What is ADHD?

Do you or your child have trouble sitting still or paying attention? You may have been told that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) may be the cause. A person with ADHD might have a hard time staying focused (attention deficit). He or she may also have trouble controlling impulses (hyperactivity disorder). People with one or both of these problems struggle daily to perform and behave well. 

ADHD is no one's fault. But if left untreated, ADHD can deprive a person of self-esteem and limit success.

Attention deficit or hyperactive (or both)?

A partial list of symptoms common to attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder appears below. You or your child may show traits from one or both groups.

Attention deficit

  • Lacks mental focus
  • Performs inconsistently
  • Is distracted easily
  • Has trouble shifting between tasks or settings
  • Is messy or loses things
  • Forgets

Hyperactive/impulsive

  • Has trouble controlling impulses; might talk too much, interrupt or have a hard time taking turns
  • Is easy to upset or anger
  • Is always moving (sometimes without purpose)
  • Does not learn from mistakes

What happens in the brain?

The brain controls your body, thoughts and feelings. It does so with the help neurotransmitters. These chemicals help the brain send and receive messages. With ADHD, the level of these chemicals often varies. This may cause signs of ADHD to come and go.

When messages are not received

With ADHD, chemicals in certain parts of the brain can be in short supply. Because of this, some messages do not travel between nerve cells. Messages that signal a person to control behavior or pay attention aren't passed along. As a result, traits common to ADHD may occur.

Remember strengths

People with ADHD can be challenging. Because of this, it's easy to overlook their good traits. Do your best to value and support your or your child's unique talents, strengths and interests.

Getting help

Attention deficit problems are usually very treatable, and several of our providers specialize in ADHD/ADD care. Use our provider search to find the right provider for you. Then make an appointment using our Request an Appointment form or by calling (319) 356-6352.