ADHD can be a chronic condition evident by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. Creative, energetic and driven people may have the same symptoms but it can become a problem. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.
There is thought to be two different types of ADHD- inattentive ADHD and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. Some people will only identify with one but it is more common that people with ADHD have a mix of both types.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought to be a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention and focusing on tasks, tends to act without thinking, and has trouble sitting still. It may begin in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. Without treatment, ADHD can cause problems at home, at school, at work, and with relationships. In the past, ADHD was called attention deficit disorder (ADD).
The exact cause is not clear, but ADHD is thought to run in families.
The two types of ADHD symptoms include:
- Poor impulse control.
- Trouble paying attention. People with ADHD are easily distracted. They have a hard time focusing on any one task.
- Trouble sitting still for even a short time. This is called hyperactivity. Children with ADHD may squirm, fidget, or run around at the wrong times. Teens and adults often feel restless and fidgety. They aren't able to enjoy reading or other quiet activities.
- Acting before thinking. People with ADHD may talk too loud, laugh too loud, or become angrier than the situation calls for. Children may not be able to wait for their turn or to share. This makes it hard for them to play with other children. Teens and adults may make quick decisions that have a long-term impact on their lives. They may spend too much money or change jobs often.
Tips for parents of children with ADHD
Unfortunately, there isn’t one answer that will fit everyone. The only thing to do is do the best you can. If it works for you, your child and your family in a non-punitive and non-damaging way then give it a go. The ideal way forward is to work with the child you have. Is your child a night owl? If so, then trying to get them to go to bed at 9 pm won’t work for anyone. Do they thrive in chaos? Chances are developing a strict routine and trying to adhere to it will cause more problems that it will fix. Try to pick your battles. Work towards a goal by working with the personality and character of your child. Recognise that, often, the way you will want to work will not fit with the child you have. Go easy on yourself – you are doing the best you can.
- Airplane rules apply here! When flying in an airplane you are always advised to put on your oxygen mask before helping anyone else. The same goes for parenting a child with ADHD. It is vital to keep yourself fit and healthy: eat right, exercise and ty to find a way to reduce your stress. When you are taking good care of yourself, you will be better able to take good care of your child.2.
- Routine: Find a routine that works best for you and your family and stick to it. Remember that sometimes no routine can be the answer. Work with the personality of the child you have.
- Be sure to praise your child as often as possible, but keep it real. We all thrive under positive reinforcement.
- Keep your child as active as possible. Children with ADHD often have vast amounts of energy and need a way to siphon off that energy in a positive and constructive way. Is your child a sportsman? Try and find a sport that your child will enjoy and be successful in and encourage them to participate. Perhaps they would prefer another way to use their energy try an art class or picking up a musical instrument.
- Good Nutrition. Help your child maintain a healthy balance diet. Try to avoid processed sugar, fatty foods and caffeine. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and protein.
- you may want to talk to a family therapist without your child present. Work with the therapist to make a plan that works for you and your family. Be prepared to change and adapt. At some point the family therapist may wish to include all members of your family in order for everyone to have a say in the plan.
Tips for adults with ADHD
- Develop a daily routine and stick to it!
- Create spaces for important items such as keys, phone or wallet and always place these items in the same spot.
- Try to get organised. Make lists to help you order your thoughts. Break big tasks down into smaller manageable steps.
- Become a clock watcher. Time management is often a skill that is lacking in adults with ADHD. Improve your time management skills by setting alarms and reminders to help your with daily tasks.
- Develop coping strategy tools.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle. Eat properly, incorporating as much fresh fruit, vegetables and protein into your meals. Drink plenty of water and try to avoid processed sugar, fatty foods, caffeine and alcohol. Don’t do drugs. Get plenty of exercise AND rest.
Here's a list of articles on ADHD you might find helpful.
Heredity, A major factor in ADHD, binge eating and alcohol dependence
It is mostly hereditary factors that lie behind adults with ADHD often developing alcohol dependence and binge eating, concludes new research. Since heredity plays such a large role, it is important that ADHD is treated at an early stage, and that measures are taken to prevent individuals developing these disorders later in life.
Scientist studly link between unhealthy pregnancy diet and ADHD
A diet high in fat and sugar during pregnancy may be linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children with behavioural problems early in life, experts have found.
ADHD: Paying Enough Attention?
A Research paper on ADHD in the UK
The epidemiological rates for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) vary considerably throughout the world. This is thought to be due to environmental and behavioural changes, in addition to differences in diagnostic criteria used throughout the world.
UK children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than US children
New research suggests that children are far less likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the UK than they are in the US. However, the same study suggests that autism diagnosis is still rising.
TED Talk: Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms
In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.
Powerful Quotes and Poems to inspire you
Dare we hope? We dare.
Can we hope? We can.
Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts given so freely by God to all of us. So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.
Andy Ripley – England and Lions rugby legend, often described as one of the most colourful personalities in the history of English rugby
Charities and support groups
Charities and support groups
Below you will find a comprehensive list of charities and support groups that offer help and assistance to anyone who is struggling with this mental health issue
The UK’s free and confidential helpline is not just for children, it provides help for young people of all ages who are in distress or danger. Counsellors provide advice and support, by phone and online, 24 hours a day.
You can get help and advice about a wide range of issues, including violence and abuse in your relationship on the Childline website. You can also talk to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.
Whatever your worry, it’s better out than in.
ChildLine has launched an app called Zipit. It helps you get flirty chat back on the right track. It's packed with killer comebacks and top tips to help you stay in control of your chat game. Find out more: childline.org.uk/zipit
Helpline: 0800 1111
Charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Parents Helpline 0808 802 5544 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm
SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.
Helpline 0845 767 8000
The Salvation Army works closely with addiction referral services as well as providing specialist detox centres in the UK. This is complemented by rehabilitation and support programmes.
Elefriends (run by Mind)
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.
We all know what it's like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Whether you're feeling good right now, or really low, it's a safe place to share experiences and listen to others.
Shared experiences and perspectives are valuable and powerful. In this way Elefriends don't just get help, they give help too. In the good times and the bad.
Off The Record
We believe that young people need places to go which are easy to access, where you are treated with respect, and where you can get support and information to help you make your own life choices. Our services are friendly and welcoming – about 1,000 new young people visit us every year. Available in the Richmond borough.
Time to Change
Our aim is to start a conversation… or hopefully thousands of conversations.
We want to empower people with mental health problems to feel confident talking about the issue without facing discrimination. And we want the three quarters of the population who know someone with a mental health problem to talk about it too.
Have I got a Problem?
HaveiGotAproblem.com is a free online resource to help you understand issues or concerns you may have about mental health or addiction issues.
This site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.
The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people. We are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing - from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to us via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.
Freephone 0808 808 4994
Mind - For Better Mental Health
We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.
Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity. We believe that peer support can change the state of student mental health. Our vision is for students to take action to foster an environment where everyone has the confidence to talk and listen to each other, the skills to support one another and the knowledge to look after their own mental health.
Helpline: 08444 775 774 Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5.30pm (calls subject to charge)
SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. SupportLine is a member of the Helplines Association. SupportLine also provides support by email and post.
Helpline: 01708 765 200
Get Connected is the UK's free, confidential helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don't know where to turn.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Open from 11am - 11pm every day
Counselling Directory aims to be the leading service for providing counselling advice and information - connecting those in distress with the largest support network in the UK.
TheSite.org is the first place young people should check for advice, information and support on sex, relationships, drugs, drink, health and wellbeing.
Barnardo’s believes in children regardless of their circumstances, gender, race, disability or behaviour. Our purpose as a charity today is to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children. We believe in the abused, the most vulnerable, the forgotten and the neglected. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child.
Offers support to anyone parenting or helping to raise children, from newborn babies to young adults. There are free telephone and email helplines, parenting courses and information leaflets. The website offers lots of advice, real-life stories and relevant news as well as a helpful A-Z of related topics.
Helpline: 0800 800 2222 (9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday;10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday)