How ADHD Is Different from Other Mental Health Disorders

How ADHD Is Different from Other Mental Health Disorders

Sometimes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) does not receive the attention it deserves, because it is so common among children and adolescents. While it does differ from other mental health disorders, it is no less severe; in fact, without proper treatment ADHD can be just as debilitating as other disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders. However, you can learn to manage this problem. With therapy, medication and other techniques, you can get your ADHD under control and lead a normal life.

How Doctors Diagnose ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD can be confused with normal behavior, so, to be diagnosed with ADHD, your symptoms must be more severe than in people of your age and they must be present in a variety of situations. For instance, it may be relatively normal for a 6 year old to have trouble sitting still, but you may experience ADHD symptoms if you are 30 and still find yourself constantly fidgeting in meetings. These symptoms must be present in at least two settings, such as at home and at work or at school. Furthermore, the first signs of ADHD are normally present during childhood, which is one way it differs from depression and other disorders that generally develop at a later age. While ADHD can be diagnosed later in life, it is most commonly diagnosed during grade school, and some symptoms can begin even earlier.

ADHD Symptoms

The main symptoms of ADHD are well-known. A pattern of inattention or hyperactivity and/or impulsive behavior will usually present itself during childhood. This disorder interferes with daily functioning and a child’s development; if left untreated, it can cause trouble in school, at home or at work. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, people must show symptoms before the age of 12, although it is still possible to be diagnosed at a later age. Below are a few signs that you may suffer from ADHD:

  • Difficulty paying attention to the task at hand
  • Careless mistakes on homework, routine tasks at work and other activities
  • Trouble listening to or forgetting parts of conversations
  • Difficulty organizing tasks or keeping a schedule
  • Reluctance to take part in tasks that require extensive mental energy
  • Problems remembering routine activities or tasks
  • Easily distracted by things going on around you

If you experience any of the aforementioned problems, then seek professional help for a diagnosis.

Treating ADHD

Therapy can treat ADHD, but the medications for this disorder differ greatly from medications used for others. Antipsychotics and other medications may be used for mental disorders, but the most popular medications for this condition are stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin. Alongside therapy, stimulant medications can treat troubling symptoms, but these substances are also be highly addictive, so it is important to follow your doctor’s prescription when taking these drugs. Also, if you have a history of substance abuse, then consider alternative medications over these common options. New, non-stimulant ADHD medications are available, such as Strattera, which can manage symptoms without the dangers of addiction. If you are prescribed a stimulant and have been abusing it, then speak with your doctor immediately to determine if you are addicted and need treatment to quit. Trying to quit on your own can be dangerous, but a professional treatment program can help you get and stay clean from a drug.

Therapy can teach patients to slow down and analyze their thoughts before acting. Through the techniques available in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you can change the way you think and behave so it is more suitable for times when you need more of an attention span. Beyond therapy and medication, breathing exercises and meditation can help you gain more focus and feel less rushed during your daily activities. Mindfulness meditation is a technique where the patient sits still in an upright position to focus on his breath and observe his thoughts without interacting with them. Over time, you will find that you are able to maintain your focus better if you keep up a meditation practice. Meditating for just a few minutes a day has been shown to increase focus and self-awareness as it provides many other benefits for people who suffer from ADHD.

Are You Addicted to Ritalin?

If you are prescribed Ritalin and have become dependent upon your medication, help is available so you can quit abusing drugs and manage ADHD without Ritalin. To learn more about Ritalin addiction treatment options, call our toll-free helpline today to speak with our admissions coordinators. Our staff can answer your questions about recovery and direct you to an effective treatment center where you can get the help you need. They are available to take your call 24 hours a day, and they can let you know if your health insurance policy will pay for rehab. Call now to start your recovery ASAP.