Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also referred to as ADHD, ADD or AD/HD, is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder. As the name suggests, it is an attention problem with an underlying hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors, which has an onset prior to the age of seven. ADD is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in the world. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment of the condition has been under debate since the 1970s.
The symptoms of ADHD vary by the age group that is being assessed. Young children tend to have an overly active personality; always needing to be on the go; fidgeting when required to be still; difficulty being quiet; and excessive talking. These are also phases that children normally go through, the difference is the excess with which it is being done. Older adolescents or adults may find it very difficult to focus attention, especially to detailed tasks or those that require additional concentration; become easily distracted by minor things which others are able to ignore; procrastination; disorganization; forgetfulness; and frequent shifts in conversation or activities.
All ages may display increased impatience; an inability to control responses and timing to stimuli, such as when questions are asked; inappropriately interrupting others; and beginning conversations at inopportune moments.Many of those afflicted with this disorder develop their own coping mechanisms so they can lead somewhat normal lives.
There is no cure for this condition. The treatment of ADHD includes medications, therapy focused at behavioral changes, and lifestyle adjustments for the individual diagnosed with this disorder. The symptoms tend to lessen with age, but never totally disappear. An important factor to a complete therapeutic approach is the involvement of the family so they can also be provided with the skills necessary to help shape the correct behavior of the person suffering with ADD.