ADHD is an acronym for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a behavioral problem that disrupts and delays normal development. Most often ADHD is diagnosed in children, but more adults are now increasingly being diagnosed with the problem.
ADHD is a chronic problem with no known cure. Almost all children who are diagnosed with ADHD continue to have the problem when they become adults. Those who are diagnosed with ADHD present a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, forgetfulness, and poor impulse control. They are impulsive to the extreme and are easily distracted.
ADHD is not a modern disease. It’s been around a while. As a matter of fact, Hippocrates described ADHD in a patient back in 493 BC. In his writings, he described a patient as having “quickened responses to sensory experience, but also less tenaciousness because the soul moves on quickly to the next impression.” Hippocrates called the condition an “overbalance of fire over water.” Hippocrates treated the disorder by recommending “barley rather than wheat bread, fish rather than meat, water drinks, and many natural and diverse physical activities.”
Hippocrates might well have been onto something. Diet has long been considered as a contributing factor of ADHD, with researchers particularly concentrating on the ingestion of artificial food additives and food coloring.
Head injuries are also considered a contributing factor to ADHD.
There is a great deal of controversy about the diagnosing of and labeling of children with ADHD. Some say that the diagnosis of a brain disorder becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when the child views himself as “brain damaged.”
The treatment regime of a person who has been diagnosed as suffering from ADHD is most often a combination of medications, behavior modification, changes in lifestyle, and counseling.
More than twice as many boys are diagnosed with ADHD than girls. It’s unclear whether males are more susceptible to the problem, or whether girls are simply underdiagnosed.