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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Introduction

The topic of the study is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This illness deals with over-activity, hyperactivity, impulsivity problems, or combinations of such symptoms. For ADHD to be diagnosed, the child must be out of a normal range of children's behavior.

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This topic was chosen because of its long-term and chronic condition that cannot be treated appropriately. It is compulsory to pay attention to prevention and early diagnosis. The studies investigating mental health problems and their treatment in the United States are actually developing. Much of the understanding of the mental health area comes from many types of research and scientific study patterns, which are based on the field of epidemiology. Different mental diseases of the population systematically increase. Therefore, it is of great value to discover and research such sicknesses as ADHD. Such sicknesses affect thousands of people each year. Unfortunately, only the smallest amount of affected people receives equitable treatment. The essay below represents the data and statistics on the treatment, prevention, and real cost of mental disorders. The main fact is that people facing mental health disorders often commit suicide.

As the matter of fact, the population of the country has to be informed about all possible ways to fight ADHD and other mental health-related disabilities. The problem is that ADHD causes much harder problems related to the life of a healthy person. Speaking about UAE social environment and ADHD, it is significant to underline that the number of ill persons increases each year. It is dominant to support and cure such people. Therefore, the theme of the essay is reasonable and current for hospitals worldwide. This work examines the main reasons why the disease appears, the ways to prevent it, and how to treat people with this or other mental disorders.

The hypothesis of the Study

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that appears often in childhood and can continue till adulthood. The main symptoms are hyperactivity overactivity, difficulty to stay focused, pay attention, and control behavior.

The department of the National Institute of Mental Health defines that there are three main subtypes of ADHD. The first one is predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type. The most common symptoms of this subtype are in the categories of hyperactivity-impulsivity. The symptoms of inattention are present as well. The inattention itself may be present as well.

The next subtype is predominantly inattentive. Mainly, children with this kind of ADHD are less likely to act out or face difficulties in communicating with other children. Very often, children affected by the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD sit quietly but do not pay attention to what they are doing. Such children are often overlooked. It is hard for teachers and parents to find out that the child has ADHD.

The third type of ADHD is a combined hyperactive-compulsive and inattentive subtype. Children with this subtype have an equal amount of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. According to statistics, the majority of children affected by ADHD have a combined subtype of this disease.

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As the matter of fact, proper curing can relieve many of the sickness’s symptoms. Unfortunately, ADHD cannot be treated completely. As the matter of fact, the majority of children who were treated in the right way live productive lives and are successful in schools. Usage of brain imaging and other new medical tools seems to be a good way for curing and better understanding the disease's reasons and consequences. So, there is a hope that in some time, it will be possible to cure or prevent ADHD.

The causes of Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder

There are no concrete explanations of what causes the ADHS. Scientists insist that genes play a dominant part in this problem. They say that ADHD like many other sicknesses appears as a result of different factors combination. In addition to genetics, environmental factors may affect as well. Admittedly, nutrition, brain injuries, and social environment can become the reasons for ADHD.

Environmental factors are of great importance for the disease's appearance. Studies show that alcohol abuse and smoking cigarettes during pregnancy have a direct connection with ADHD in a child. A higher risk of developing ADHD is among preschoolers who are exposed to a high level of toxic elements and lead. These elements can be often found in paint in old buildings and plumbing fixtures.

Genes play a dominant role in ADHD development in children. Genes are so-called blueprints, which we inherit from our parents. Generally, genes determine who we are. International studies have proved that ADHD often runs from family members. It turned out to be possible to discover the genes responsible for disorder development. This fact changes a lot in curing and preventing a process. One day, knowledge about the genes involved in the disorder development can help researchers to absolutely prevent the disorder before the symptoms appear. Moreover, studying the genes involved will lead to better treatment of ADHD in the future. Basically, children who carry a certain gene possess thinner brain tissue than healthy children have in the areas associated with attention. However, the research proved that the difference was not permanent. There were cases when the children grew up and the brain tissues developed to a normal thickness. Additionally, their ADHD symptoms improved as well.

Brain injuries have similar symptoms to ADHD. It means that children suffering from brain injuries may have the same behaviors as those who suffer from ADHD. Anyway, a very little percentage of children with ADHD suffer from traumatic brain injuries.

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There is the proposal that the food additives such as artificial colors and preservatives affect the increase of activity. Such a link may exist, but there are a lot of investigations that are trying to prove the link between food additives and hyperactivity.

There is the point of view that sugar affects negatively the development of ADHD symptoms. There is the idea that sugar might even cause this disease. However, such a theory is more often discounted than supported. The study showed that there was no harmful effect from a high amount of sugar consumption. The point of the study is that there were many children nourished by either containing sugar or sugar substitute elements every day. The children consuming sugar did not show different or hyperactive behavior or learning capabilities. Those children who were fed by sugar substitutes showed changes in their behavior and studying. The other experiment when children were given high amounts of sugar and its substitute showed the same results. The next experiment proved the other idea. The children who were considered to be sensitive to sugar by their inheritance were divided into two groups. All the children were given a sugar substitute. However, mothers of children from the first group were told their children got the sugar. Mothers of children from the second group were told their children got the sugar substitute. As a result, mothers of children from the first group told the children’s behavior changed. They became more inattentive and hyperactive. Mothers of children from another group insisted the behavior of their children did not change. The results of the experiment prove that mothers’ observations were prejudiced.

The Symptoms of ADHD

Inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behavioral elements of ADHD. As a matter of the fact, all children are inattentive and hyperactive sometimes, but for children with ADHD such behavior occurs more often. To be diagnosed with attentive deficit and hyperactive disorder, the child must have syndromes of this disease for more than half of the year. Moreover, the syndromes of hyperactivity and inattention have to be more intensive than for other children of the same age. Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity may be easily distracted, forget things, and miss details. They often change their activity from one to another. They become bored with not enjoyable tasks after a few minutes of doing them. Such children often have difficulties with organizing or completing home tasks. It is hard for them to concentrate and pay attention while learning something new. They seem not to listen when they are talked to. Children with ADHD cannot focus on important things. They often talk nonstop, dash around, and play with everything in their sight. They cannot sit without moving during school, diner, or storytime. The children are constantly in motion, very impatient. They often interrupt a conversation or any other activity. It is hard for children with the disorder to wait for something they want. They cannot wait their turn in an interesting game, etc. They often act without regard for consequences, give inappropriate comments, and show their emotions without restraint.

Children with ADHD seem to be very naughty. Therefore, parents do not pay attention to the symptoms of the disorder. Parents often consider symptoms to be ordinary misbehavior.

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Methodology

The essay discovers the topic of ADHD and its impact on personal development. The work observes symptoms and subtypes of the disorder. The essay includes either theory or questionnaire, and statistics data. It includes a copy of a questionnaire to make the point of the research clear. The data was collected using two types of questionnaires. The first was the parents’ questionnaire. The field of this questionnaire was the student’s parents at home. The questionnaire consisted of two parts. The first part was aimed at considering the student’s behavior at home. The second part was aimed at analyzing children’s behavior using the behavior scale, which was used by the psychiatry clinic and was previously validated. The prevalence has estimated 100 people who have completed all parts of the questionnaire concerning three subtypes of ADHD. The socio-economic status of questioned people was considered as well. It was defined as high, middle, and low. The socio-economic status was defined according to parental education, occupation, and general family income. As for the structure of the questionnaire, it was divided into two parts as well. The first part was concentrated on the child’s hyperactivity and impulsivity. It included 19 questions. All the questions were aimed at diagnosing combined types of ADHD.

There is a sample conducted in the research. It is Mark, the son of Luisa Miller. Being a preschooler, Mark was moving throughout the house making a terrible mess. He was shouting, climbing the furniture, roughhousing. Mark seemed to be a real tornado at home. Toys and games did not attract his attention for a long time. He could not concentrate and sometimes seemed to be anxious. Mark often darted off without warning. However, parents said boys were boys and did not pay too much attention to the boy’s behavior. At age 8, it was harder to handle him. It cost a lot of effort to make Mark settle down for a long time or complete a simple home task. The teacher often complained about his inattentiveness and misbehavior. After that, Luisa took the son to the doctor. The doctor recommended an evaluation of ADHD. The story of Luisa and Mark Millers is the sample of the research and can be the basis for the questionnaire.

Copy of the Questionnaire Used (Sample)

  #  Question  Never  Sometimes Often  Very often
Defining symptoms of inattention
 1  Does the child seem not to listen if spoken to directly?  V      
 2  Does the child have difficulty organizing tasks and game activities?  V      
 3  Does the child fail to give close attention to details?  V      
 4  Does the child make careless mistakes in schoolwork?  V      
 5  Does the child not follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork or duties in the workplace?  V      
 6  Does the child have difficulty sustaining tasks and game activities?  V      
 7  Does the child avoid, dislike, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as homework)?  V      
 8  Does a child lose things necessary for tasks or activities (toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)?  V      
 9  Is the child easily distracted by outside stimuli?  V      
 10  Is the child forgetful in daily activities?  V      
Defining symptoms of hyperactivity
 11  Is the child 'on the go' or acts as if 'driven by a motor?  V      
 12  Does the child talks too much?  V      
 13  Has the child difficulty played quietly?  V      
 14  Does the child run about or climb too much in situations in which it is inappropriate?  V      
 15  Does the child Leave a seat in the classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected?  V      
 16  Does the child fidget with hands or feet or squirms in the seat?  V      
Defining symptoms of impulsivity
 17  Does the child interrupt or intrude on others (such as butting into conversations or games)?  V      
 18  Has the child difficulty waited for his or her turn?  V      
 19  Does the child burst out answers before questions have been completed?  V      

Review of Literature

Adamou, M., Arif, M., Asherson, P., Aw, T-C., Bolea, B., Coghill, D., … Young, S. (2013). Occupational issues of adults with ADHD.

Adamou et al.’s work investigates all types of ADHD and symptoms that appeared during sickness. The authors pay attention to the ability to prevent the disease and avoid its harmful effects as well. The work determines that the main characteristic features for ADHD are hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity (Adamous et al., 2013). ‘Occupation issues of adults with ADHD’ defines the meaning of workplace and how a person with ADHD refers to it. The systems theory was studied as the model for human occupation. The researchers insist that ADHD seldom appears as a single disorder. Very often, it is combined with other sicknesses. Adam's work represents researches following children with ADHD to their adulthood and looks at the impairment in their scholar, occupational, and daily life and interpersonal relationships. Moreover, gender has no deference in such cases. According to Adamou, adults with ADHD can be hyper-focused on their work, especially if they were incentivized by it. Therefore, employers must harness the positives and keep the balance to avoid burnout.

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National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

National Institute of Mental Health deals with researches that investigate a variety of mental disorders. ADHD is considered to be the most popular child’s disorder (National Institute of Mental Health, 2008). This work explains the main futures of each subtype of ADHD and symptoms related to each of them. The author says that ADHD diagnosis often can be mistaken with other problems. Mainly, parents and teachers do not notice the symptoms of inattention because such children are often quiet and do not act out. This work investigates that few factors affect ADHD development. These factors are either genetic or environmental. The book describes the ways for ADHD diagnosing and treating. There it is possible to find tips for a child to stay organized and follow one’s direction.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2009). Treatment of children with mental illness.

The research of the National Institute of Mental Health has presented in its booklet information that the majority of mental illnesses start before the age of 14. Moreover, scientists prove that changes in a child’s body can start much earlier than any symptom appears. This research of NIMH demonstrates that investigating specific areas of children’s brains allow scientists to forecast future possible mental disorders. Moreover, such researches can help children and their parents to manage all the difficulties they face at an early stage of life and avoid future disease consequences. If mental illness appears, it becomes an evident part of the child’s behavior (NIMH, 2009). This work answers the following questions: how to find out the symptoms; how one can understand whether the symptoms are serious or not; what the treatment options are for the ill child, etc. There are tips for parents and families on how to organize curing without stress.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2012). Children’s mental health awareness, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Fact sheet.

This work determines the meaning of ADHD and the main symptoms appearing with this disease. The studies demonstrate that the number of children affected with ADHD is increasing, but it is very hard to determine the reasons why it is so. This booklet represents past, present, and future descriptions of ADHD development and treatment. From ‘yesterday's point of view, ADHD was seen as a behavioral disturbance. That is why, the disease was treated with immediate-release stimulants that worked well, but for a short time. Speaking about ‘today's understanding of ADHD, researchers use brain imaging technology to prove that some children get mental sickness because of brain structure and the way how the brain is wired. ADHD stems from interactions between genes (NIMH, 2012). Thinking about future or ‘tomorrow's approaches, it must be said that ADHD requires much more studies to discover the effects of the disorder over the lifespan and to find better ways to cure and prevent ADHD in children and adults using the particular focus on improving functions.

Al Hamed, J. H., Taha, A. Z., Sabra, A. A., & Belle, H. (2008). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among male primary school children in Dammam, Saudi Arabia: Prevalence and associated factors. J Egypt Public Health Assoc., 83(3-4), 165-82.

This work describes the experimental questionnaire organized in Saudi Arabia and its results. The work explains many investigations and the reasons they appear. Some family, environmental, and maternal-related factors turned out to affect ADHD (Al Hamed et al., 2008). This work presents several approaches directed at the parents, family, children, the school, the primary health care services, and the community to implement and reduce the prevalence of ADHD.

A.D.A.M medical encyclopedia. (2012). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The medical encyclopedia defines attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. It explains why main symptoms may appear and the ways to notice them. It is determined that ADHD is a problem with attention, difficulty to focus and concentrate. Very often, it is associated with hyperactivity and impulsivity. The encyclopedia defines incidents, causes, symptoms, and risk factors of ADHD. To diagnose ADHD, the child must have six or more symptoms of hyperactivity or inattentiveness before the age of 7 (A.D.A.M., 2012).

Data Collection and Report Writing

The results of the questionnaire were collected, analyzed, and checked. The results were coded and entered into the statistical package for social science. The descriptive variables statistics were considered to be significant throughout all studies. The results of the study showed 16.5% of the combined subtype of ADHD in respondents. 16.3% of respondents have inattentive disorders, 12.1% suffer from hyperactivity and impulsivity. The study proved that children from 8 to 11 are more affected by three subtypes of ADHD than children of another age group. According to the study results, children from 11 to 14 have the least prevalence of three ADHD subtypes. Moreover, the study showed the direct connection of family factors with a particular subtype of ADHD. The birth order is of great importance if to speak about ADHD and the family factors. The prevalence of ADHD development in the children who were born 5th or 6th is higher compared to firstborn children. There is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of development of all ADHD subtypes in large families. It was found that the larger family had a higher prevalence of the development of three ADHD subtypes. Living with single parents affects the development of ADHD as well. The questionnaire revealed that hyperactivity-impulsivity disorder happened more often in children living with single parents. Children who live with both parents are less affected by this disorder. According to these results, it is possible to say that genes, brain injuries, food additives, and family factors affect the development of ADHD in children. Admittedly, there were found some maternal factors associated with ADHD. There exists a statistically significant association between all three types of ADHD and the duration of pregnancy. There is a risk for children born pre-mature to suffer from inattention and combined subtypes of ADHD. A statistically significant proportion of children suffering from ADHD was found among children breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

Understanding the scope of mental disorders is very significant nowadays. Many countries are looking for ways to find out the reasons why mental disorders appear. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent the disease or overcome its consequences. However, the questionnaire represented in this work proves that there are many genitival, environmental, and social factors able to affect a child’s mental health.

Conclusion

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder affect 9% of school-age children. The boys are diagnosed with ADHD three times more often than girls. However, the reason why this happens is not understood yet. The main feature of this disease is that sick children often act without thinking. They have trouble focusing and are commonly hyperactive. They do understand what people what them to do, but cannot follow the tasks because of inattentiveness and disability to attend to details. It was found out that children with ADHD if properly cured, can manage their symptoms and live successful lives. There are three subtypes of ADHD, but the most widely spread of them is the combined one. The diagnosis of ADHD mainly depends on a complete evaluation. It mainly depends on the fact that there are no tests, which could determine the presence of ADHD. Being diagnosed with ADHD, the child can be referred to several different doctors. It happens when the diagnosis is in the doubt. Some additional concerns such as learning disability, Tourette syndrome, depression, and anxiety can cause consulting with several additional doctors. ADHD is a disease, which happens often. However, proper treatment helps people manage all the harnesses and enjoy their lives.

Future Recommendations

The studies should continue to search the innovative methods and approaches to cure ADHD. Sometimes, children do not respond to medications or cannot take stimulants. Researchers must keep searching for psychological treatments, which will combine cognitive and behavioral therapies. Anyway, more studies have to be held to assess the effects of ADHD and find the best way to cure and prevent this disorder.

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