Attention Defecit Disorder Essay, Research Paper
A.D.D (attention defecit disorder) – A.D.D – out line hyperactivity descriptions kid causes age cures difunctions habits chillinTo inform the class on Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) DisorderAttention Deficit Disorder has many characteristics, symptoms, and treatments that accompany it. Specific Purpose: To inform the class on Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder. Kris,17, and Josh, 16, are two teenagers that have been diagnosed with ADD. Kris is a borderline case because he doesn’t need medication and has learned to control his ADD pretty well. Josh, on the other hand, is on daily medication, and goes to see a psychologist every week for behavior modification therapy. Kris and Josh are also my two brothers. Coming from a family with a history of Attention Deficit Disorder, I have experienced, first hand, how ADD affects the person and the people around them. I have seen the positive and the negative aspects of this disorder. So, today, I am hoping to share some of this with you to help give you a better knowledge and understanding of this disorder, some of its symptoms and characteristics, some of its treatments, and a few controversies surrounding it.
I. What is Attention Deficit Disorder and what causes it?A. According to the book All About Attention Deficit Disorder by Thomas Phelan, ADD is a shortage in the production or usage of a neurotransmitter in the brain. B. There are other possibilities as to the cause of ADD, though at the time my sources were printed, they had not been scientifically proved. 1. Genetics and heredity have proven to have a strong correlation to ADD, and I believe that since the time of print, ADD has been proven to be passed on from generation to generation. 2. There have also been studies done showing a relationship between brain damage, due to head trauma after and during birth, and brain damage due to toxins, but as I said before, these have not yet, to my knowledge, been scientifically proven. C. According to Dr. Robin S. Barack, the average person has about seven thought go through his/her head per minute, while the average ADD child has about 120 thoughts per minute.D. Think about those statistics for a minute, then ask yourself, are these people really Attention Deficit?II. What are some of the symptoms and characteristics of ADD?A. The DSM IV, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published on a regular basis by the American Psychiatric Association, has a list of symptoms for inattention and for hyperactivity-impulsivity, which are the two very, very basic characteristics of ADD. 1. At least six of the inattention symptoms and five of the hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms must occur for a diagnosis. 2. These symptoms must must have been obvious for at least six months, to the point where they interfere with normal development, and some would have appeared before the age of seven. 3. Some symptoms are apparent in two or more settings, such as work, home, and school. 4. There must be clear, clinically significant evidence to show that the person is having trouble functioning in normal social, academic, and occupational settings. 5. Finally, none of the symptoms mentioned above are a result Schizophrenia, or any other type of Psychotic, Mood, Anxiety, Dissociative, Personality, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders. B. In his article What’s It Like To Have ADD?, Edward Hallowell, M.D., a child psychiatrist, who himself has ADD, is quoted as saying, “…It’s like being super-charged all the time. You get one idea and you have to act on it, and then, what do you know, but you’ve got another idea before you’ve finished up with the first one, and so you go for that one, but of course a third idea interrupts the second, and you just have to follow that one, and pretty soon people are calling you disorganized and impulsive and all sorts of impolite words that miss the point completely. Because you’re trying really hard. It’s just that you have all these invisible vectors pulling you this way and that which makes it really hard to stay on task…” C. People, especially kids, with ADD, are constantly doing what is called ’spilling over’, according to Hallowell.
1. Constantly looking all around you, tapping your feet, drumming your fingers, humming a song, doodling, to where people think you aren’t paying attention. 2. It is common for people with ADD to say that they can concentrate better when they are doing more than one thing, than when they are surrounded by total silence. D. Another common thing among people with ADD is their ability to hyper-focus. 1. This is where the person concentrates and focuses on one thing, such as a painting, and gets lost in it, so they are totally unaware or their surroundings and everything else. (turbo charged focusing) 2. This disproves a common myth that revolves around ADD, stating that people with ADD never pay attention. E. Boys outnumber girls with ADD 3:1. 1. These numbers were obtained from the internet. 2. ADD in girls often goes undetected. a. Girls with ADD tend to keep their feelings to themselves, and not openly express themselves. b. This leads to feelings of despair, low self-esteem, and increase the chances of depression, because the girl believes that no one understands or can relate to her. c. Girls with ADD tend to do better in school than boys, especially in math and science subjects. III. How is ADD treated?A. The most important step of the treatment process is the diagnosis and education of the disorder. 1. Just being diagnosed can improve the self-esteem of someone with ADD, because it lets them know that they aren’t ‘bad’ kids, and that everything isn’t their fault, they can’t control it. 2. After being diagnosed, and they begin to understand their disorder, people with ADD can get a better grip on their disorder, and learn to control themselves better. 3. Misdiagnosis is one of the main controversies associated with ADD, though, so be careful when getting tested.B. Another popular treatment for ADD is medication. 1. In most people, stimulant drugs speed us up, but it has been found in people with ADD that stimulant medication actually helps replace some of the neurotransmitter that is missing, and helps calm them calm down and stay focused.2. Another common type of drug prescribed are antidepressants, mainly as an additive, because people with ADD have a tendency to be depressed. C. ADD can be treated many other ways, but the best way is with a multi-modal approach, which combines behavior modification, psychotherapy, medications, education of the disorder, or any combination of these, depending on the severity of the disorder. Conclusion: Now that I have just told you about what Attention Deficit Disorder is, and told you some of the disorder’s symptoms and treatments, I hope that you have a better understanding of it. Since ADD affects about three to six percent of the population, with the rising numbers, it is very likely that you will be well acquainted with someone afflicted with this disorder, and I hope that this information helps you to understand them better.