 and not very hyper but i was as a child, i used to sing loudly in public, much to the annoyance of my mum and could be quite bossy and controlling in the playground. However other symptoms such as inattentiveness and impulsiveness i do seem to posses. I have a very short attention span and in class i often find it very difficult to concentrate on what the teacher is saying. I am forgetful and when long tasks or instructions are explained to me my mind often just switches off. I would find it almost impossible to listen to complicated directions. If i find something difficult i quite often just give up if i find it uninteresting. For example when i used to do maths i would completely ignore the teacher speaking for the beginning of the lesson and then find that i didn't no what she had asked us to do. I also am very untidy despite making an active effort to clean and i often lose things and then find it hard to find them. I am very fidgety, i am constantly tapping a foot or a finger and i often get very anxious in certain situations and react physically (like begin sweating or shaking). I have very bad attendance at school and this is partly because i find it boring despite my interest in the subjects i do. sometimes i find it hard to sleep as it feels like a cant switch my mind off, on two occasions i couldn't sleep for a whole week because i got anxious about a variation of things and this made me feel depressed, though not for an extended period of time. When i was younger i used to steal from shops and i read somewhere this can be a result of ADHD, sometimes particularly with my family i have a very short fuse and can explode. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this sounds like a case of ADHD. Sorry for the essay.

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jwest said on 23 February 2011

I don't really know much about ADHD, but i decided to read up on it after reading an article that reminded me very much of my self. I am 17 and not very hyper but i was as a child, i used to sing loudly in public, much to the annoyance of my mum and could be quite bossy and controlling in the playground. However other symptoms such as inattentiveness and impulsiveness i do seem to posses. I have a very short attention span and in class i often find it very difficult to concentrate on what the teacher is saying. I am forgetful and when long tasks or instructions are explained to me my mind often just switches off. I would find it almost impossible to listen to complicated directions. If i find something difficult i quite often just give up if i find it uninteresting. For example when i used to do maths i would completely ignore the teacher speaking for the beginning of the lesson and then find that i didn't no what she had asked us to do. I also am very untidy despite making an active effort to clean and i often lose things and then find it hard to find them. I am very fidgety, i am constantly tapping a foot or a finger and i often get very anxious in certain situations and react physically (like begin sweating or shaking). I have very bad attendance at school and this is partly because i find it boring despite my interest in the subjects i do. sometimes i find it hard to sleep as it feels like a cant switch my mind off, on two occasions i couldn't sleep for a whole week because i got anxious about a variation of things and this made me feel depressed, though not for an extended period of time. When i was younger i used to steal from shops and i read somewhere this can be a result of ADHD, sometimes particularly with my family i have a very short fuse and can explode. I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this sounds like a case of ADHD. Sorry for the essay.

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smartbenne123 said on 13 February 2011

I do agree ADHD exists, having taken part in a genetic study with my children recently ADHD was recognised over 100 years ago, and the modern day treatment of ADHD has been based on hundreds of peices of research over 30+ yrs. The reality is medication in general can cause the outcomes listed by the user above... sudden death, weight loss, defects etc etc.
Prescribed mephylphenidate (ritalin etc) is not done lightly and it is very closely monitored by the CAMHs team & professionals. I and my child have regular health checks, blood pressure, weight, growth etc etc. Medication alone is not the solution though, behaviour modification and other areas of work also support the whole childs development and coping strategies with ADHD. Treating ADHD promptly and appropriately with or without ritalin depends on the needs of the individual. It doesn;t work for everyone, and not every individual with ADHD will feel ritalin is/works for them. They may also have side effects that outweight the benefits.

Sometimes small doses are enough to allow the neuro transmitters in the frontal cortex to fire up and pass full messages through to the synaptic membrane... enabling things like impulsivity to reduce, self control to be supported and allowing that space and time to develop learning techniques to cope into adulthood and come off the medication in time.

Now, as an adult with ADHD, medication has helped me focus and concentrate and as a result I have flourished. My son is 11 and chose to take medication during school hours as he felt better able to focus. Inappropriate or lack of treatment can lead to other disorders, behavioural issues such as ODD and OCD, and has a huge affect on self esteem and emotional well being.

Please comment when you have the facts. Ignorance results in stigma being attached to this (and other mental health) conditions, and that really is detrimental to children with an ADHD diagnosis!

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