Medicine and Treatment for ADHD in Murfreesboro, TN
I’m Dr. Helton.
I started practicing medicine in the year 2000, and over the past 19 years have treated and served over 15,000 patients. I’m the current president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of Family Physicians, an Executive board member of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians and Chairman of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital Family Medicine Department.
Helton Family Medicine, a Murfreesboro family doctor, helps individuals who are struggling with ADHD. Located in Murfreesboro, TN, Helton Family Medicine is the leader for primary care in the local area.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviors interfere with school and home life.
Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at early on in life and may become more noticeable when a through child’s growth and circumstances change, such as when they start school. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old.
The symptoms of ADHD can be divided into 2 types of behavioral problems: inattentiveness, and hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Most people with ADHD have problems that fall into both these categories, but this is not always the case.
For example, some people with the condition may have problems with inattentiveness only, but not with hyperactivity or impulsiveness. This type of ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADD can sometimes go unnoticed because the symptoms may be less obvious.
Symptoms in children and teenagers
The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are definite, and they’re commonly noticeable before the age of 6. They occur in more than one situation, such as at home and at school.
Inattentiveness (lack of attention)
The main signs of inattentiveness are:
- Having a short attention span and being easily distracted
- making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork, officework or even simply in household chores
- appearing forgetful or easily losing things
- being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
- appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
- constantly changing activity or task
having difficulty organizing tasks
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
The main signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:
- being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
- constantly fidgeting
- being unable to concentrate on tasks
- excessive physical movement
- excessive talking
- being unable to wait their turn
- acting without thinking
- interrupting conversations
- little or no sense of danger
These symptoms can cause significant problems in a child’s life, such poor school performance, poor social interaction with other children and adults, and problems with discipline.
As ADHD is a developmental disorder, it’s believed it cannot develop in adults without it first appearing during childhood. But it’s known that symptoms of ADHD often persist from childhood into a person’s teenage years and then adulthood.
Any additional problems or conditions experienced by children with ADHD, such as depression or dyslexia, may also continue into adulthood.
The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood, although a combination of factors is thought to be responsible.
ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it’s thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. However,it is always not a guarantee that when one or two of your nearest kin has ADHD, automatically you also have ADHD.
Brain function and structure
Research has identified a number of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD from those without the condition, although the exact significance of these is not clear.
For example, studies involving brain scans have suggested that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger.
Other studies have suggested that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, or that these chemicals may not work properly.
Groups at risk
Certain groups are also believed to be more at risk of ADHD, including people:
- Premature Born (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or with a low birthweight
- with epilepsy
- with brain damage – which happened either in the womb or after a severe head injury later in life
Treatment and medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help relieve the symptoms and make the condition much less of a problem in day-to-day life.
ADHD can be treated using either medication or therapy, or a combination of both is often deamed the most effective.
Treatment is usually arranged by a specialist, such as a paediatrician or psychiatrist, although the condition may be monitored by a GP.
There are 5 types of medication licensed for the treatment of ADHD:
These medications are not a definitive cure for ADHD but may help someone with the condition concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practice new skills.
Some medications need to be taken daily, but some can be taken just on school days. Treatment breaks are occasionally recommended to assess whether the medication is still needed.
If you were not diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood, our specialist can discuss which medications and therapies are suitable for you.