ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, can lead to disruption, even a drop in performance, at school, work, or life in general. At Uptown Psych, located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the leading team of experts offers a full range of treatment options to help children and adults manage their symptoms.
ADHD Q & A
What is ADHD?
One of the most prevalent mental disorders found in children, ADHD also affects adults. People with ADHD often act impulsively, are hyperactive and have tremendous difficulty focusing and concentrating. In many cases, they fully understand what is expected of them in situations, like school or work, but simply can’t sit still or remain focused on the task at hand.
What are the symptoms?
Commonly found symptoms include:
- Being inattentive
- Not able to sit still
- Acting without thinking
In young children particularly, these are common traits, regardless of whether or not they have ADHD. However, when a child has ADHD, these qualities usually are more overt and noticeable than with other similarly-aged kids and cause stress and issues at home, school, and with friends.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Uptown Psych’s healthcare professionals gather information, usually from the past six months, from parents, teachers, and others, and perform a thorough medical evaluation to determine an ADHD diagnosis. There is no lab test.
ADHD is diagnosed as one of three types:
- Inattentive type
- Hyperactive/Impulsive type
- Combination type (symptoms of previous two types found)
For school-aged children, a diagnosis is critical. School staff can help provide information to medical professionals but can’t diagnosis ADHD. However, once it’s diagnosed in your child, school staff play a vital role. Students with ADHD, which often impairs their learning, may qualify for special education and can benefit from services like study skills learning, classroom setup changes, and a modified curriculum.
Many adults who have ADHD don’t realize it, but the disorder can impact social relationships and workplace performance. They can be diagnosed with a comprehensive evaluation, which includes reviewing past and current symptoms, as well as medical history.
How do you treat ADHD?
At Uptown Psych, ADHD is treated with medication in conjunction with therapy. The approach taken at Uptown Psych is one marked by teamwork. Often family and/or couples therapy is recommended as well. A therapist treating an ADHD patient focuses on providing techniques to address executive functioning issues, offering practical training in organizational skills, and developing habits. In most cases, this combination of behavioral therapy, medication, and including family members or partners in the process works best and can vastly improve ADHD symptoms.