ADHS - Dates and Facts

Dr. med. Katharina Larisch
Übertragung aus dem Deutschen - Evgeny Sheronov
One disease, many terms ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Poor attention, excessive impulsiveness and extreme restlessness (hyperactivity) are hallmarks of the disorder. The disease has other names: Hyperkinetic Syndrome or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Symptoms are most common in young children, but often persist into adulthood. ADHD is not a modern civilization disease, but appeared more than 100 years ago. In 1848, the German neurologist Heinrich Hoffmann described the “Zappel-Philipp syndrome” in Struwwelpeter: “He sways and rocks, he tramples and fidgets back and forth on the chair…”, according to an excerpt from the story. In 1902, the English pediatrician George Still spoke in lectures of a “defect of moral control in children”. More boys than girls It is estimated that around two to six percent of all children in Germany suffer from ADHD. Boys are affected much more often than girls, but ADHD manifests itself differently in both sexes: in boys, hyperactivity is usually the focus (“Fidgety Philip”), while in girls, attention is disturbed (“dream girl”). It is therefore also possible that ADHD is less frequently recognized in girls. In around 60 percent of those affected, the symptoms do not go away, but persist into adulthood. Poor filter performance Scientists now assume that impaired signal transmission in the brain is the cause of ADHD. The messenger substances dopamine and noradrenaline, whose metabolism is disturbed, play an important role. Both substances are important for attention, drive and motivation. In ADHD children, these neurotransmitters carry information between brain cells only to a limited extent. New, unfiltered information constantly enters the brain of ADHD patients because the signals in the brain are not sufficiently inhibited. ADHD sufferers therefore find it difficult to concentrate and motivate themselves. The comparison of incoming information with existing experience is often unsuccessful. Those affected therefore have great difficulty in planning actions with foresight. But the living environment also has an influence on ADHD. Cramped living conditions, the parenting attitude (e.g. lack of attention or consistency), a hectic environment, little opportunity for exercise or time pressure have an unfavorable effect and can intensify the ADHD symptoms. ADHD – yes or no? Not every little whirlwind suffers from ADHD. There are precise criteria for diagnosing ADHD. It is important to rule out other diseases such as epilepsy or depression. Age-appropriate behaviors in certain development phases must also be differentiated. At least six of the following symptoms of inattention must have occurred frequently for at least six months: Does not pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes. Has trouble concentrating for long periods. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Does not complete instructions or complete tasks. Has difficulty completing tasks and activities in a planned manner. Reluctant to take on, avoiding, or refusing tasks that require sustained concentration. Loses things like toys or homework books that are necessary for certain tasks. Easily distracted by nonessential stimuli. Is forgetful in everyday activities. ADHD may also be present when at least six of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsiveness occur frequently and for at least six months and are not characteristics of age-appropriate development: Wriggles or squirms in chair. Is reluctant to sit and will leave the seat even when sitting is expected. Runs around or climbs up anywhere – even in inopportune situations. It’s usually very loud when playing. Is energetic or behaves as if driven by a motor. Talks excessively. Blurts out the answer before questions are complete. Has trouble waiting his/her turn. Interrupts or disrupts others in conversations or games. Other indications of AHDS are: Some symptoms were present before the age of seven. They occur not only at home or at school, but in at least two different settings. They lead to a significant impairment in the social, learning performance or professional area. dream girl or fidgety philipp ADHD does not show up in the same form and severity in everyone. For some, for example, restlessness is in the foreground, for others inattention. In principle, ADHD is divided into three different subgroups: Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type: “Fidgety Philipp” Predominantly attention deficit Ty

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