Mental illnesses are often ignored and neglected due to which there is a chance of them being left undiagnosed or untreated. As a result, the incidence of mental disorder is not only on the rise in adults, but is prevalent in children as well. While depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental disorders in adults, experts have recorded a spike in the occurrence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
While as per the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) estimation only 5 percent children suffered from ADHD in the United States in 2013, a 2011-12 report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the figure at approximately 11 percent of children aged between four and 17 years (6.4 million) to have ever diagnosed with ADHD.
Amidst the rise in the number of ADHD cases, researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have identified links that suggest that there could possibly be a connection between sleep and ADHD. The study states that unlike adults who appear sleepy when they fail to get enough sleep, children tend to exhibit ADHD-like behavior, making them hyperactive or inattentive. The ADHD symptoms in children can be reduced by improving the hours and quality of sleep. This could be a healthy alternative to the ADHD medicine frequently prescribed to children to deal with the condition.
“Pills can be a poor substitute for taking the time to truly understand what is going on with behavior,” said Dr. Preston Wiles, an ADHD expert with the O’Donnell Brain Institute. He added that the trend of prescribing pills is largely due to a lack of qualified and licensed clinicians who not only fail to diagnose children’s behavior and the condition accurately, but also flop in prescribing an effective treatment.
Recognizing signs of ADHD in children
According to Dr. Syed Naqvi, a pediatric sleep expert at UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, below are few signs that can help you recognize the underlying ADHD in a child:
- The breathing pattern while they are asleep can be significant. Signs such as snoring or short intervals of halted breathing can be due to prevailing ADHD. Such situation demands an immediate evaluation by a sleep expert.
- The presence of ADHD can also be determined by measuring the duration of nighttime sleep. By monitoring this and recording any sleepiness during the daytime, sleep experts can judge the presence of ADHD.
- Lastly, the school performance can also speak a lot about the condition. In general, due to a wavering of the attention span, it is the academic performance that often shows the first signs of being affected. Therefore, if the child records no improvement even after taking the ADHD medication, immediate medical help should be sought.
Ideal road to recovery
Affecting nearly 10 percent of the children, ADHD is a common mental disorder among children. The condition can be recognized during the early school years, as it displays symptoms like trouble in paying attention, poor performance in school, restlessness, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.
The condition is primarily described as hyperactivity or inattention. While inattention is characterized by observations such as lack of persistence, difficulty in sustaining focus and disorganized, hyperactivity is noticed in activities such as excessive fidgeting, tapping or talking, extreme restlessness indicated by running or climbing. The impulsive behavior is demonstrated when the child exhibits socially intrusive behavior, frequently interrupting others or inability to wait for his turn.
However, the presence of these symptoms does not confirm ADHD, as these could be resulting from some other medical condition as well. Therefore, it is essential to first seek medical intervention and undergo a clinical assessment by a licensed medical practitioner. If ADHD is left untreated, it not only disrupts childhood, but can equally harm adulthood.
In case of ADHD in adult, the hyperactivity can be exhibited in the form of rudeness, insensitivity and abrupt behavior, while inattention can be observed in the form of being clumsy, lazy and irresponsible. It is necessary to treat the condition with the onset of symptoms. If a loved one is showing symptoms of ADHD, you can seek help from Florida Mental Health Helpline for expert guidance. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 846-5588 or chat online to know about the best mental health rehab center in Florida.