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ADHD FAQs

What are the three signs of ADHD in childhood?

The three primary signs of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. They may occur together and sometimes the child may not show signs of hyperactivity.

What are the subtypes of ADHD?

  • ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation (formerly ADD)
  • ADHD, predominantly hyperactive -impulsive presentation
  • ADHD, combined presentation involves both hyperactivity and inattentive symptoms 

What are the signs of ADHD in an adult?

Adults with ADHD can exhibit a range of symptoms and behaviors that may differ from those seen in children. It’s important to remember that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning it typically begins in childhood and can continue into adulthood. However, some individuals may not receive a diagnosis until later in life, especially if their symptoms were mild or overlooked during childhood. ADD was not recognized as a mental condition until 1980 and ADHD was not recognized until 1994.

The primary signs in adults are inattention, hyperactivity and restlessness, impulsivity, time management challenges, difficulties managing emotions and relationships, procrastination and difficulty concentrating.

Is ADHD a form on autism?

No, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and autism are distinct and separate neurodevelopmental disorders, even though they share some overlapping symptoms and may coexist in some individuals.

What is the cause of ADHD?

The exact cause of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is not fully understood. According to the CDC, ADHD is strongly linked to genetics. In addition, scientists are studying other possible contributing causes including brain injuries, low birth weight, exposure to environmental risks like lead at an early age, and alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy to name a few.

How common is ADHD?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD occurs in an estimated 3 to 5 percent of preschool and school-age children.

Can ADHD cause stress and anxiety?

Yes. A child or adult may constantly struggle to fit in. This can lead to feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, and difficulties in various aspects of life, which can, in turn, contribute to stress and anxiety. Speak with Dr. Poulakos to help yourself or your child.

How is ADHD treated?

ADHD can be effectively treated using a combination of approaches that address its symptoms and challenges. Treatment typically involves a combination of behavioral therapy, educational support including Individualized Educational Plans (IEPS) or 504 Plans, and medication such as such as methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalinâ, Concertaâ) and amphetamines (e.g., Adderallâ). The specific treatment plan will depend on the individual’s age, symptom severity, and personal preferences. Parental support is essential to find guidance and strategies to deal with challenges.

What are some coping skills to help people with ADHD manage their symptoms effectively and improve their daily functioning?

  • Establish routines and stick to schedules for daily activities, such as waking up, meal times, work/study periods, and bedtime. Having a structured environment can help individuals with ADHD stay organized and reduce feelings of overwhelm.
  • Set alarms and timers to remind you of important tasks and appointments. This can be particularly helpful for managing time and staying on track.
  • Breaking down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make them feel more achievable and help with focus and completion.
  • Utilize visual aids like calendars, to-do lists, sticky notes, or whiteboards to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and important events.
  • Mindfulness techniques can help improve focus and reduce impulsivity. Meditation and deep breathing exercises can also help with relaxation and emotional regulation.
  • Minimize distractions in your environment. Find a quiet and organized space to work or study and consider using noise-cancelling headphones if needed.
  • There are numerous apps and tools designed to help individuals with ADHD stay organized, manage time, and improve productivity.

Can people with ADHD live a normal life?

Yes, people with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can lead fulfilling and successful lives with proper diagnosis, treatment, and support. While it can present unique challenges, many individuals with ADHD can learn to manage their symptoms and thrive in various aspects of life.

  • Early diagnosis is important to help people learn coping strategies and receive proper support.
  • Behavioral therapy can teach these skills including organizational techniques and ways to manage impulsivity.
  • Medications can help manage symptoms.
  • Educational support is vital to help a child with ADHD succeed.

While ADHD may present challenges in certain areas, individuals with ADHD have the potential to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their goals. It’s essential to recognize that each person’s experience with ADHD is unique, and what works for one individual may not work for another. By working with Dr. Paul Poulakos, your child’s school and creating support systems, individuals with ADHD can develop strategies to manage their symptoms effectively and lead successful lives.

Contact Greenwich Village Psychiatry to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you and your child succeed.

At a Glance

Dr. Paul Poulakos

  • Attending Psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Past Clinical Assistant Professor of NYU Langone Medical Center
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