Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder ADD

What is Attention Deficit Disorder - Causes, Symptoms, Prognosis

By Susan Chiang

Attention Deficit Disorder, otherwise commonly know as ADD, is a psychosomatic condition which is normally characterized by learning and behavioral disorders. ADD is generally diagnosed in children and it affects the male infant population more than girls. Attention deficit disorder not only occurs in childhood but also continues till adulthood in many cases. Anti-social behaviors are common with ADD individuals, but are not seen in children with ADD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a developmental disability based on neurobiological factors. However, the real cause of ADHD is still not known. Studies have shown that ADD is due to genetic transmission from parents to children. It can also be the result of deficiency of certain neurotransmitters or a chemical imbalance.

The neurotransmitters are specific chemicals that help the brain to regulate the behavior of a person. Researches have shown that the rate at which the brain uses glucose is lower in individuals who are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder in comparison to people who are not affected by ADD.

Symptoms commonly found among children with ADD are inattentiveness, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder find it difficult to do their homework or any assigned task, and even in holding conversation. Those with ADHD often take part in risky activities and therefore suffer two to four times the rate of accidental injuries as do children or adults without ADD.

Some of the symptoms of inattentiveness include making careless mistakes in homework or activities, difficulty in focusing on completing activities, difficulty in performing tasks, not listening, and being forgetful in daily activities.

Some of the symptoms of hyperactivity include restlessness of hands or feet, excessive fidgeting, problems in playing or focusing on activities, or excessive talking.

Symptoms due to impulsiveness include interrupting a conversation, impatience in waiting their turn, or blurting out answers even before the question is completed.

Adults with ADD are prone to risk-taking, careless or impulsive behavior, and difficulty with time management and organization. They often show an inability to structure their lives and to plan complex daily tasks, and also difficulty in self-control and self-motivation.

ADD is very difficult to diagnose and treat in younger people as it is sometimes related with mood disorders, employment issues, substance abuse, relationship problems or other psychological disorders. Previously it was believed that children and adolescents would grow out of ADD but now it is clear to psychologists that if ADD is not treated in childhood then it can create problems for the patient or his family.