ADD is a neurobehavioral disorder that commonly affects children. The precise cause of the disorder is still yet to be known even though various empirical researcher findings point to heredity and several environmental factors such are diet to be the possible causes of the disorder. This disorder that is commonly exhibited in the form of heedlessness and hyperactivity is treatable even though not curable. Common treatment options of the disorder include psychotherapy and medication.
KEY WORDS: Causes, Attention Deficit Disorder, Treatment, Symptoms
ADD is a neurobehavioral disorder that commonly affects children; children with ADD experience difficulty paying attention, hence the name attention deficit. The children are in most cases more active than normal. Even though the disorder can be described using several symptomatic cues, inattentiveness and hyperactivity stand out as the major symptoms of ADD. This perhaps explains why the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming the most commonly used term in place of Attention Deficit Disorder. It should also be noted that several authors contend that ADD is a general term that encompasses several attention deficit disorders inclusive of ADHD (Smart, 2007).
Causes of ADD
The exact cause of ADD is still yet to be known. Nonetheless, several researchers uphold that the causation of the disorder is as a result of an interplay of several factors. Heredity is alleged to be the leading cause of ADD; according to Rutledge (2010) more than 80 percent of the cases of ADD have a genetic predisposition. ADD also has a strong environmental component. The General symptoms of ADD are hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and poor listening skills. Additionally, ADD victims are always not organized are characterized with anxiety and uneasiness or trouble or grief.
History of ADD
Heinrich Hoffman, a German physician, is the first physician to have distinctly categorized his patients who presented symptoms relating to attention deficit (Frates, 2001). Heinrich Hoffman labeled such patients as “Fidgety Phil”; the name of a character in a children’s book written in the 1940s. in the book, Fidgety Phil, was presented by the author to be hyperactive and lacking attention (Frates, 2001). It is George Frederic Still who later documented the symptoms relating to Heinrich Hoffman’s Fidgety Phil. The term Fidgety Phil was replaced by the term Minimal Brain Dysfunction following the 1917 outbreak of encephalitis even though the American Psychological association finally settled on the name Attention Deficit Disorder ending the long history of name change for the disorder (Frates, 2001).
ADD treatment options focus on the betterment of ADD symptoms. Symptoms relating to a person’s mental characteristics are always bettered through psychological therapy (Wender, 1998). This is ordinarily done with the help of two forms of therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). On the same note, medication and dietetic therapy are also some of the common treatment options for ADD. The use of dietetic treatment gives insight the environmental component in the causation of ADD. With regard to medication, Brown, (2006) while acknowledging that there is still no cure for ADD states that there exist several safe and effective medications for ADD. And just like other treatments options for ADD, medication simply helps in relieving one from the complications that are typic of ADD. It should be noted that for best results, one mode of treatment alone is usually not sufficient. Treatment of ADD should be a combination of several treatment options. As Brown, (2006) asserts, proper treatment of ADD demands consummate diagnosis and multiple treatment interventions coupled with careful trials of two or more treatment options of the disorder.
Side effects that come along with ADD
Since children with ADD are inattentive, the disorder therefore has some gross negative effects on academic performance of its victims. Additionally, the disorder is socially constructed hence most of its adult victims are always affected socially.
Brown, T. E. (2006). Attention deficit disorder: The unfocused mind in children and adults. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.
Frates, E. F. (2001). Attention Deficit Disorders: A Neurological Diagnostic Perspective. Boca Raton: Universal-Publishers.
Rutledge, R. (2010). When Your Child Has ADD/ADHD: Bullets: *Get the Right Diagnosis *Understand Treatment Options *Help Your Child Focus. Cincinnati: F+W Media.
Smart, K. (2007). A Christian Perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder. Raleigh: Lulu Publishing Services.
Wender, P. H. (1998). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. New York: Oxford University Press.