Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or sometimes shortened to ADD) is a complex neurobiological condition that affects a person’s ability to pay attention and maintain focus on tasks and activities. It involves difficulty controlling impulsive behavior, and in some cases may include hyperactivity, restlessness, or trouble sitting still. ADHD can contribute to a range of problems in daily life from forgetfulness and organization problems to difficulty following conversations. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to long-term consequences to academic, employment, and social functioning. It is also linked to a number of other psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression.
ADHD is not caused by laziness, or lack of ability. Research suggests that ADHD is caused by several factors, including genetics and neurological abnormalities in the brain. Brain imaging studies show differences in brain structure and chemistry among individuals with ADHD. Contrary to the common belief that ADHD is a childhood disorder, ADHD does not end with adulthood. While symptoms of hyperactivity may subside with age, many adults with ADHD continue to struggle with significant attention and concentration problems. Unfortunately, misconceptions about adult ADHD prevent many people from seeking the treatment they need.
Treatment works best when it’s based on a thorough understanding of the full scope of the problem. A thorough clinical evaluation provides accurate diagnoses, and helps determine appropriate treatment options. It also helps to avoid a trial and error approach to treatment by identifying the root of the problem from the very beginning.