You know it stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but what does ADHD really mean?
Unfortunately, the myth still persists that ADHD is simply an excuse that bad parents make for their children’s bad behaviour. This is simply not true. ADHD is a real, widely recognised medical condition, supported by a body of research that goes back decades.
It’s important to understand that ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence, motivation or the way you’ve been brought up – although your surroundings can make a difference.
The condition affects the uptake of Dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical called a neurotransmitter that governs a range of activities from learning and sleeping to mood and movement. This means that people with ADHD may struggle to concentrate and to control impulsive behaviours – such as fidgeting, talking too much and interrupting other people.
Estimates suggest that over 400,000 children in the UK have ADHD. At the moment, though, only a quarter of those have been diagnosed – which means there’s a lot of children and families that aren’t getting the help they need.
There is no cure for ADHD. It can be managed, though, with behavioural therapy, medication and education.
It has been widely reported that treating ADHD involves ‘drugging’ children and turning them into some kind of ‘zombies’. The aim of the medication is actually to rebalance the brain’s chemistry so that, along with therapy and education, sufferers can take control of their behaviour.
Thanks to the treatment, many patients talk about being able to concentrate, communicate and succeed at school in a way they never could before.