Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Philadelphia, PA
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition that can significantly impact daily life, affecting both children and adults. Our specialized team of professionals is committed to providing comprehensive care and support for those living with ADHD in the Philadelphia area. Explore this page to learn more about ADHD as well as our services, resources, and how we can assist you or your loved one on the journey to improved mental health.
What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that typically starts in childhood but can continue into adulthood. It is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interfere with functioning or development.
Inattention refers to difficulties with staying focused on tasks, following through on instructions, and organizing activities. Individuals with ADHD may often lose items necessary for tasks, be easily distracted, forget daily activities, or make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities. Hyperactivity involves excessive activity, restlessness, or feeling fidgety. People with ADHD may often leave their seats when remaining seated is expected, such as in the classroom or workplace. They may also talk excessively or have trouble engaging in leisure activities quietly. Impulsivity refers to hasty actions taken without thought that can have high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards. Individuals with ADHD may interrupt others, have difficulty waiting their turn, or make important decisions without considering long-term consequences.
It’s important to note that everyone can exhibit these behaviors at times, but for individuals with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. They interfere with the individual’s ability to function at school, work, home, and in social settings. ADHD is a complex disorder that requires professional diagnosis and treatment. With appropriate support and intervention, individuals with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.
What are the causes of ADHD?
While the exact cause of ADHD is not known, research suggests that it is likely due to a combination of several factors, including genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental influences. Genetics plays a significant role in ADHD. The condition often runs in families, suggesting a genetic component. Studies have found certain genes associated with neurotransmitter systems in the brain to be more common in people with ADHD, indicating that these may influence the development of the disorder.
Changes in brain structure and function are also associated with ADHD. Brain imaging studies have shown that the brains of individuals with ADHD may develop more slowly in certain areas. Furthermore, there is evidence of altered activity in parts of the brain that control attention and impulsivity.
Causes of ADHD During Prenatal
Environmental factors during prenatal and early life stages may also contribute to the development of ADHD. Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, or drugs, premature birth, low birth weight, and lead exposure have all been linked to an increased risk of ADHD.
However, it’s important to note that these factors increase the risk, but do not guarantee that a person will develop ADHD. As with most disorders, it is likely the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors that leads to the development of the disorder. Despite extensive research, the exact causes of ADHD remain incompletely understood, and ongoing studies continue to investigate this complex condition.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The symptoms can vary between individuals and across different stages of life.
Inattention symptoms may include difficulties with staying focused on tasks, particularly those that are repetitive or require sustained mental effort. Individuals with ADHD may often make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities. They might have trouble organizing tasks and activities, frequently lose items necessary for tasks, or be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli. They may also forget daily activities such as doing homework, completing chores, or keeping appointments.
Hyperactivity symptoms often involve excessive activity. Children with ADHD may run about or climb in situations where it’s not appropriate. In adults, this may present as restlessness or wearing others out with their activity. People with ADHD may also fidget, tap their hands or feet, or squirm in their seats. They may talk excessively and have trouble engaging in leisure activities quietly.
Impulsivity symptoms can include impatience, difficulty waiting one’s turn, blurting out answers before questions have been completed, and interrupting or intruding on others’ conversations or games. Individuals with ADHD may also act without thinking about the consequences, leading to potential harm or negative impacts on their relationships, academic performance, or job stability.
It’s important to note that these symptoms must be chronic or long-lasting, impair the individual’s functioning, and cause the person to fall behind typical development for his or her age. Also, the symptoms should not only be a manifestation of oppositional behavior, defiance, hostility, or failure to understand tasks or instructions. For a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms should be severe enough to cause significant difficulties in multiple settings – such as at home, school, or work.
How to treat ADHD?
Treating ADHD typically involves a multi-faceted approach that can include medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. While each option is helpful on its own, best results are often seen when these therapies are combined together into a multifaceted approach to treatment. Each person’s treatment plan should be tailored to their specific symptoms and needs and should include medication management under the care of a healthcare professional.
What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) are often used interchangeably, but they do have slight differences. The term ADD is an older term that was primarily used to describe people who have trouble focusing and paying attention, without the presence of hyperactive behavior. ADHD is the current medical terminology and is a broader term that includes attention deficit, but also encompasses hyperactivity and impulsivity. It’s further divided into three subtypes: predominantly inattentive presentation, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, and combined presentation.
The predominantly inattentive presentation (previously known as ADD) is characterized by symptoms like forgetfulness, distractibility, and lack of focus, but without significant hyperactivity or impulsivity. The predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation is characterized by symptoms such as fidgeting, restlessness, and impulsive decisions. The combined presentation, as the name suggests, includes a combination of both sets of symptoms. ADD is essentially now considered a type of ADHD – specifically, the predominantly inattentive presentation.
Where to get diagnosed and treated for ADHD near me in Philadelphia?
If you’re in the Delaware Valley and seeking diagnosis and treatment for ADHD, our network of mental health centers is readily available. We have four clinics strategically located across the area to ensure accessibility:
- Doylestown -2325 Heritage Center Drive Suite #401, Furlong, PA 18929
- Newtown Square – 4729 West Chester Pike Newtown Square, PA 19073
- Philadelphia City Center – 3 N 2nd St 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Newtown – 12 Penns Trail Suite #101 Newtown, PA 18940
Each of our centers is staffed by experienced and compassionate mental health professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for ADHD utilizing the most up to date treatment techniques.
Additional Information about ADHD and mental health in Philadelphia
Continue reading for additional useful information about ADHD, general mental health information and its impact on Philadelphia.
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