ADHD: symptoms, causes, treatment, diagnosis and types

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O Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, well known only by the acronym ADHD, can be defined as a disorder characterized by inattention, impulsiveness and restlessness.

Next, we'll talk more about this disorder, which affects about 5% of children and is directly related to problems of behavior, fall in productivity school and difficulty of adaptation.

Read too: Differences between diseases, syndromes and disorders


The causes of ADHD are varied and seem to result from a combination of factors. biological, environmental, social and genetic. According to the Brazilian Association of Attention Deficit, studies have linked ADHD with causes hereditary, ingested substances in pregnancy, fetal distress, lead exposure, among other factors.

Also according to the Association, although some theories suggest that family problems could cause ADHD, so far, it is believed that the condition can be aggravated in an individual, but not caused due to these problems.


According to the Brazilian Association of Attention Deficit, two types of symptoms appear in people with ADHD:

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  • Inattention;

  • Hyperactivity-impulsivity.

In childhood, ADHD's characteristic inattention causes a series of difficulties when it comes to assimilation of school content. The child has difficulty in pay attention to details; follow instructions; finish activities, whether these are everyday or school-based; and get involved in activities that require great effortmental.

Also, the individual often: forgets daily activities; change subject; is distracted during conversations; switch tasks; and shifts focus with other stimuli.

Individuals with ADHD have difficulty staying quiet.
Individuals with ADHD have difficulty staying quiet.

In addition, children with ADHD have great difficulty staying quiet, are very agitated and have behavioral problems, such as difficulty following rules. With regard to hyperactivity symptoms, the child: shakes his feet and hands a lot; gets up from desks, in the room, frequently; moves excessively at night; runs in situations where this is not indicated or allowed; and cannot engage in silent activities.

The symptom of impulsivity can also be seen easily in children. ADHD patients usually respond without thinking and have difficulty waiting for their turn in activities.

US adults, you ADHD problems also appear. It is estimated that about 60% of children and adolescents who had this disorder in childhood continued with some symptoms into adulthood.

Individuals with this problem are oblivious to their normal activities, such as work, for example, and they have difficulty determining priorities for what should be done. Commonly, they interrupt their work, starting others, without being able to finish what they had already started, often feeling overwhelmed. Restlessness in these patients tends to be milder than that seen in the childhood phase.

Read too:Can you recognize the signs of attention deficit?


Correct ADHD Diagnosis can only be performed by a duly qualified professional, since many of these symptoms can be associated with other disorders. It is worth noting that there are no specific exams, such as resonance or electroencephalogram, for the detection of the disorder, being the diagnosis entirely clinical.

To correctly identify ADHD, the professional (which can be, for example, a psychiatrist, neurologist or pediatrician) will analyze the symptoms of the patient, your duration, frequency, intensity and persistence. The professional will also evaluate the resulting damages of these symptoms for the patient's life. Only after these analyses, the diagnosis can be closed.


ADHD can be divided into three basic types based on the symptoms exhibited by the individual. Types of ADHD are:

  • ADHD with a predominance of inattention symptoms;

  • ADHD with predominance of symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity;

  • ADHD combined.

When looking at children and adolescents with ADHD, there is a higher incidence of the combined type. At the women, ADHD appears more frequently with a predominance of inattention symptoms, which is a type that is characterized by a greater need for help with regard to school activities.

ADHD with a predominance of symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity, because it makes the individual become more aggressive and present a greater amount of conduct disorder, ends up causing greater rejection of this individual by colleagues. It is worth emphasizing, at this point, that an adequate treatment is essential not only for the improvement of the individual's symptoms, but also for his/her relationship with other people.

Read too: Learning difficulties


Individuals with ADHD should undergo therapy.
Individuals with ADHD should undergo therapy.

O treatment for ADHD is done with the help of medicines and therapy. Among the drugs used, the Ritalin, which will have doses and times of administration determined by a doctor.

Among the therapies, the so-called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a highly recommended form of psychotherapy for people with the disorder discussed here. When the patient presents speech disorders, help from a speech therapist.

It is noteworthy that school-age ADHD patients deserve special attention so that they can obtain better results. Therefore, it is essential that teachers use proper techniques for facilitate learning of that individual, always remembering never propose very long activities and explain, step by step, what you want in an activity. In this case, it is essential that school and parents work together.

It is also important to say that non-treatment can bring serious consequences for the life of an individual. According to the Brazilian Association of Attention Deficit “[...] there are numerous studies showing that ADHD is associated with academic failure, school dropout, traffic accidents, drug and alcohol use, divorce, among other negative situations in life adult”.

Therefore, when noticing the symptoms discussed here, it is essential to seek specialized help.

By Ma. Vanessa Sardinha dos Santos

Source: Brazil School -

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