Many children and adults throughout the country suffer from the effects of living with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD can significantly impact your everyday functioning as well as your ability to maintain relationships or succeed in your career. While it is commonly disregarded as a minimally impactful condition, ADHD is a serious disorder that should be treated as early as possible. With over 15 years of experience treating mental health disorders, Dr. Russell Surasky provides compassionate, informed ADHD treatment that can help manage your symptoms. After a consultation, Dr. Surasky can recommend medication or another form of treatment that is best suited to your unique needs.
A notable percentage of the population lives with ADHD but the condition is treatable.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD is defined by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5™) as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
There are three kinds, or presentations, of ADHD including combined presentation, predominantly inattentive presentation, or predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation. Dr. Surasky can help you determine which form of the condition you or your child have based on the DSM-5 criteria.
Why Is ADHD Treatment Important?
Many patients with ADHD face continuous challenges throughout their daily lives. Not only does the disorder affect their ability to learn and work but it can cause difficulties in personal relationships. ADHD also often contributes to behavioral problems that can lead to delinquency including substance abuse and impulsive decision-making.
In some cases, ADHD is assumed to be another disorder, such as bipolar disorder, a sleep disorder, or autism, that may share or mimic certain characteristics and prevent patients from receiving the proper care. Seeking treatment is important because a professional diagnosis of ADHD can completely transform your or your child's life.
What Causes this Disorder?
While there is typically no single cause which contributes to the development of ADHD, there are various environmental, genetic, and psychosocial circumstances that are considered potential risk factors. Additionally, research suggests that pre and perinatal risks may also influence the condition. Typically, when several of these factors are present in a child's life, they are more influential.
Diagnosing Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The DSM-5 requires specific criteria to be met when diagnosing ADHD. To determine which type of ADHD you or your child suffer from, the criteria are divided into categories of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsivity which are further explained by the ADHD Institute.
There are several other conditions that must be met. To be formally diagnosed, symptoms must be:
- Present prior to the age of 12
- Present in two or more settings
- Undeniably interfering with functioning
In addition, it is important to determine that the symptoms are not better explained by another mental health disorder.
Children with ADHD
A recent study suggests that 7.2 percent of children and adolescents suffer from ADHD. Children may display symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness, or a combination of both. It may be indicative of ADHD if your child struggles with communication and interactions or has difficulty learning.
Diagnostic Criteria for Children
In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, children up to the age of 16 must exhibit six or more of these symptoms for at least six consecutive months. For adolescents 17 or older, five or more symptoms must be experienced for over a six month period or longer.
The use of medication is imperative to long-term management of ADHD.
ADHD in Adults
There are many adults who have gone their entire lives without treatment because they do not realize they suffer from ADHD. Symptoms such as forgetfulness, time management problems, and emotional issues are often dismissed as character traits. However, seeking professional treatment through medication and behavior management strategies can be life-changing.
Diagnosis Requirements for Adults
Adults must exhibit five or more symptoms that meet the DSM-5 criteria for a period of six months or more to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Treating Patients with ADHD
The use of medication is imperative to long-term management of ADHD. Dr. Surasky firmly believes that medication achieves the best results for the condition and works with his patients to determine which type is best for them. This will typically be dependent upon:
- Severity of disorder
- Previous therapy attempts
In addition to their effectiveness, psychoactive drugs are generally associated with fairly minor side effects including insomnia, decreased appetite, headaches, and stomachaches. However, these drugs affect every patient differently.
There are two categories of medications approved by the FDA to treat ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants. While stimulants are typically the first recommended treatment, some patients may benefit from non-stimulants if they are not effective or react poorly. Based on individual needs, Dr. Bober can determine the type, duration, and dosage that should be administered.
Take Control of Your Disorder
Do not allow ADHD to hinder your or your child's success. Dr. Surasky can help you find a solution for managing the disorder to significantly improve your quality of life. Schedule your consultation by calling us today at (516) 487-9414.