ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Possible causes of symptoms in 3 mins
Emotional and Mental Health Data Verified

ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Written by 
Dr. Vasantha. K. S
 and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Education: BDS

Professional Bio: Dr. Vasantha. K. S is a Dental Surgeon with 12 years of clinical experience. She completed her BDS from the Oxford Dental College, Bengaluru. She has expertise in diagnosing, preventing, and treating ... 

This doctor is not available for online consultations on the platform anymore.
Consult other doctors in the same speciality >>

Published on Mar 17, 2018 and last reviewed on May 12, 2023   -  5 min read


Attention-deficit disorder is known to affect children. Still, they are known to be active and brilliant people. Read the article to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What Is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral condition that interferes with focus, self-control, functioning, and social skills. People with this condition have trouble with time management, dealing with emotions, remembering things, completing tasks, and difficulty in controlling their impulsive behavior.

What Is Impulsivity?

Impulsive behavior is acting or reacting hastily without giving a second thought. Impulsive actions are poorly conceived, expressed prematurely, and risky, often resulting in undesirable consequences.

What Is Hyperactivity?

Hyperactivity involves over-enthusiastic patients who are not willing to remain in a place, are highly impulsive and have excessive muscular movements. Hyperactivity usually develops at school age and might recede as the child grows up. It often co-exists with attention- deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

What Are the Types of Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder?

The different types of ADHD are as follows -

  • Type 1: Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder predominantly inattentive.

  • Type 2: Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder predominantly hyperactive-impulsive.

  • Type 3: Attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder combined.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder show up at different ages in different people. They may be diagnosed early in life or well into adulthood when faced with situations that demand being organized and social. It is important to note that there is no impact on the child's IQ (intelligence quotient). They are as smart as their peers. Although they appear to lack focus, they can excessively focus on certain tasks that they find interesting.

There are two categories of symptoms in attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder, which includes:

Symptoms of Inattention:

Symptoms of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity:

  • Restless in their seats.

  • Run around when inappropriate.

  • They cannot pursue hobbies patiently.

  • Interrupt others during discussions.

  • Blurts out the answer before the question is done.

  • Have a hard time waiting for their turn.

  • Lose their things that are necessary for their activities or tasks, such as pencils, wallets, books, tools, keys, eyeglasses, etc.

What Are the Causes?

Comparative studies of brain images of children with Attention- deficit and hyperactivity disorder and those without have shown that in kids with attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, specific parts of the brain involved in executive functioning develop slower than children their age. This is the reason kids with Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder act younger than their peers.

Who Are the Famous Personalities With Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder?

There are many misconceptions that these people are lazy and less smart. Actually, that is not true because there are many people who made footprints in their field, in spite of being an attention-deficit person.

  • Michael Phelps -A famous American swimmer.

  • Karina Smirnoff - A professional dancer.

  • Adam Levine - A magazine writer and composer.

  • Emma Watson - A lead role in Harry Potter, advocate.

  • Lisa Ling - A journalist.

  • Jessica Mccabe - Actress and YouTuber.

  • Cammi Granato - Hockey player.

  • Channing Tatum - A dancer.

  • Howie Mandel - A stand-up comedian and show host.

  • Justin Timberlake - An actor and singer.

  • Simone Biles - Gymnast.

  • Solange Knowles - A singer.

What Are the Risk Factors?

  1. Genetics does play a major role.

  2. Premature birth.

  3. Exposure to smoking, alcohol, drug use or environmental toxins during early childhood, or the mother during pregnancy.

  4. Brain injuries.

What Are the Warning Signs?

Consult the child's pediatrician if you notice some of the worrying signs.

- Forgets things instantly.

- Fail to finish what they started.

- Demanding with the teachers at school.

- Behave rashly when taken outside.

- Seem unpopular with their peers.

How Is It Diagnosed?

There are no imaging tests to detect attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Psychologists and psychiatrists use The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The doctor will use a combination of history from the child's parents, feedback from school teachers, and a set of questions about the child's behavior that is to be answered by the parents.

What Is the Treatment Option?

There is no cure for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The simultaneous use of medication and psychotherapy such as cognitive behavior therapy is found to be very beneficial in managing their symptoms.

Tips to Manage Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:

As parents, it can get challenging to handle a child diagnosed with ADHD and there may be many questions arising in their heads. It is important to realize that it is not that the child is unwilling to focus on what he is doing, but he or she is unable to. Once this is clear, parents can gradually work out a strategy that works best for them and their child as well as others in the family. Here is how parents can help their child 'fit in'.

  1. Primarily, understand the condition in depth. Read up or attend seminars to comprehend the issues that the child is undergoing.

  2. Joining support groups to connect with other parents with similar concerns so that parents can discuss their concerns and understand the latest updates on treatments and to know about nearby specialists.

  3. Take stress management lessons to help deal with frustrations arising from day-to-day situations.

  4. Fix a schedule or routine for the child by allocating specific times in the day for specific activities such as playtime, mealtime, homework, computer usage (screen time) and bedtime.

  5. Segregate and organize the child's belongings such as books, clothes, toys, stationeries, school supplies, etc., and explain the importance of staying organized.

  6. Be clear with directions. Keep it short and crisp.

  7. Make a list of tasks to complete and stick it somewhere visible for them.

  8. Breakdown large instructions into simpler steps and give them as separate instructions.

  9. Praise the child on completeion of a task, even if it feels like a small accomplishment.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis?

  1. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

  2. Autism.

  3. Mental retardation (MR).

  4. Personality disorder.

  5. Oppositional defiant disorder.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can ADHD Kill Your Child?

ADHD increases the child’s risk of experiencing various life-threatening issues. A late diagnosis with ADHD causes more children to die prematurely. This may explain that lack of treatment options and delayed treatment plans might increase the chances of mortality.


Is ADHD a Serious Mental Illness?

Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder is a mental illness, but its severity depends on the efforts taken by the parents regarding the treatment. ADHD is diagnosed in school children. If not treated properly, the disorder can proceed to adult life too. So, it is important that you diagnose at an early stage.


Is ADHD the Same as Autism?

Both ADHD and autism share many of the same symptoms. But, they are two different conditions. Autism involves several developmental problems such as language skills, social interactions, behavior, and the ability to study and gain knowledge. ADHD deals with the different ways the brain can grow and develop. The child might have both at the same time.


Can ADHD People Focus?

ADHD is a health problem commonly seen in children who are not unable to focus on academic work. It may be accompanied with procrastination of work and weak organizational skills. The child has great difficulty in focusing on an object, situation, or work.


How Do ADHD Kids Behave?

Some children affected by ADHD are very hyperactive. But some children are very calm and quiet. Some kids tend to have too much focus on a single task and have trouble moving the focus to something else. Some kids have difficulty in focusing attention on one thing.


What Is the Root Cause of ADHD?

The causes of ADHD might include acquiring the genetic element from a close family member. Other reasons would be unwanted exposure to toxins such as lead, pipes, etc. Maternal usage of drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes during pregnancy.


What Foods Make ADHD Worse?

Foods that increase the risk of ADHD reactions include chocolate, corn, milk, tomatoes, wheat, soy, eggs, beans, oranges, and grapes. If you found that a specific food is contributing to the symptoms of ADHD, then talk to your ADHD doctor about trying an elimination diet.


How Do I Teach My ADHD Child Self-Control?

- Help the child in identifying the feelings end emotions.
- Be clear about expectations. Some kids react badly when they do not
know what to expect in a situation, or what is expected from them.
- Play at self-control.
- Give a related reward.
- Take a break.
- Praise the efforts of your child.


Are People With ADHD Highly Intelligent?

A lower IQ level is not associated with ADHD. Many of these people are highly intelligent. They are known to have high creativity aspects, even more, the normal kids. Since they are good at having intuitions, they tend to manage a crisis better.


How Do They Test for ADHD?

- Conduct a general physical and neurological exam.
- Obtain a thorough medical and family history.
- Lead an interview with you, your child, and your child's teacher(s).
- Observe your child at play or school.
- Use standardized screening tools for ADHD.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
12 May 2023  -  5 min read

Dr. Vasantha. K. S

Dr. Vasantha. K. S



Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

iCliniq's FREE Newsletters

Expert-backed health and wellness information, delivered to your email.

Thank you for subscribing to our Newsletters!

Related Questions & Answers

I am taking Atomoxetine for adult ADHD. What are the long-term side effects?

Query: Hi doctor, I was suspected to have adult ADHD. I am continuing Atomoxetine HCL for almost a year and my current dosage 60 mg/day. I observed significant improvement in concentration and reduced distraction. Is there any long term side effect of this drug?  Read Full »

I feel agitated, hyperactive, and have occasional suicidal thoughts after taking Clonazepam for a sleep disorder. Please help.

Query: Hello doctor, It was five years back when I encountered sleep problem for the first time, and at that point, I was doing a night shift. I consulted a doctor, and he suggested me the medicine Clonazepam 0.5 mg. I had continued Clonazepam 0.5 mg for 1 year. After more than a year, I got to know from a...  Read Full »

How to deal with my son's behavioral problems?

Query: Hello doctor, My son is 5.5 years old with developmental delay, speech delay and poor motor skills. He is always hitting, biting and scratching other kids or me when he is upset for any reason. I do not know how to deal with this. I have tried many things, but nothing works. Also, he has a 9 year ol...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on ?

Ask a Doctor Online
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.