You, your child, or someone you love may struggle with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the Centers for Disease Control, this common mental health concerns affects over 5% of children. ADHD in childhood has immediate and far-reaching effects.1 Better understanding this mental health issue helps you address its impact on your or a loved one’s life.
What Is ADD/ADHD?
ADHD is a behavioral issue. It is a mental health issue. It is observed in patients of all ages but generally develops during childhood. Children and adults with ADHD have trouble paying attention. Attention-deficit disorder, ADD, refers to one of three types of ADHD. The clinical term for ADD is ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation. This subtype involves symptoms of procrastinating, lack of focus, and trouble planning. However, it does not include the same impulsiveness, hyperactivity or fidgeting as other forms of ADHD. WebMD explains that individuals with ADHD may also do the following:
- Be disorganized
- Lack focus
- Have a hard time paying attention to details and a tendency to make careless mistakes
- Have trouble staying on topic while talking, not listening to others, and not following social rules
- Be forgetful about daily activities
- Be easily distracted by things like trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others2
These symptoms impact childhood learning and development. They impact adult functioning and overall well-being. Undiagnosed or untreated ADHD can have far-ranging effects on health and happiness.
ADHD, Stigma, and Mental Health
There is stigma attached to an ADHD diagnosis. Children with an ADHD diagnosis are seen as difficult, defiant, or simple “bad kids.” Children with ADD may not be diagnosed at all. ADDitude Magazine explains, “Individuals with inattentive ADHD rarely get the treatment they need. This leads to academic frustration, apathy, and undue shame that can last a lifetime.”3 Without accurate information and support, children with ADHD often live and grow up with stigma. This impacts self-esteem, mental health, and even physical health. It can lead to individuals self-medicating ADHD symptoms or emotional issues with drugs or alcohol. Denial and drug use are not real solutions to ADHD, but some people may feel they are the only options available to them. These feelings are real and valid, but they do not reflect reality. There are many resources for addiction recovery. There are many pharmaceutical and drug-free options for managing ADHD symptoms.
Treating ADHD, Addiction, and Co-Occurring Issues
ADHD is rarely a standalone disease. The National Alliance on Mental Illness explains, “Around two-thirds of children with ADHD also have another condition. Many adults are also impacted by the symptoms of another condition.”4 These conditions include the following:
- Learning disabilities
- Conduct disorder, persistent destructive or violent behaviors
- Anxiety and depression
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Substance abuse
Overlapping symptoms complicate the diagnosis and treatment of any one issue. Ignoring certain issues means they are likely to surface again or trigger a relapse of a co-occurring concern. For instance treating addiction without treating ADHD means individuals may return to drug use when impulsivity or other ADHD symptoms become too much to handle without support. Integrated treatment addresses all co-occurring mental health and addiction concerns. This allows for complete and comprehensive healing. It reduces the likely of relapse and greatly increases well-being and quality of life. ADHD can be treated through medication or through various therapeutic options. Addiction is similarly approached from both medical and mental health angles.
Call Black Bear Lodge at 706-914-2327 to learn about integrated addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one. We understand the impact ADHD has on your life and your addiction. We offer the in-depth care you need to manage symptoms and find a happier, healthier life.
1 Centers for Disease Control. “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” 18 Jul. 2017. Accessed 21 Jul. 2017.
2 WebMD. “Symptoms of ADHD.” 11 Jun. 2017. Accessed 21 Jul. 2017.
3 Williams, Penny. “ADHD in Children: Symptoms, Evaluations, Treatment.” ADDitude Magazine. Accessed 21 Jul. 2017.
4 National Alliance on Mental Illness. “ADHD.” Accessed 21 Jul. 2017.