Understanding ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder that can affect both kids and adults. Here, you’ll learn about its types, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Discover how Quality Primary Care offers transformative solutions for individuals with ADHD. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of ADHD, seeking proper diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in managing the condition and improving your quality of life. Feel free to schedule an appointment with our doctors in Rockville or Gaithersburg, Maryland today!

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ADD/ADHD Explained

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is often first diagnosed in childhood. ADHD often continues into adulthood. A person with ADHD may have difficulties paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or being overly active.

Although many people could find it difficult to concentrate at times or experience changes in energy levels, a person with ADHD will experience this to a greater extent. A person’s relationships, family life, work, or studies can be affected by symptoms of ADHD. It is not uncommon for people with ADHD to have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders, and other mental health conditions, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

ADD is a term often associated with ADHD. It stands for attention deficit disorder. However, this term has now been replaced with a type of ADHD called “Predominantly inattentive.” These terms describe a person who has problems concentrating but is not hyperactive.

Types of ADHD

There are three different types of ADHD according to the way the condition presents itself. They are as follows:

  • Predominantly Inattentive: A person who is predominantly inattentive finds it challenging to pay attention to details, follow a conversation, or finish a task. They are easily distracted and can easily forget the details of their daily routine.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive: This person’s behavior is primarily hyperactive and impulsive. They may find it difficult to sit for long periods. They may be restless and interrupt people a lot. They may be impulsive and get into more accidents and injuries. They may also be inattentive, but hyperactivity and impulsive behavior are more prominent.
  • Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive: This type of ADHD presents both symptoms equally in the person.

A person may not always present the same type. Over time, their type may change.

Signs of ADHD in Adults

ADHD often continues into adulthood. Adult ADHD can have a significant impact on your life. Identifying ADHD symptoms can help explain why you might be facing certain behavioral challenges. Understanding the cause can then help you to treat it effectively.

If you are experiencing any of the following signs, it could indicate ADHD:

Difficulties Maintaining Focus

Anyone can face difficulties concentrating at times. However, a person with ADHD will find it difficult to maintain focus in various aspects of their life, including at work or in their relationships. You may find it difficult to complete tasks and follow conversations, or you may find yourself zoning out during important events.

Difficulties concentrating will not be limited to occasional distraction, but a person will have a pattern of difficulties that disrupt their normal daily activities.

Chronically Disorganized

A person with ADHD is often disorganized. This may show in their living areas or workplaces. They may also find it difficult to keep track of important dates or events. Although everyone can be disorganized from time to time, someone with ADHD will regularly be disorganized to the point where it causes problems in their life.

Impulsive Behavior

Impulsiveness can be seen in various ways in those with ADHD. Impulsiveness can cause a person with ADHD to frequently interrupt others during conversations, do things without considering the consequences, or find it difficult to control their first reaction to a situation. They might make careless mistakes at work or in other areas of their life.

Many with ADHD have expressed this impulsive behavior while making financial decisions. This may include things such as reckless spending. This type of behavior can sometimes be mistaken as simply part of a person’s personality.

Difficulties Controlling Emotions

Those with ADHD often find it difficult to control their emotions. They might have a quick temper, intense mood swings, or get frustrated and stressed out easily. These emotional challenges can put a strain on relationships at work and in the home. These symptoms are very similar to other mental health conditions and, therefore, can be difficult to diagnose.

Restlessness and Hyperactivity

An adult with ADHD may not display the same hyperactivity as a child with ADHD. Instead, they may have an internal restlessness that makes them feel uneasy or want to keep busy. A person with this feeling may find it difficult to relax. This can make it difficult for a person to complete tasks that require sustained mental effort.

What Are the Causes of ADHD?

Contrary to popular view, ADHD is not caused by eating too much sugar or social and environmental factors, such as poverty or parenting. While these and many other factors can make the symptoms of ADHD worse, current research only gives support to genetic factors as the main cause or risk factor associated with ADHD.

Scientists are also looking into the following additional possible causes or risk factors:

  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Brain injury
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight
  • Exposure to lead or other environmental risks during pregnancy or at a young age

How to Get an ADHD Diagnosis

A trained medical professional can diagnose ADHD. It is not possible to diagnose ADHD with a single test. Dr. Malik and the team at Quality Primary Care prioritize accurate diagnosis through thorough evaluations, including clinical assessments, medical history reviews, and collaboration with other specialists if necessary. This ensures that patients receive the most appropriate treatment for their specific needs.

A professional diagnosis is important because many other problems—like mood disorders, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities—can have similar symptoms.

Treatment and Management of ADHD

At Quality Primary Care, we offer customized care strategies adapted to the specific needs of our patients. Dr. Malik and his team will carefully evaluate your symptoms, strengths, and challenges to develop a personalized treatment regimen. Treating ADHD may include a multi-faceted approach, including medication, behavioral therapies, and educational support.

Ongoing Support and Monitoring

Managing ADHD requires ongoing guidance and support. Our team provides regular check-ins to monitor the progress of your treatment, address any concerns, and make any changes to the management plan as needed. We are committed to giving our patients consistent support and guidance throughout their journey.

Schedule An Appointment Today

Living with ADHD can be challenging, but with the right support and resources, individuals can overcome obstacles and thrive. By seeking assistance, individuals affected by ADHD can access accurate diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support to enhance their quality of life and unlock their full potential.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Suresh Malik at Quality Primary Care in Rockville or Gaithersburg, MD. Take the first step towards managing ADHD effectively and embracing a brighter future. Contact us today!

Medically reviewed by
Suresh Malik, MD