Parent's Resource Center

What is ADHD?

ADHD is of special interest to me because I myself as an adult have it as well as my second child.  Many people have gone through life not knowing "why" they felt different than everybody else.  It is challenging to have a child with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  There is help out there for adults with ADHD and their children.  Having this myself, it is easy for me to understand my child's inability to control his impulsiveness and hyperactivity.  The quest for knowledge will eliminate many of the fears and unknowns about this disorder.  This month's article is dedicated to ADHD and all the controversy surrounding this issue as well.  

To drug or not to drug
is of special interest to me because I had been told a thousand times not to give ritalin to my child.  After these well-wishers have spent a few hours with my child, they themselves were reaching for the bottle for relief.  I only wish I could of had this option as a child myself, I had no control over some of my actions.

For more information on ADD, please visit Attention-Deficit Disorder a site dedicated to this disorder.

The DSM IV definition of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is:

A. Either (1) or (2)
(1) six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
(2) six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7 years.
C. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school [or work] and at home).
D. There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
E. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).

What Does It Feel Like To Have ADHD?

Having ADHD is like being put into a dark room with things scattered around to trip you. You don't get a flashlight.....but everyone else does. You trip around the room, bumping into things, until you finally learn the layout of the room. Then someone moves you to a new room, and the process starts again.

It's like having a whirlwind in your mind. Everything seems to be blowing around and nothing stays put. Some people have compared the feeling to watching someone change the channels on the TV every few seconds. You can get a general idea of what is going on, but you miss most of the content.

People with ADHD tend to be socially blind. They may miss rules and structures which other people see much more readily.

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Revised: November 14, 2006