ADHD is an acronym that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As it is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders, many adolescents have been given a teen ADHD diagnosis. Since ADHD symptoms often vary from case to case, misdiagnosis of ADHD in children is widespread.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was formerly known as ADD, or attention deficit disorder. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that tends to be diagnosed in childhood. ADHD symptoms include inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. More common in boys than girls, ADHD affects three to five percent of all American children.

Although both teens and adults can have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD symptoms first become apparent in childhood. As a well-known mental disorder with a broad range of symptoms, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often is misdiagnosed. Although children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses, such symptomology also reflects other neurodevelopmental conditions.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can interfere with a teen’s school and home life. In adults, ADHD symptoms may cause organizational difficulties, such as an inability to set goals or manage their lives. ADHD also can negatively affect a person’s self-esteem, raising their vulnerability to substance use disorders. Despite the widespread usage of the ADHD diagnosis, no one knows the exact causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. As it often runs in families, genetics might be a factor. However, environmental causes may also contribute to ADHD symptoms.

Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, Web MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medline Plus 

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