Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) makes it difficult to focus and can have a negative impact on many different areas of one’s life. At Serenity Psychiatry of Beverly Hills, Dr. Samer Kamal provides treatment for ADHD.


by Samer Kamal, MD

What is ADHD?

ADHD refers to a condition that is associated with trouble focusing or concentrating, hyperactivity, and other behavioral problems, such as impulsiveness. This condition, which is chronic, affects children and adults. ADHD doesn’t have a cure, but self-management and professional treatment can help those with this condition function more effectively.

What causes ADHD?

Scientists don’t fully understand what causes ADHD, but there are certain factors associated with it. These include environmental factors, such as being exposed to lead in the home, and genetic factors. Developmental factors that affect the central nervous system have also been linked to ADHD. This condition occurs more often in boys than girls, although the reasons this occurs aren’t fully known.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD typically causes symptoms to appear in children before they are 12 years old. These symptoms can begin to appear in children as young as 3 years old. ADHD can cause children to be primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive and impulsive, or a combination of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Common symptoms of inattentiveness include having problems with concentration, being easily distracted, being forgetful, and losing items frequently. Symptoms of hyperactivity include being restless or fidgety, talking too much, interrupting others, and moving around constantly. Since ADHD is a chronic condition that can cause problems in every area of life, including relationships and school, seeking treatment is important.

Who is at risk of ADHD?

Some individuals have a higher risk of developing ADHD than others based on the presence of certain risk factors. These include having blood relatives, such as parents, who have ADHD or other types of disorders that affect mental health. Other risk factors include environmental toxins, drug use during pregnancy, and premature birth. Sugar in the diet isn’t considered a risk factor for ADHD, despite claims that sugar causes hyperactivity.

How is it treated?

Treatment for ADHD includes a combination of stimulant medications, behavior therapy, and specialized training, such as training in social skills. ADHD treatment usually involves using a team approach that includes parents, counselors, doctors, and teachers. Self-management, such as providing children with structure at home and making sure children get enough rest, can help control the symptoms of ADHD and lower the risk of complications, such as issues with confidence or severe behavioral issues. Managing coexisting conditions that occur with ADHD, such as learning disabilities, depression, anxiety disorders, and conduct disorder, is also an important part of treatment for ADHD.

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