GOERLITZ, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 03: A student reads concentrated during the lesson. Feature at a school in Goerlitz on February 03, 2017 in Goerlitz, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Tuesday is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues.
According to The World Health Organization, the day “provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”
Of those issues, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly seen in children.
It is estimated that 5 percent of children suffer from the disorder, which is often first identified when the child disrupts classrooms or fails classwork.
Here is a look at the disorder, who has it and what can be done.
What is ADHD?
According to the American Psychological Association, ADHD is a “lifelong, persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development across time and settings.”
Who has it?
ADHD affects children, teens, and adults. It is more common in boys than in girls.
What are the symptoms?
There are three types of diagnosed ADHD, inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type and combined type. A diagnosis is based on the symptoms that have occurred over the past six months.
Here are the symptoms for each. Symptoms in Children Inattention:
Is easily distracted Doesn't follow directions or finish tasks Doesn't appear to be listening Doesn't pay attention and makes careless mistakes Forgets about daily activities Have problems organizing daily tasks Doesn’t like to do things that require sitting still Often loses things Tends to daydream
Often squirms fidgets, or bounces when sitting Doesn't stay seated Has trouble playing quietly Is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as “restlessness.”) Talks excessively Is always “on the go,” as if “driven by a motor”
Has trouble waiting for his or her turn Blurts out answers Interrupts others
Symptoms in Adults
Chronic lateness and forgetfulness Anxiety Low self-esteem Problems at work Trouble controlling anger Impulsiveness Substance abuse or addiction Unorganized Procrastination Easily frustrated Chronic boredom Trouble concentrating when reading Mood swings Depression Relationship problems
In addition, for a diagnosis of ADHD, the following conditions must be met:
Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years.
Several symptoms are present in two or more settings, (e.g., at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.
The symptoms are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g. mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).
How is it diagnosed?
Diagnosis includes talking to parents, teachers and the child, completing a checklist, and ruling out other medical issues.