What is ADD/ADHD?

The most common form of attention deficit disorders is attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by both attention and behavior problems. A smaller number of people have only attention problems. This less common form of ADHD is called ADHD, predominantly inattentive type. ADHD is seen in three to five percent of children with boys outnumbering girls by about four or five to one.
 
Doctors adequately described the disorder in the 1930s and discovered that stimulant medications reduced hyperactivity. In the past, these persons were often regarded as lazy, unmotivated, slow learners with behavioral problems. However, since there are no absolute tests for ADHD, the risk for over diagnosis does exist.
 
There are some situations in which children with ADHD can sustain their attention and keep their behavior under control. Examples of such situations include: watching television, playing with a video game or a computer, in a quiet room with an adult, one-on-one situations, in the presence of an adult male, engaging in tasks that are novel or interesting or in a highly structured classroom with a low number of students.
 
In contrast, situations in which ADHD symptoms are most likely to show up are stimulating settings like grocery stores, department/toy stores, parties or amusement parks. Settings where a child is required to sit still and pay attention for prolonged periods of time, such as schoolrooms, restaurants, churches, unstructured school settings, classes with a number of students or doing tasks that are prolonged, tedious or routine.
 
The cause of ADHD is not known for sure. Family studies indicate genetic causes in most cases. Other research indicates that the parts of the brain that govern attention, filter out distractions and control impulses (sometimes called the “executive centers” of the brain) are behind in development. This has nothing to do with intelligence. People with all levels of intelligence can have ADHD.
 
A majority of young people with ADHD will still have problems in their adolescence and will continue to need treatment. Many adults (about a third to a half) who had ADHD as a child still have problems with attention, impulse control and organization. Recent studies suggest that treatment may still be needed for these individuals. Some physicians still tell parents and teachers that children outgrow ADHD in their adolescence or medications no longer work after puberty. Neither of these statements is correct.
 

Learn More About ADHD Services at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital

Please call the Outpatient Clinic with questions, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 918-491-3700. Laureate Hospital is available 24 hours/7 days for all emergencies at 918-481-4000.

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