What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and some professionals refer to it as hyperkinetic disorder. If you have ADHD it means you may find it difficult to concentrate on something for a long time, you may have a lot of energy and say or do things without thinking. It makes it very difficult for you to control your behaviour.
You may have heard of ADD which stands for Attention Deficit Disorder which is where you have similar symptoms but you don’t have the hyperactivity so you don’t have quite so much energy. The main problem for people with ADD is poor concentration.
Symptoms of ADHD include feeling restless or fidgety, talking a lot and interrupting people, being easily distracted, finding it hard to concentrate on something and saying or doing things without thinking. Other people might feel that you are not listening to them and you might interrupt a lot. You may find it difficult to learn at school because you can’t concentrate for very long.
ADHD usually starts at about 18 months old, but might not be diagnosed until later. Symptoms usually become more apparent between the ages of three and seven years old.
It is the most common behavioural disorder in children. It is not known what causes ADHD but it is thought that it runs in families. It could also be an imbalance in the chemicals that transmit nerve signals in the brain.
ADHD is more common in boys than in girls and affects 1-2 children in every 100.
It can be hard to concentrate on things when you are growing up so if you have some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have ADHD. If you think you have ADHD go and see your doctor as only a specialist can decide if you have ADHD or not.
See our next section for other ways to get help if you think you had ADHD or ADD.