By Sheila Zerang
Pre-law student UCLA/ writer
E-Mail: [email protected]
The Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as the ADHD disorder, is a world- wide known psychological brain disorder that negatively effects thousands of individuals lives on a daily basis.
This disorder is characterized as forming problems such as inattention, resulting in lack of persistency, hyperactivity, meaning the person would constantly move around and impulsivity, resulting in difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age (“AttentionDeficit Hyperactivity Disorder”, 2016).
As described in the academic journal, “An Introduction to ADHD in Adults”, by John M.Grohol, “Unlike a broken bone or cancer, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, also sometimes referred to as just plain attention deficit disorder or ADD) does
not show physical signs that can be detected by a blood or other lab test. The typical ADHD symptoms often overlap
with those of other physical and psychological disorders.”
Therefore, it is somewhat controversial to clearly know if that
person diagnosed with ADHD or other environmental or psychological factors are taking place. As stated in the writing, ADHD can be followed by anxiety, learning disabilities, speech or hearing problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tics, and behavioral problems such as oppositional defiant
disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder (CD) in both children and teens (Grohol, 2015).
This Attention deficit disorder starts itself early in the person’s childhood and as described in the “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”, the symptoms need to show themselves in such manner that it is inconsistent with the child’s development and the level of inattentiveness or hyperactivity is significantly more than those of the child’s peers (Bressert,
Each symptom such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity contains within it, several factors. For example, inattention could be the person would make careless mistakes in schoolwork or while playing activities.
Based on my own personal experience with a relative who had a child with
ADHD, I noticed how the child would be easily distracted with small stimuli’s and his hyperactivity included not being able to sit quietly when asked, had difficulty stop talking, and constantly had to shake his hand or feet when seated.
Also, the impulsivity included, interrupting others while they were talking and had difficulty waiting in circumstances that involved patience. However, these might be true for some cases and not for all but usually, these are signs that show the person might be experiencing ADHD.
As with many other disorders in which causes are not ultimately figured out yet, ADHD’s exact cause is also not known. As commonly known, ADHD occurs mostly during childhood therefore any negative parenting or child-rearing skills cannot cause it. “Most of the evidence points to genetic factors, environmental facts or brain damage”(Martin, 2015).
Due to ADHD having a strong genetic basis, a child who has ADHD is “four times as likely to have had a relative who was also diagnosed”(Martin, 2015), with such disorder and as it is being figured out and investigated by researchers, “lower levels of dopamine in the brain”(Martin, 2015), could be one of the genes involved in creating this disorder.
However, this is not the only factor; food addictive’s and sugar, can also draw effects toward this behavior but “sugar” still does not have a strong evidential support in this research study.
Some studies has encountered that “a lack of omega-3 fatty acids is linked
to ADHD symptoms” (Martin, 2015). This is clearly because the omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for developing braincells and help in functioning.
However, the studies also suggest an alternative cause to this disorder such as maternal smoking because “nicotine can cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen)
in utero”(Martin, 2015).
The treatment to this disorder can have several important components to it. Psychotherapy interventions, and medications, which is used for both children and adults, can both be helpful tools in treating this disorder.
As mentioned in the academic journal, Stimulant medications such as Ritalin or
Adderall are the most common prescribed medications. These medications are well tolerated, act quickly as soon as people take them, and are known to have few side effects
As with any normally prescribed prescription, if a medication does not work for a patient after several times of using, it will easily be replaced by another prescription and this can continue until the person find a medication that is working well for them.
Psychotherapy, mostly known s cognitive-behavioral therapy can be a great help for children and allows them to talk about their feelings and thoughts, find ways on how to cope with their emotions, and analyze their own patterns of behavior” (Martin, 2015).
Behavioral therapy is another type of source for individuals with ADHD, which helps them “focus more on ways to deal with immediate issues” (Martin, 2015). Typically, other treatments such as social skills training and support groups for ADHD can be helpful but the main solutions to this disorder is mainly medications and after that psychotherapy.
Personally, those individuals who I interacted with that had ADHD disorder believed the medications were a great help and after that having individuals and a source of support to speak to that would understand what they were going through was a big help.
A researcher, Barry Belt, conducted a research study, an “ADHD Case Study” about a thirteen years old, eight-grade student who had problem with reading and math skills at one to two years below his grade level.
This child was failing at every subject at school and he was described by his teachers as “disruptive and oppositional in class”(Belt, 2014). The school administrators had contacted his grandparents and informed them that this child was suffering from an Attention-Deficit hyperactivity Disorder.
They also inferred that he be taken to a pediatrician and be placed on Ritalin.
The study conducted that his virtual father abandoned the child and his maternal mother had also collapsed into drug and alcohol abuse because of being overwhelmed with the task of raising her three children.
Barry belt assembled a treatment with his team for this child and decided he should be taken to a school for children with learning disabilities as well as being enrolled in individual counseling. His caffeine and sugar take were cut down and his mother also began counseling with a CEPD counselor who helped her stop drug/ alcohol abuse.
The child used Neurofeedback and within sixmonths, his reading and math scores had progressed. Researchers conducted that the child’s key to progress was “CEPD’s multifaceted treatment approach, anchored by Neurotherapy” (Belt, 2014).
Although this case study is a formulated one and I agree with the effectiveness of such treatment, it cannot be reliable for more than one. For instance, the cause of this child’s ADHD could be placed on many outside factors such as his parent’s drug and alcohol abuse, having no father figure, genetic factors and etc.
There are cases in which the parents are perfectly together and the child is living in a stable household but the disorder is still have not decreased.
This study, places great emphasis on ethical issues such as the parent’s conditions and indirectly directing the readers attention to the effects of a role of having a stable household.
This case somewhat even questions if the ADHD has been mainly due to the child having no support system at home instead of it being partially due to that and other factors such as biological or genetic conditions.
Additionally, this case study should be continued to be conducted in the long run not just a period of few months but to compare the effects of this treatment over years.
ADHD is a serious issue in today’s society and its causes could range from genetic problems to important environmental factors.
In my perspective, the environmental issues and the way society treats those in need of help has a great influence on the way those individuals turn out in the future.
A positive reinforcement and counseling without proper medication would be no help just the way medication alone would be of no complete help to the individual.